The Trump Administration's Executive Order (EO) on Banning Racial Equity Training
Last updated October 16, 2020
Background and Analysis
The below analysis is compiled from summaries by our partners at the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) and National Innovation Services (NIS).
On September 22, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping, which essentially prohibits government contractors and some grantee from hosting or participating in training on race or sex diversity, equity, or inclusion involving 11 “divisive concepts including terms like “critical race theory,” “white privilege,” “intersectionality,” and “systemic racism.” This EO follows the announcement of the 1776 Commission.
The EO delegates enforcement action and "remedial relief" for violations of the order to Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. The EO is applicable to federal contracts beginning November 21, 2020. Meanwhile, grantee partners have some additional time. Key milestones are:
- By October 22, 2020, the Department of Labor is ordered to publicly post and actively seek information from whistleblowers on federal agencies involved in diversity and inclusion workshops and training within 30 days.
- By November 21, 2020, federal agencies must submit a report to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that outlines the programs within each agency that need to certify that grantees will not participate in these activities.
- By December 21, 2020, federal agencies are required to tally and report on the amount of money spent on diversity and inclusion training and workshops in 2020, delineating the contractors that provided each training where applicable.
Following the release of this EO, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum (M-20-37, the “Second Memo”) which includes steps to implement the EO and also goes beyond what the EO defines as "divisive concepts."The OMB memorandum of September 28 states that training or education programs for a grantee that include the “divisive concepts” may not be billed as an allowable cost under federal grants, unless otherwise allowed by law. The OMB memorandum also clarifies that “cooperative agreements” are subject to the same provisions as grants.
Soon after the EO, the Department of Justice's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) launched a complaint hotline to "receive and investigate complaints" under the Executive Order and "enables employees to file complaints alleging that a Federal contractor “is utilizing training programs in violation of the contractor’s obligations under those orders.”
Banned Concepts and Terms under the EO
This Executive Order (EO) seeks to appropriate the terms “stereotyping” and “scapegoating” to critique anti-racist and feminist frameworks and bans federal agencies, uniformed services, federal contractors, subcontractors, and grantees from promoting or inculcating (teach, instruct, or train) the concepts of anti-racism or anti-sexism, in the name of protecting “American meritocracy.”
The specific concepts banned are:
- one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
- the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist;
- an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;
- an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex;
- members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex;
- an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex;
- an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
- any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or
- meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by a particular race to oppress another race. The term “divisive concepts” also includes any other form of race or sex-stereotyping or any other form of race or sex scapegoating.
Implications for Homelessness and Housing
All federal agencies and grantees who have focused efforts on mitigating the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color will be disrupted by this Executive Order. Additionally, the Department of Housing and Urban Development's technical assistance initiatives and capacity building efforts will be significantly impacted and limited in their ability to address structural racism as a driver of homelessness and housing instability.
There is concern that this EO and the subsequent OMB memo will result in communities stopping all racial equity trainings due to fear of losing federal resources. In the same vein, many organizations led by people of color who host and lead these trainings are being impacted by trainings and contracts being postponed and canceled.
How Philanthropy Can Take Action
Funders Together is working closely in coalition with our national partners and racial justice organizations to understand the implications of this EO and what it means for those in the homelessness and housing fields, as well as intersecting sectors. We are committed to providing resources and information that is critical to understanding the depth of this EO and its effects on racial justice efforts. Philanthropy can take action and join in with other leaders to oppose this EO and by:
disseminating information to your grantee partners to ensure they have an accurate understanding of the EO and what it means for their racial equity and justice efforts. You can use the resources below or reach out to Funders Together for additional information and context.
telling Funders Together what you are hearing (or not hearing) from your community. We also encourage you to share any statements you create or resources you find helpful.
signing on to this letter as an individual or organization denouncing the EO. You can also encourage communities stakeholders and partners to sign on as well.
- utilizing the Race Forward Communications Toolkit and talking points. Email Funders Together for access to these resources.
