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Are Americans experiencing a bit of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) fatigue these days?
After several years of cancel culture and “anti-racism” being wielded by the alt-left against nearly every American institution, it seems that at least the corporate appetite for shelling out thousands of dollars to appease critical race theory enthusiasts is waning. The cost of DEI, particularly when it involves very public figures like Robin DiAngelo or Ibram X. Kendi, can cost tens of thousands of dollars per workshop. Some “anti-racism” firms charge by the person, if sessions are being offered to workplace employees. Those sessions can range from $350-$500 per person.
Robin DiAngelo can earn as much as $45,000 for a half-day workshop. Kendi’s rates are about the same. Other independent “anti-racism trainers” earn far less, but have still been able to carve out decent incomes in the field. Corporations covet the programs to help them meet state human resource standards and also obtain a “seal of approval” that can be used for marketing purposes.
In the post-2020 world, the DEI industry exploded, due in large part to the success of the Black Lives Matter movement. With educational institutions and corporations chomping at the bit to get “anti-racism” workshops into their trainings, the market was flooded with minority workshop leaders and organizations.
This year, however, it seems such workshops aren’t nearly as popular, as evidenced by one DEI instructor’s complaints about sparse bookings during what should be her busiest month — Black History Month.
Madi B. identifies herself as an “Anti Racism Educator” on Twitter. This past week, she took to the social media platform to lament her lack of work this season.
I’m normally booked 15+ times in Black History Month, this year I’m booked *once*
The complaint elicited a flurry of responses from other anti-racism educators (and some choice insults from conservative Twitter as well). It seems the demand for DEI has dropped off significantly.
@jodiann_b Girl…ZERO. Last year, I had over 30 events on the calendar, contracts signed, deposits deposited. This year…nothing.
Austin Channing Brown is a New York Times bestselling author and speaker with over 100,000 follower on Twitter alone. She responded with a similar complaint.
@austinchanning Girl…Not one invite this year.
Others weighed in, and all the sentiments were the same.
@ohhappydani The switch-up was wild this year for me too
@RahkimSabree I aint even got booked once!
@iammarypryor Zero over here for the first time ever
@katiepdx101 Same! I used to get kinda annoyed about how some orgs only reached out during BHM and this year zero bookings for Feb
One commenter suggested DEI issues aren’t “hot” anymore. Perhaps there is something to be said about how quickly fires that burn so bright can burn out. Perhaps the disinterest in DEI trainers this season is also related to how the Black Lives Matter charity organization has fallen out of public favor after massive fraud was revealed among their ranks.
@JennMJacksonPhD I honestly think people don’t think Black folk and our issues are “hot” right now. And, a lot of white women are taking up space giving “diversity and inclusion” talks.
One woman just blamed the left’s new favorite bogeyman, Ron DeSantis.
@AngieNixon Blame the Florida Governor. Seriously. He’s caused A LOT OF THIS.
Presumably she is referring to DeSantis’ support of legislation like the “Stop WOKE Act” and his rejection of critical race theory in education in his state. Were these DEI professionals only getting hired in Florida up to this point? There are 49 other states, and DeSantis isn’t the governor in any of them.
It doesn’t help that the economy has been in free fall, and mass layoffs have begun in nearly every sector. Everyone is pinching their belts these days, even large corporations. Perhaps paying individuals to come into the office and accuse your entire workforce of being inherently racist for $20k a pop doesn’t seem like the most productive investment these days.
One commenter came up with a reason that is probably the best explanation for the DEI drought.
@MrsDocJones The performative allyship ride has come to an end. It’s so telling
At the end of the day, that’s all it ever was. That’s all that can result in monetizing the race hustle. Corporations don’t want bad reputations. They want to be seen as whatever is palatable to the largest audience. When the BLM/anti-racism movement began dominating the news cycle and ramping up cancel culture, it probably seemed like good business to jump on that train. Host some workshops, buy some shirts, and then post that nice “anti-racism seal” on your website to show the world your company gets it…we’ve done the work, now buy our stuff.
With the current horrible publicity surrounding the BLM organization, and a nation of people who are more worried about finding baby formula than finding workplace microaggressions, the market seems to have corrected itself for the time being.
Perhaps the anti-racism educators need to learn to code.