FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2024

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Senate passed Senator Will Barfoot’s (R-Pike Road) bill banning taxpayer resources from funding divisive concepts in Alabama public universities, schools, and agencies.

The bill prohibits state agencies, schools, and colleges from sponsoring or requiring students and employees to attend or participate in any diversity, equity, and inclusion program, training, orientation, or coursework that advocates for or requires assent to a divisive concept.

“Higher education must return to its essential foundations of academic integrity and the pursuit of knowledge instead of being corrupted by destructive ideologies,” said Senator Barfoot. “This legislation will build bridges to celebrate what people have in common, not erect walls that silo people into the idea that their race, religion, and sexual orientation solely define who they are and how society should view them.”

Since their inception, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offices at public universities have operated like divisive ideological activists, disseminating and enforcing one-sided political orthodoxies as official campus policy. Rather than being an effective tool for welcoming students from different backgrounds and lived experiences, DEI personnel and ideologies have consistently operated by mandating obedience to ideological, political, and activist goals.

“We are all made in God’s image, and our unique qualities should be celebrated,” said Senator Greg Reed, President Pro Tempore of the Alabama Senate. “However, while we are each unique, we have more that unites us than divides us. Students go to schools to learn and set themselves up for a bright future. Opportunities for togetherness is what this legislation tries to achieve, and I am thankful that all members in the body were able to engage in meaningful ways on this legislation.”

This legislation ensures that Alabama’s institutions encourage diversity of thought, civil discourse, and the pursuit of truth for generations to come.

“As it has been practiced, DEI does not enhance educational excellence and instead promotes division in our society. The role of education is to unlock a student’s potential, not to destroy it through indoctrination,” said Senator Steve Livingston, Alabama Senate Majority Leader. “Our Caucus thanks Senator Barfoot for bringing this legislation to guarantee institutions no longer substitute DEI for actual merit.”

The Divisive Concepts Bill will need to pass the Alabama House of Representatives and be signed by Governor Kay Ivey before becoming Alabama law.