Thursday, June 16, 2022

Propublica Piece Examines Nonprofits Pushing Anti-CRT Movement

Propublica has a great but tough story that provides insight into the nonprofits engaged in the Anti-Critical Race Theory movement across the country, including the terrifying impact it has on the lives of many people. It's a reminder of how central a role nonprofits play in our collective American life in the political battles in which we engage and that they can have both great positive effect, but also very dark impact at the same time. 

It's a sprawling story and hard to summarize but the lead does about the best job of describing its focus: "Cecelia Lewis was asked to apply for a Georgia school district’s first-ever administrator job devoted to diversity, equity and inclusion. A group of parents — coached by local and national anti-CRT groups — had other plans."

More from the story: "Lewis, a middle school principal, initially applied for a position that would bring her closer to the classroom as a coach for teachers. But district leaders were so impressed by her interview that they encouraged her to apply instead for a new opening they’d created: their first administrator focused on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

DEI-focused positions were becoming more common in districts across the country, following the 2020 protests over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. The purpose of such jobs typically is to provide a more direct path for addressing disparities stemming from race, economics, disabilities and other factors."

Examples of the role of nonprofits: "dozens of parents from across the county had assembled on a Sunday afternoon for a lesson in an emerging form of warfare. School board meetings would be their battlefield. Their enemy was CRT.

One of several presenters at the meeting was Rhonda Thomas, a frequent guest on conservative podcasts and the founder of the Atlanta-based Truth in Education, a national nonprofit that aims to educate parents and teachers about “radical ideologies being taught in schools.” “So what is critical race theory?” Thomas asked the crowd. “It teaches kids that whites are inherently racist and oppressive, perhaps unconsciously,” and that “all whites are responsible for all historical actions” and “should feel guilty.”

She added: “I cannot be asked for repentance for something my grandparents did or my ancestors did, right?”

Thomas stressed that parents should form their own nonprofit groups and cut ties with their schools’ Parent Teacher Associations. “The PTA supports everything we’re against,” she told them.

Another presenter, a local paralegal named Noelle Kahaian, leads the nonprofit Protect Student Health Georgia, which aims to “educate on harmful indoctrination” including “comprehensive sexuality education” and “gender ideology.”

Kahaian emphasized how to grab attention during upcoming school board meetings. Identify the best speakers in the group, she told them, adding: “It’s OK to be emotional.” Be sure to capture video of them addressing the board — or even consider hiring a professional videographer.

“It’s good in case Tucker Carlson wants to put you on air,” Kahaian said. “It really helps.”

The story gives great depth of understanding of the impact of this collection of nonprofits that work together to organize to push these narratives. It's well worth a read for those interested in the power of nonprofits and how they are being used today.

Philip Hackney

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/nonprofit/2022/06/propublica-piece-examines-nonprofits-pushing-anti-crt-movement.html

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