Department of Labor Press Release: U.S. Department of Labor Launches Hotline to Combat Race and Sex Stereotyping by Federal Contractors
Office of Management and Budget Memo: Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
White House Press Release: President Trump is Fighting Harmful Ideologies that Cause Division in Our Federal Workplaces
Partner and Member Resources
Council of NonProfits: The Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping Resource Page
Independent Sector: An Executive Order and a Moment to Get Unstuck
Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights: Civil Rights Groups and Allies Condemn White House Move to Censor Race and Gender Equity Training
National Alliance to End Homelessness: Summary of 2020 Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping
National Law Review: President Trump Issues Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping
NonProfit Quarterly: How Nonprofits Can Stop Trump’s Effort to Roll Back Diversity Training
Check back soon!
Opposing HUD’s Attempts to Roll-Back Discrimination Protections for Transgender, Nonbinary, and Gender Nonconforming Individuals
On September 22, Funders Together to End Homelessness submitted a public comment to the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) voicing our opposition to its proposed changes to the Equal Access Rule that would allow shelters to discriminate against LGBTQ+, transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming individuals.
In September 2019, word of possible federal intervention on homelessness in California by the Administration circulated in the news. Then, on Monday, September 16th, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers released a troubling "State of Homelessness in America" report, which outlined actions the Administration may take as part of this intervention.
January 2017-Present: President Trump leads an administration focused on policy changes that create and perpetuate homelessness, to include requesting massive funding cuts to anti-poverty programs, eliminating the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, adding work requirements to Medicaid and food stamps, and expanding penalties for immigrants who use social benefit programs (just to name a few).
July 2019: In an interview with Tucker Carlson, President Trump commented on the homelessness crisis, expressing extreme concern (particularly at the visibility of homelessness). He largely blames liberals and sanctuary cities for the homelessness “phenomena that started two years ago.”
Mid-September 2019: White House officials toured public housing and encampments in California and news broke that the Trump administration was considering action on homelessness. Advocates are very concerned that impending action would further criminalize homelessness.
Late September 2019: The White House Council of Economic Advisors released a report: The State of Homelessness in America. The report misrepresents evidence and asserts that homelessness is caused by overregulation of housing markets, the “tolerability” and availability of shelters, and “individual characteristics” like mental illness and poverty.
November 2019: The Administration requested Matthew Doherty to stepped down as Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). During this, speculation started to circulate of an upcoming Executive Order from the Administration pointed towards using some sort of federal intervention to address homelessness targeted at California but having impact nationally.
December 2019: The Administration hired Robert Marbut as the new Executive Director of USICH. Marbut had a long history of convincing local governments that the solution to homelessness lies in large-scale shelters rather than in housing-based approaches causing concern for many in the homelessness sector.
Early January 2020: A letter from HUD Sec. Ben Carson to Los Angele Mayor Eric Garcetti circulated, confirming fears of the Administration’s attempt to strike a deal with the city to address the homelessness crisis. In it, it ties certain policy changes such as “empowering and utilizing law enforcement” and use of “federal land” for shelters to the federal funding the Administration would provide.
Mid-January 2020: Sources reveal that the Administration is backing away from an Executive Order in pursuit of targeting cities with a large unsheltered homelessness population and attempting to reach a “strings attached” deal with each in efforts to claim a political “win” in those communities and states.
February 2020: President Trump releases his proposed FY21 budget which include cuts to HUD by $8.6 billion or 15% below 2020 enacted levels. The proposal would eliminate vital housing programs, including the national Housing Trust Fund and all funding for public housing capital repairs. It would also eliminate the HOME Investments Partnership program and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), significantly decreasing much needed resources for affordable housing, community development, and solutions to homelessness.
March 2020: On March 4, 2020, Secretary Ben Carson testified before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) of the Committee on Appropriations In his testimony, he admitted he is actively trying to find ways around language built into FY20 budget that requires HUD to adhere to the FY18 NOFA. This caused the THUD Appropriations Committee to pay special attention to language that could allow for criminalization of homelessness in budget bills that go beyond FY20.
Funders Together to End Homelessness is working with our Board of Directors, national partners, and close advisers around the philanthropic response and possible long-term strategies.We are also working to provide resources, talking points, media opportunities, member and partners statements, and other related content for funders which will be compiled on this resource page. We encourage you to check back often or reach out to Funders Together if you would like assistance in crafting messaging for a statement of your own.
