DEI initiatives may be driving students away while hurting those who stay

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives are becoming a politicized tool to promote a progressive agenda – and schools that promote them are suffering the consequences, a new report reveals.

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog, revealed that liberal arts institutions which value classical education aren’t suffering the same problems as their DEI-oriented counterparts.

Since the advent of COVID-19, college enrollment has fallen by over 1 million students. However, conservative schools have grown substantially, defying national trends.

Applications to Hillsdale College, for example, increased 53%, and Liberty University’s enrollment increased 46% between 2019 and 2020. Additionally, Grove City College just experienced a 20-year application high to top off a 46% enrollment increase over the past decade.

Hillsdale explicitly condemns radical DEI as a “dehumanizing, discriminatory trend of so-called ‘social justice’ and ‘multicultural diversity,’ which judges individuals not as individuals, but as members of a group and which pits one group against other competing groups in divisive power struggles.”

The same story of growth and decline also played out on the stage of K-12 education, as public-school enrollment shrunk in favor of generally more conservative private and parochial schools. 

Religious institutions still value diversity, but they understand it completely differently than those waving the DEI banner. 

For example, Delaware County Christian School says its aim is to “magnify the doctrine of Imago Dei and the dignity and worth of every human being as made in the image of God” and “promote unity within the DC community while celebrating our unique, God-given differences.”  

Compare that to KIPP Public Schools in Northern California, which declares on its website: “We know that we can’t succeed without an active and explicit commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.” 

KIPP defines diversity as “leading with racial equity by raising racial awareness, racial literacy, and racial humility,” “committing to anti-racist leadership and liberatory consciousness mindsets,” and “combatting anti-Blackness and all forms of oppression.” 

Equity is achieved, KIPP believes, by “actively pursuing anti-racism, and striving to eradicate other forms of discrimination and bias, in a conscious and deliberate effort to acknowledge and challenge the impact and perpetuation of institutional white racial power, presence and privilege and the resulting pervasiveness of a white supremacy culture,” and “pursuing social justice through the redistribution of resources, opportunities, [and] privileges.” 

Even in more conservative states like Kansas, school districts have prioritized DEI to the detriment of students’ academic success.  

As previously reported by The Lion, Texas medical schools were denounced by Gov. Greg Abbot for their DEI initiatives and are being sued for alleged discrimination.  

And the data show DEI practices aren’t helping schools educate their students, so students and families are voting with their feet.