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April 19, 2023

Dear Members of Congress, 

Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), which fights to enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being, is proud to support the Work Not Woke Act, introduced by Representatives Jim Banks and Kevin Hern. 

This bill would revoke the various executive actions taken by the current administration to create and implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives throughout the federal government (see below). It also prevents current and future presidents from implementing similar orders.

  • Upon taking office, President Biden issued an executive order revoking Executive Order 13950, signed by President Trump in September 2020, which prohibited funding for the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) to federal employees. CRT is a pernicious ideology that rejects the equality principle and urges us to view one another as members of either an oppressor or victim class based solely on skin color. The Work Not Woke Act would codify Executive Order 13950 to ensure that government cannot push discriminatory concepts on its employees. 
  • In June of 2021, President Biden signed an executive order requiring all organizations in the federal government to create Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) offices. DEI is a remedy meant to correct disparities, but in reality, these initiatives do not focus on or achieve true diversity. While DEI focuses exclusively on sex and race, it completely neglects other aspects that individuals bring to the table. In fact, studies show that corporate DEI trainings yield no or even negative results. 
  • Executive Order 14091, signed by President Biden in February of 2023, instructs each agency to establish “Agency Equity Team[s]” to conduct more “equity” training and to socially engineer the federal workplace to achieve parity. 

Military readiness and the federal workforce have suffered as a result of the misguided and divisive initiatives implemented by the current administration. Rather than preaching politics and attempting to socially construct its workforce so that it meets certain quotas, government should focus on providing equal opportunities and recruiting and retaining talent. 

We thank Representative Banks and Hern for their leadership on this important issue. IWV applauds this bill and urges all members to work towards its swift passage. 


Hadley Heath Manning 
Vice President for Policy 
Independent Women’s Voice