If your organization has a resource or statement you would like listed here, please contact Lauren Bennett.
Funders Together Resources
California Health Care Foundation: White House Puts National Spotlight on California Homelessness
Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland: “Housing is the Answer” – SOCF Statement on White House Homelessness Report
United Way of Greater Los Angeles: President Trump's Visit to LA
National Alliance to End Homelessness: Statement from the National Alliance to End Homelessness in Response to the White House Council of Economic Advisers’ Report on Homelessness
National Alliance to End Homelessness: White House Council of Economic Advisers' State of Homelessness in America Talking Points
National Health Care for the Homeless Council: An Open Letter to President Trump from National Homeless Advocates
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty:White House Policy Paper on Homelessness Misrepresents Evidence, Drives Wrong Conclusions
National Low Income Housing Coalition: Statement from NLIHC President & CEO Diane Yentel on The Council of Economic Advisers’ Report on Homelessness in America
National Low Income Housing Coalition: The Case for Housing First
National Low Income Housing Coalition: The Primary Causes and Solutions to Homelessness
Urban Institute: The Homelessness Blame Game
Advocacy represents an important element of philanthropy, leveraging our voices to effect change. As part of ongoing effort to provide support and programming on advocacy, we've compiled resources that can aid you in starting and continuing the conversation around this topic in your work to prevent and end homelessness. We will be updating this page with timely resources as they become available, so be sure to check back often!
Federal Intervention on Homelessness Resources
In September 2019, word of possible federal intervention on homelessness in California by the Administration circulated in the news. Then, on Monday, September 16th, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers released a troubling "State of Homelessness in America" report, which outlined actions the Administration may take as part of this intervention. This page provides a timeline of events, responses to the events, and resources for funders.
Funders Together Policy Priorities
We believe philanthropy has a voice in addressing homelessness and advancing solutions to prevent and end it with Congress and the Presidential administration. As Funders Together to End Homelessness prepares to work with the administration, together with our national partners we are focused on continuing to make preventing and ending homelessness a bi-partisan priority.
How Would Terminating USICH Affect Efforts to End Homelessness? Preliminary Findings from Interviews with Federal Agencies, Communities, and Advocacy Organizations
This brief, by the Urban Institute and funded by FTEH members, including the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Melville Charitable Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Butler Family Fund works to understand the US Interagency Council on Homelessness’s (USICH’s) role in the nation’s efforts to end homelessness and potential effects of the agency’s planned termination in 2017.
The Legal Limitations on Advocacy
Funders can and should be advocates for policies and funding streams that can end and prevent homelessness. Understand the legal restrictions on private foundations’ advocacy efforts with this resource.
Webinar: Investing in Change - Supporting Advocacy and Policy Efforts
In this webinar, Funders Together partnered with Alliance for Justice to answer burning questions from our members like: How can philanthropy make the case for funding advocacy to end homelessness? Uncertain whether you can fund grantees that lobby? What’s philanthropy’s role in educating new members of Congress on housing and homelessness issues? Can philanthropy support local ballot initiative work?
Webinar: Advocacy - The Funder's Role
Now is the time to strategize how we can best use our resources as funders to help advocate for innovative and effective solutions to ending and preventing homelessness. In this webinar, we examine the various roles a funder can take to advance advocacy efforts at all levels: local, state, and federal.
Webinar: Advocacy 101 for Funders
In this webinar, the Alliance for Justice leads us on a continued learning journey around various ways foundations and United Ways can partake in advocacy to effect change. We defined lobbying and the limitations in place for different types of funders, shared examples of unique and effective ways Funders Together members engage in advocacy, and examined ways your grantees can become involved.
Funders Together Resources
As part of an ongoing effort to provide support and programming on advocacy, we've compiled resources that can aid you in starting and continuing the conversation in your work to prevent and end homelessness.
Funders can and should be advocates for policies and funding streams that can end and prevent homelessness. Understand the legal restrictions on private foundations’ advocacy efforts with this resource.
Published by Council on Foundations, this report explains “lobbying” versus networking and includes a step-by-step guide to contacting policymakers.
This report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy discusses best practices and the impact of philanthropic dollars devoted to advocacy.
