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Washington state is preparing to spend an estimated $83,000 on an employee diversity training featuring the Director of Drag Queen Story Hour, information obtained by The Daily Wire reveals.
Titled the Washington DEI Empowerment Conference, the training is set to include talks on diversity, “anti-racism,” and equity every Wednesday in June.
Hayden Michaels, the deputy communications director of the Office of Financial Management, told The Daily Wire that “We expect the cost of putting on the conference to be about $83,000. With 16 sessions and 5,000 seats each session, this works out to $1.06 per seat.”
The conference includes a keynote speech titled “Drag Story Hour and Fireside Chat,” which will take place on June 21st.
The speech’s description defends the performance of drag in front of children, explaining that Executive Director of Drag Queen Story Hour Jonathan Hamilt will share “the necessity of LGBTQAI+ family programming and how the powerful art-form of drag teaches young humans about inclusivity, celebrating diversity, and the vital freedom of self-expression.”
Hamilt, who himself dresses in drag, has a personal goal of “offering affirming and accepting programming for kids” in an attempt to heal his “inner child,” his biography states.
The talk will also include Alex Petrovina and Sam Mendum-Purdy of the Trans Formations Project, a non-profit organization that claims to “protect trans kids” and is “dedicated to tracking and educating about the anti-trans legislative crisis currently sweeping the United States.”
Meanwhile, the conference will also include a talk titled “Incorporating DEIB and Anti-Racism Work into Recruitment.” The talk’s description explains that those working in talent acquisition and Human Resources have “unique opportunities to create equity and inclusion in very intentional ways in our day-to-day workflow.” Speakers Lisa Grund and Tangi Tash hope to establish “authenticity and antiracism as a way of life at work.”
A session called “The Elephant in the Room” will discuss America’s “original and most persistent sin, racism.” The talk will be led by Phillip Jacobs, who previously directed the Washington Employers for Racial Equity.
The majority of the estimated sum, $48,000, is intended to cover speaker fees. Meanwhile, $17,923 is slated to go towards accessibility services such as transcription and sign language interpreters. Another $17,440 will be allocated to technology required for the virtual conference.
Michaels went on to add that the conference allows state employees to “learn more about the lived experiences and challenges of Washingtonians we often don’t reach or hear from,” before also claiming “These are people who regularly face systemic barriers, exclusion from accessing government services, harm from policies, or discrimination in the workplace.”