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Diversity Officer Called to Resign After Blasting Diversity

In April 2023, a delegation of Black legislators echoed calls from the local NAACP chapter for the resignation of Martin D. Brown over remarks he made at a training session.

Brown, an African American Republican, was appointed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin as the state’s chief diversity officer. At a mandatory training on April 21st, he proclaimed that “DEI is dead,” referring to the common abbreviation for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Pursuing equity, according to Brown, means “you’re not pursuing merit or excellence or achievement.”

Virginia Senator Lamont Bagby (D-Richmond) called the remarks “appalling,” and said that all 19 members of Virginia Legislative Black Caucus are calling for him to step down from his position as director of the state’s office of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Lawmakers say the remarks were especially infuriating because they were made at the Virginia Military Institute, the nation’s oldest military college. In 2021, a state-mandated investigation revealed “a racist and sexist culture” at the institution, and in early June, the college’s first chief diversity officer Jamaica Love resigned from her post.

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