An accurate census count is essential to our efforts to prevent and end homelessness. The numbers from the 2020 Census will be used to determine funding and service levels for the next ten years. We know that along with individuals experiencing homelessness, racial minorities, immigrants, young people, and people in poverty are historically hard to count. The 2020 Census is already facing new challenges including budget constraints, online response, and scaled back door-to-door outreach and canvassing.
As a field, the homelessness sector has experience and expertise counting these individuals. As funders, we can support our grantees to help ensure a fair and accurate count. Additionally, funders across the country are coming together to support local planning, inform policy makers, and to educate nonprofits.
The links below are a culmination of resources provided by our partners and members. If you are interested in having additional conversations on how the 2020 Census will specifically impact our efforts, please reach out to Lauren Bennett at email@example.com.
Upcoming Learning Opportunities
From Funders Together
Funders Together to End Homelessness, along with nearly thirty other philanthropy serving organizations (PSOs) and funders, contributed to an amicus curiae brief to contest the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census. The brief, submitted to the Supreme Court, provides concrete examples of how philanthropy relies on census data to support their missions, and, in turn, why the citizenship question is detrimental to efforts to effectively serve and invest in their communities.
In this webinar, we explored where current Census operations are, why philanthropy investing in housing and homelessness programs should care about the count, what some of the concerns and barriers are to counting people experiencing homelessness, and how funders can be an integral part in fair and accurate Census efforts in their community. We also heard from the Polk Bros. Foundation in Chicago on its role in the Illinois Count Me In 2020 campaign, how it supports efforts outside of funding, and the importance of bringing in funders from other sectors through mindful collaboration and coordination.
United State Census Bureau
- Area Census Offices for the 2020 Census
- 2020 Early Area Census Offices List
- Why Your Foundation Should Become a 2020 Census Partner
- How The Census Will Invite Everyone To Respond
From Our Partners
United Philanthropy Forum
- A Call for Philanthropy to Help Meet Unprecedented Challenges Facing the 2020 Census
- Census 2020: Why an Accurate Count Matters to Philanthropy
- A Critical Moment for the 2020 Census and Why Philanthropy Should Care
- Foundation Sign-on Letter: The Funders Census Initiative under the leadership of the Bauman Foundation circulated a sign-on letter for foundations.
Funders' Committee for Civic Participation
- Census 2020 Resources
- Participate. Convene. Invest. – A Call to Action for Philanthropy
- 7 Things Funders Can Do To Support Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA)
- Key 2020 Census Funder Milestones
- Census 2020 State Landscape Scan
- Citizenship Question Supreme Court Decision Day Funder Resource Guide
The Leadership Conference Education Fund
Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality
- Citizen Question Non-Response:A Demographic Profile of People Who Do Not Answer the American Community Survey Citizenship Question
- Counting People Experiencing Homelessness: A Guide to 2020 Census Operations
Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees
Brennan Center for Justice
- Where Things Stand in the Citizenship Question Lawsuits (Oct 12, 2018)
National Conference of State Legislatures
National Community Action Partnership
From Our Members
We believe philanthropy has a voice in addressing homelessness and advancing solutions to prevent and end it with Congress and Presidential administration. As Funders Together to End Homelessness prepares to work with this administration, together with our national partners we are focused on continuing to make preventing and ending homelessness a bi-partisan priority. To accomplish this, we are focused on the following:
This page will serve as a collection of information that will continually be updated with new reports, fact sheets, websites, and other resources that support these priority areas.
1. Housing stability is an issue that affects education, health, and work force development. We believe in expanding the supply of housing, including affordable housing, and strengthen connections of these efforts with others to foster better health, economic mobility, and educational achievement.
- Government funding for programs that affect housing stability is critical as philanthropy cannot do it alone.
- In late March 2018, a budget was passed for FY18 and includes many highlights for the work to end homelessness. Here are some key takeaways from the most recent budget (via the National Alliance to End Homelessness):
- $4.4 billion increase to the ten largest HUD accounts which is the largest one-year increase in the last 20 years.
$130 million increase to HUD Homeless Assistance grants which is estimated to move an additional 20,000-25,000 people into housing.
