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In defiance of Trump order, nonprofit will continue its antiracism training

Protesters in front of the US flag flying outside the US Embassy in London, as part of an antiracism demonstration on Sept. 11.Yui Mok/Associated Press

It was disheartening, though not entirely surprising, to learn of the recently released presidential executive order aimed at curtailing diversity, harassment, and antiracism trainings at federally funded organizations like ours.

In the aftermath of the racial injustice exposed by high-profile incidents of police violence and the disparate impact of COVID-19, many corporations and institutions have been self-reflective about how they may have contributed to racial injustice. Many of these institutions and organizations, including ours, have committed themselves to trainings related to racism, diversity, and inclusion.

Our organization has done so both to build a more inclusive organization and to better understand the role racism has played, and continues to play, in the very problems we aim to solve, including access to stable housing and economic opportunity. This education and self-reflection is already making us a better and more effective organization.


Despite the executive order, we will continue our antiracism work and training because it is critical to fulfilling the goals related to our federal grants and the needs of our community. Sadly, it seems, doing so now constitutes an act of civil disobedience.

Carl Nagy-Koechlin

Executive director

Peter Munkenbeck

Board chair

Just-A-Start Corp.