Oklahoma Governor Joins DeSantis, Bans Using Funds For DEI At All State Agencies, Universities
Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Republican Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has issued an executive order banning state funds, property, or resources from being used by state agencies and institutions to support “diversity, equity, and inclusion positions, departments, activities, procedures, or programs.”

That ban will be implemented “to the extent they grant preferential treatment based on one person’s particular race, color, sex, ethnicity, or national origin over another’s,” the governor’s office stated. Stitt joins Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who signed a bill last May that banned Florida’s public colleges and universities from using funds for DEI programs.

“In Oklahoma, we’re going to encourage equal opportunity, rather than promising equal outcomes,” Stitt said. “Encouraging our workforce, economy, and education systems to flourish means shifting focus away from exclusivity and discrimination, and toward opportunity and merit. We’re taking politics out of education and focusing on preparing students for the workforce.”

The funds may also not be used to force someone to “participate in, listen to, or receive any education, training, activities, procedures, or programming,” “swear, certify, or agree to any loyalty oath that favors or prefers one particular race, color, sex, ethnicity, or national origin over another,” force someone to “certify or declare agreement with, recognition of, or adherence to, any particular political, philosophical, religious, or other ideological viewpoint,” force someone applying for a job to “provide a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement,” or force any person to “disclose their pronouns.”

“As a nation, we strive for equality of opportunity to give every young person a chance at achieving their American Dream,” Patrice Onwuka, director of Independent Women’s Forum’s Center for Economic Opportunity explained, adding:

Race, ethnicity, gender, and heritage should not be used to discriminate against any person. Yet, discriminatory DEI programming has done damage on college campuses—fomenting division between students, eroding free speech rights, threatening academic freedom, and bloating school bureaucracies, which in turn drives up tuition costs. Furthermore, these efforts do not prepare young women and men for the diverse workforce that values aptitude, grit, and skill, not a sense of entitlement driven by victimhood. 

We applaud Governor Stitt and the state for taking leadership on removing discriminatory and divisive race-based programming and staffing from Oklahoma colleges and universities. Every student deserves a campus free from discrimination. Thankfully, legal protections already outlaw race-and sex-based discrimination, but this executive order guards against efforts to bypass those protections.


“For years, universities and government agencies, even those in red states, have become increasingly beholden to a coercive liberal agenda, often framed under the banner of DEI,” said David Safavian, general counsel for the American Conservative Union. “The transformation of these institutions has been exposed following the response by major universities in the aftermath of the October 7th terror attack by Hamas. Especially with that in mind, CPAC applauds Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt for acting through executive order today to take down DEI in all of Oklahoma’s government.”

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