- Section 8 renewals are fully funded for both project-based Section 8 and vouchers. In addition, there are funds for new "incremental" vouchers: $40 million for HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) for veterans with disabilities experiencing homelessness, $20 million for the Family Unification Program (FUP), and ~$385 million for 811 vouchers for individuals with disabilities.
- $800 million increase to Public Housing
- $400 million increase to HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME)
- $300 million increase to Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
- 12.5% increase in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)
Read remarks by Steve Berg, National Alliance to End Homelessness, and Sarah Mickelson, National Low Income Housing Coalition, about the FY18 budget and what it means for communities around the country.
- On May 15, the House Appropriations Subcommittee released its draft FY19 spending bill. The draft bill includes:
- Maintaining the 10% increase in HUD funding from the FY18 budget with additional increases for FY19.
- An increase in homeless assistance programs funding from $2.513 billion to $2.546 billion.
- The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) funded at $3.6 million.
- Public housing capital repairs and operating funds level with FY18 dollars at $2.75 billion and $4.55 billion, respectively.
- Funding for the Family Self-Sufficiency program remaining level at $75 million.
- No funding for Family Unification vouchers.Project-Based Rental Assistance facing a $168 million decrease from FY18, lowering funding to $11.347 billion.
- $22.48 billion for tenant-based rental assistance.
- Level funding for both Veterans Affairs Support Housing (VASH) at $40 million.
- Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) level-funded at $3.365 billion and the HOME Investments Partnership program funding decreased to $1.2 billion.
- Read our May Federal Budget Update for a look at some of the budget decisions that impact housing and homelessness, an update on the THUD FY19 Budget proposal, and what philanthropy can do to push for continued and increased funding in housing and homelessness.
- Funders Together has created a Priorities for the New Congress and Administration messaging guide. This document reflects 2017-2018 messaging but is in the process of being updated with FY19 language. However, it can still be used to understand how we plan to lift up philanthropy's voice, role, and influence. It can also be used as a messaging guide for your own advocacy efforts. Download the Word document here for easy editing. Check back soon as we will be updating this as we learn more.
2. Early intervention that stops the cycle of homelessness and poverty is critical for youth and young adults.
- As a founding member of A Way Home America we believe the following transition priorities will be critical to systems change needed to provide a more stable future to our youth. The A Way Home America Transition Plan identifies actions and strategies necessary to prevent and end youth and young adult homelessness. The Transition Plan is intended to inform the next Presidential Administration, federal appointees, and members of congress on our collective goals to end youth and young adult homelessness.
3. Strengthening the connections between employment services and homelessness services to both prevent homelessness and ensure that exits from homelessness are permanent, stable, and successful.
4. An accurate census count is essential to our efforts to prevent and end homelessness and the fair dispersal of funding for people and areas that need it most.
As a funder, how can you take action?
If you are a public foundation or United Way and can engage in direct lobbying, here are some action steps you can take:
- Sign up for the National Alliance to End Homelessness’s Advocacy Updates and take action by contacting public officials. Feel free to use the Priorities for the New Congress and Administration Messaging Guide for language around public-private partnerships and modify it to fit your foundation’s message.
- You can also participate in non-lobbying advocacy efforts. See examples below.
If you are unable to partake in direct lobbying efforts, here are some advocacy efforts you can participate in:
- Consider facilitating conversations between your grantees and public officials. Use your convening power to host a philanthropy-led bipartisan town hall where grantees can talk about their work and philanthropy can feature the nature of its investment and how philanthropic dollars can’t be expected to “fill the gap”.
- Write targeted op-eds in key communities. Philanthropy’s voice is important when talking about public-private partnerships. Highlighting work being done in key areas can have a ripple effect and educate community members and public officials alike. If you are interested, contact Funders Together and we can identify these key communities and assist with your op-ed strategy.
- Fund small emergency advocacy grants. Consider asking grantees about how a small emergency advocacy grant could be used to help with their efforts around strategy, communications, or grassroots engagement.
Learn more about the "Cans" and "Cannots" of being a funder involved in advocacy and lobbying efforts and get more ideas of action steps you can take through our "Advocacy - A Funder's Role" webinar.
If you have any questions regarding our transition priorities, or have a resource to share, please feel free to contact Amanda Andere at firstname.lastname@example.org.