(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it received 15 pages of records from the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) in response to a Freedom of Information Act request which shows the government agency responsible for regulating credit unions required “inclusion and unconscious bias training” for the agency’s employees and contractors and offered advice on how to recognize and address alleged “microaggressions” in the workplace. The NCUA is, “an independent federal agency that insures deposits at federally insured credit unions, protects the members who own credit unions, and charters and regulates federal credit unions.”
A February 25, 2021, email from the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) to “All NCUA Staff” with the subject line “Inclusion and unconscious bias training now available,” notes that an attached memo provides information about a “new, required training course” called “Inclusion at Work: Managing Unconscious Bias at the Office.”
The accompanying memo notes that the training unit was required for “All employees and contractors” as part of “required annual diversity and inclusion training.”
The memo states: “The NCUA is committed to building the diversity and inclusion competencies of employees to advance NCUA’s Strategic Objective 3.1 – to attract, engage and retain a highly skilled, diverse workforce, and cultivate an inclusive environment.”
In a February 10, 2022, email to “All NCUA Staff” from the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI), all employees are invited to attend a “virtual OMWI Talk” where they will “watch a video and discuss the role our institutions and public policies play in shaping opportunities and one’s ability to accumulate wealth.” It notes that they will watch the film “Race: The House We Live In,” which is the “first film about race to focus not on individual attitudes but on the ways our institutions and policies advantage some groups at the expense of others. Its subject is the ‘unmarked’ race. We see how benefits quietly and often invisibly accrue to [the majority], not necessarily because of hard work, but because of the racialized nature of our laws, courts, customs, and perhaps most pertinently, housing.” The email describes OMWI Talks as a “safe place to have difficult conversations about race, identity, privilege, unconscious bias, cultural appropriation and a host of other thought-provoking topics.”
A July 12, 2021, OMWI email to all staff advises them to “Save the date” for the next OMWI Talk, which is titled “Deconstructing White Privilege.” The talk features a video from Dr. Robin DiAngelo, author of “What Does It Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy.” The email describes DiAngelo as an “anti-racist educator,” who has “heard justifications of racism by white men and women in her workshops for over two decades.” It continues, “This justification, which she calls ‘white fragility’, is a state in which even a minimal amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.”
In an internal NCUA newsletter, called VIBE, sent by OMWI to all NCUA staff on March 1, 2021, the new NCUA Chairman, Todd M. Harper, writes a message, noting that “I truly look forward to working with OMWI to VIBE and advance diversity and inclusion not just within the agency, but also in the entities and communities we serve.” He notes: “NCUA’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan outlines five additional goals for this work, including one specific to diversity and inclusion in credit unions and another for diversity in our business activities. These are not just OMWI’s goals. They are agency-wide goals.” The newsletter mentions the creation of a new position called Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, and thanks the departing director of OMWI who, it notes, created such programs as “the Credit Union Diversity Self-Assessment,” the “Credit Union Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit” and “much more.”
A section of the newsletter titled “Diversity and Inclusion Learning” includes:
- Take a few minutes to read through these Seven Ways to Be More inclusive in Your Everyday Life.
- Learn how to Be Inclusive Every Day
- Got your eye on a promotion or a new position? Use the Inclusion Guide for Interviewees to prepare yourself for diversity and inclusion related questions that may come up in the interview.
In the issue of the VIBE newsletter emailed to all NCUA staff on December 1, 2021, under a section titled “Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Learning,” employees are told, “A microaggression is defined as an indirect, subtle, or unintentional form of discrimination against members of a marginalized group. But for those who experience them, microaggressions are more than just insults or insensitive jokes – they are painful, powerful, and can inflict lasting harm.” It offers links to three articles, titled: “What is a microaggression? 14 things people think are fine to say at work – but are actually racist, sexist or offensive;” “How to Address Microaggressions in the Workplace;” and “Microaggressions at work: Recognizing & overcoming our biases.”
In the first article, published on March 1, 2021 by Business Insider, types of “microaggressions” include “telling a new female worker that she ‘looks like a student’ to asking a Black colleague about her natural hair,” adding “they can make a workplace feel uncomfortable, unsafe, and toxic.”
The article “Microaggressions at work: Recognizing & overcoming our biases,” published by Culture Amp, states that “microaggressions” can include “Asking a lesbian co-worker, ‘Who’s the man in your relationship,’ ” “Mispronouncing someone’s name because ‘it’s too difficult to say,’ ” “Mistaking a Latinx colleague for a service worker,” and “Naming all the buildings or rooms after White men.”
“Americans should be disturbed that the Biden administration is using the agency responsible for regulating credit unions to subject employees and the public to an extremist and discriminatory Critical Race Theory ideology that attacks individuals based on race,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Judicial Watch obtained the records in response to a February 8, 2022, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for:
1. Policy documents and training materials produced by, sent to, and/or used by the NCUA Office of the Executive Director (ED) and Deputy Executive Director (DED) containing any of the following key words: a) “whiteness”; b) “unconscious bias”; c) “intersectionality”; d) “white privilege”; e) “Kendi”; f) “Robin DiAngelo”; g) “systemic racism”; h) “structural racism”; i) “closehold”; j) “climate justice”; or k) “critical race theory;”
2. Emails and text messages sent to and from officials in the Office of the ED and DED instructing or suggesting that any individuals or groups of people are fundamentally privileged, oppressive, oppressed, racist, or evil on account of their race; and
3. Emails and text messages sent to and from officials in the Office of the ED and DED instructing or suggesting that America is a fundamentally racist or evil country.