View From Lodi, CA: Diversity Consulting Firms—Laughing All The Way To The Bank
In December, at the invitation of an instructor to
address his class, I was a guest at
When I registered at the office, five
teachers—separately—approached me, to thank me for
having defended them and their colleagues in two highly
critical columns I wrote about “Mirrors
of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible,” an
accusatory, socialist DVD produced with the express
intent of blaming whites for the failures of minorities.
On other occasions and on different campuses, more
insulted teachers expressed bitterness toward
school administrators who, through the forced
viewing of the finger-pointing DVD, accuse its staff of
“institutionalized racism“—whatever that is.
Those who accuse are considered beyond reproach,
walking higher ground—and pontificating all the way to
A key point I made in my December columns is that
diversity is a
multi-billion dollar business that has enriched many
at your expense. Firms promoting diversity survive by
selling goods and services.
Go to any
Fortune 500 corporate website, search for “diversity”
and try not to faint when you see the
millions of dollars spent by America`s
most prestigious companies on various trainings,
workshops, diversity personnel development and
One such diversity-training provider is the
Pacific Educational Group that advises the Lodi
Unified School District about “how to combat inequity“.
PEG earns more than $50,000 a year from the district.
And since the Pacific Educational Group`s
principals have impressive credentials—one has a
Master`s degree from Stanford University and taught at
UC Berkeley, another has a Master`s and Doctorate Degree
from Princeton and the third has a Masters degree and
has worked, according to his biography on the PEG
website, “… in educational reform for traditionally
underserved student populations,” who dares to
Remember: those who put on diversity seminars run
lucrative businesses that you, through your tax dollars,
In her front-page story about LUSD`s “Equity
Initiative”, News-Sentinel reporter Amanda
Dyer wrote that a book authored by PEG founder Glenn
Singleton and co-authored by Curtis Linton,
Courageous Conversations about Race, is available at
every district school site. [Lodi
Unified Tackles Racism Issue With Training Program For
Its Staff, By Amanda Dyer, Lodi News-Sentinel,
January 12, 2008]
But guess what? You can
own the book, too. For $37.95 you can add the soft
cover version to your personal library. If your budget
permits, the hardback is available for $79.95. And if
you are really flush, buy the video “Closing the
Achievement Gap” that includes three tapes, an “implementation
guide” and a CD for a mere $395.
That strikes me as a bit pricey but diversity
training didn`t get to be
a big bucks industry by giving its products away.
Really, the income possibilities for diversity
specialists are endless.
PEG offers a two-day follow up training session
Diversity” that, in its one paragraph summary on
its website, uses the emotionally charged word “racism”
If you have really deep pockets, you can for $495
“Summit for Courageous Conversation: Achieving Racial
Equality and Excellence in Education” (don`t
forget to bring your book!) hosted in
New Orleans by PEG. As a prerequisite, participants
must either have taken “Beyond Diversity” or
enroll in it. If PEG wants to have a truly “courageous”
conversation, I suggest it invite me and kindly pre-pay
Teachers have every right to be as angry as they are.
Consultants who are sincere about wanting to
close the achievement gap should resign their
positions to take jobs as
K-12 teachers. That`s the most effective way to have
the maximum impact on the greatest number of students.