July 18, 2023
Part of our mission at NADOHE is to help raise awareness of the value of diversity leaders on campuses. We achieve this through various strategies, one of which is to help get the word out about NADOHE and President Paulette Granberry Russell in national and regional media. There has been a large uptick of NADOHE mentions in the news recently due to this strategy and given current events, which includes the long-awaited Supreme Court rulings on race-conscious admissions and the continued attacks and dismantling of cultural and diversity, equity, inclusion offices on higher education campuses. NADOHE works to ensure our members and the higher education audience are prepared and informed as dark clouds continue to prevail over years of progress. Below is a sampling of recent articles featuring NADOHE and/or Granberry Russell:
"Our response has been to organize and help to better educate local communities, our state legislators more broadly, the country, to support diversity, equity and inclusion. That education is an essential part of dispelling some of the myths and misrepresentations of the work."
“I think a lot of us will be strategizing about ways to reach communities that we haven’t reached in the past to try to encourage … that more-diverse, more-rich candidate pool.”
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, June 29: Diverse Issues Supreme Court Strikes Down Race-Conscious Admissions
“The Supreme Court has erred grievously in overturning decades of precedent that has affirmed the legality and value of race-conscious admissions practices,” Nadohe said in a statement. “Today’s rulings present yet another obstacle for students seeking equitable access to the opportunities that a college degree offers, such as higher earnings and lower rates of unemployment.”
“DEI isn’t about indoctrination, it is about creating a more open and inclusive campus environment for those who live, learn, and work on those campuses,” Granberry Russell said.
“This is a sad occasion for all students at Texas’ public universities,” Paulette Granberry Russell, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, said in a statement. “By dismantling diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and offices at these institutions, Texas lawmakers have chosen to prioritize a political agenda instead of the success of these students.”
Academic quality is enhanced and not diminished by DEI programs, she said. ”Even if diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and offices are dismantled, our nation is diverse and diversifying, and diversity on Texas campuses will not disappear,” she said.
Paulette Granberry Russell, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), has a different view. She said in states like Texas, the elimination of DEI offices makes it easier—and in some ways more sensible—for DEI professionals to leave their institutions. The fact that many do not and instead choose to continue supporting inclusive and diverse environments, she said, is a sign of the ongoing necessity of DEI work and the dedication of those who engage in it.
“I don’t think it’s any different than the earlier years of the civil rights movement. Some could leave; others chose to stay and fight,” she said. “To the extent that individuals are choosing to stay in these environments that have grown increasingly hostile, it is with a deep commitment to achieving equity and justice in those spaces.”
Paulette Granberry Russell, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, says the DEI pushback is a purposeful effort to undo decades of work to increase diversity in higher education dating back to the early years of the civil rights movement.
"That's the goal," Granberry Russell told Wisconsin Public Radio. "That somehow by being race blind — some will say colorblind — will allow our country to be less divided and less discriminatory. And I think for our students, in particular, who are living and learning on our campuses, the goals that they have in mind are to the contrary."
DEI staff's role, Granberry Russell said, is to build capacity to ensure diversity and academic excellence.
"It's clear that those are linked," Granberry Russell said.
Paulette Granberry Russell, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, said although most of the legislative proposals still need to be approved, “that doesn’t mean the bills themselves are not having a chilling effect on the individuals responsible for the work and the institutions themselves.”