EXCLUSIVE: Internal Documents Shed Light On Biden Administration’s Plan To Impose DEI On Pentagon-Run Schools

(DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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The Department of Defense agency that runs schools for military children approved a contract worth up to nearly $2 million for extensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programming and consultations, according to a copy of the contract obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation from the Functional Government Initiative.

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) chose BCT Partners, a management consulting firm focused on “equity,” to create an “action plan” for the agency’s DEI program in 2021, noting that “DoDEA has never had a systemic contract for this type of work,” the document shows. Among a sweeping list of requirements, the contract includes a comprehensive assessment of DEI policies across DoDEA, ongoing consulting, program development, and professional learning for senior leadership, administrators and even students.

“DoDEA schools’ demographics reflect those of the U.S. military it serves. The DoDEA senior leadership and [headquarters] staff demographics are not identical to our schools’ demographics,” the section of the contract describing performance objectives states. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Use Your Privilege’: Air Force Promotes All-Day ‘Allyship’ Training)

The contract, signed in November 2021, is described as “an indefinite-quantity contract” and included the possibility for optional renewals until May 2028.

DoDEA has paid more than $600,000 to date, according to open source federal award data. However, it has the potential to add over $1.2 million before the contract ends for a maximum of $1,987,347 over the one base year and four possible add-on years.

“DoDEA recognizes that successful Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategic implementation requires (1) well-informed leadership teams that champion DEI initiatives, (2) engaged leaders, managers, supervisors, and administrators that participate on diversity councils, (3) strong instructional leadership in every school, (4) informed employees that value the impact of race, diversity, equality, and inclusion on DoDEA’s culture, and (5) integrated approaches to promote DEI principles in curriculum implementation, educator preparation, and professional learning,” the section of the contract labeled “background” stated.

“DEI focuses on race, equity, diversity and inclusion which simply means ‘fairness or justice in the way people are treated, especially when dealing with the seven protected classes of people,'” the “background” stated.

D0DEA served approximately 66,000 students at 174 schools in the U.S. and at military bases around the world at the time the contract was written, according to the description.

Over the next year, BCT Partners would have provided a “DEI Evaluation Assessment Report” of survey data DODEA had already compiled. The assessment would include identifying supposed “inequities, barriers and gaps” that prevent DODEA from implementing DEI principles throughout the agency, influencing everything from recruitment, retention and promotion to teaching and learning practices.

Another objective was to provide at least 75 annual “interactive expert DEI consultation services,” running 90 minutes each, to 50 members of the senior executive service, other senior leadership, the DEI Director, and members of twelve working groups.

At the time, Kelisa Wing served as DEI Director for the agency and is listed as a point of contact on the contract.

The Pentagon reassigned Wing in March citing routine personnel “restructuring” needs, although the move came after a social media post Wing made criticizing white people sparked a controversy.

BCT Partners would help draft DoDEA’s DEi Charter and Strategic Plan, provide ongoing professional support services and guide the agency step-by-step through evaluating and inculcating DEI across the agency, the contract shows.

The contract also included a list of words and definitions related to DEI, including, “micro-aggression,” “gaslighting” and three different definitions for the word “racism.”

Antiracism was defined in the contract as an “active and conscious effort to work against multidimensional aspects of racism.”

It also included a definition for Critical Race Theory explicitly based on the work of Kimberle Crenshaw, described as “a founding critical race theorist and law professor at UCLA and Columbia universities.”

“Systematic racism,” states this definition in the contract, “is part of the American life and challenges the beliefs that allow it to flourish. It is an approach to grappling with a history of white supremacy that rejects the belief that what is in the past is in the past and that the laws and systems that flow from that past are detached from it. It attends not only to laws transformative role which is often celebrated but also to its role in establishing the very rights and privileges that legal reform was set to dismantle.”

Two contract modifications were also awarded, one in June 2022 and another in April 2023, increasing the funding ceiling for the contractor. The specific increase was redacted.

The contract was awarded in accordance with President Joe Biden’s executive order aimed at promoting race-conscious policies and training throughout the federal government, according to the contract.

In 2021, DoDEA rolled out a four-year plan to implant DEI in areas of recruitment and retention, promotion and development, and teaching and learning; established the DEI Headquarters team and launched DEI working groups at headquarters and in its each of its eight school districts, according to the Department of Defense’s 2022 Equity Action Plan.

DoDEA and BCT Partners did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

“CRT is a controversial academic theory that asserts racial inequality is ongoing and endemic in America, rooted in legal systems, policies, economic markets, and education. Critics argue it is fundamentally at odds with the military’s meritocratic values. Nevertheless, CRT has found a way into the U.S. defense establishment,” the Functional Government Initiative told the DCNF in a statement.

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