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
Lodi High.

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.
Read them

here
and

here
.

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.

This is the same old, same old in the

diversity-racism game.
Whites are blamed and

immediately put on the defensive.

Those who accuse are considered beyond reproach,
walking higher ground—and pontificating all the way to
the bank.

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
recruitment.

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.

The

key Pacific Educational Group players
are two
African-Americans and one Hispanic so it is not
surprising that its agenda

points to whites
as the main reason
minorities underperform academically
.

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
challenge them?

Let`s put aside for the moment the

debatable notion
that

minority students
are “underserved” to focus
instead on PEG.

Remember: those who put on diversity seminars run
lucrative businesses that you, through your tax dollars,
fund.

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
called Beyond
Diversity
that, in its one paragraph summary on
its website, uses the emotionally charged word “racism
four times.

If you have really deep pockets, you can for $495
attend the

“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
my expenses.

Teachers have every right to be as angry as they are.

In light of Governor Schwarzenegger`s

threats
to cut

education funding,
now would be an excellent time to
remove third party salesmen from the money loop.

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.

Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English
at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly
column since 1988. It currently appears in the


Lodi News-Sentinel
.