JW Probe: U.S. Spends Big Bucks on Diversity Training for Fed Workers
SEPTEMBER 16, 2015
A Judicial Watch investigation has discovered that large sums of taxpayer dollars keep pouring into a Chicago-based firm hired by the Obama administration to culturally transform government by teaching federal workers about diversity, race and gender, healthcare disparities and cultural competencies.
The firm is called Souder, Betances & Associates and in the last few years Uncle Sam has paid it millions of dollars to help strengthen the federal workplace with its brand of diversity consulting. The firm’s principal owner, Samuel Betances, is a Harvard grad who describes himself as a “biracial, bicultural and bilingual citizen of the world.” Furthermore, Betances’ biography says he’s a “great motivator who rose out of the bowels of inner city poverty, stigma of minority group status, violence, welfare and illiteracy in two languages.”
Records obtained as part of an ongoing JW investigation reveal that, in the last few months alone, Betances’ firm received $42,500 from the government to provide diversity training. This includes two Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contracts for $24,000 and $10,000 and one for $8,500 from the Department of Energy (DOE). JW has actually created a spreadsheet documenting some of Betances’ deals with the government in the last few years totaling more than half a million dollars for diversity training at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Defense (DOD) and Health and Human Services (HHS), among others.
In 2012 JW launched an investigation into the administration’s arrangement with Betances after a USDA employee tipped us off about the agency’s nationwide compulsory diversity sessions. JW eventually obtained previously unseen USDA videos of outrageous diversity training sessions conducted by Betances. Highlights include Betances urging federal employees to chant “If we work for a federal agency, we’ve discriminated in the past.” He also suggests that the United States “took over what used to be Mexico” and states that schools are only interested in educating middle class children.
The feds have tried to keep this controversial diversity training away from the public. In fact, JW obtained electronic mail exchanges between Betances and a top USDA official named Vincent Loran that support this. In one email Loran promises Betances that he will keep secret a video of a training session shot on the USDA premises. This month the National Science Foundation (NSF) refused to reveal details of a Betances event at the agency’s Washington D.C. headquarters. JW learned about it after spotting a flyer advertising a September 9 Betances appearance at the NSF. After getting the runaround from a number of NSF public affairs employees, JW was able to at least confirm that Betances was conducting some sort of in-house diversity training.
An NSF spokeswoman, who apologized for the “delay in getting back to you,” told JW that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) planned Betances’ appearance. “These are internal events for NSF staff to celebrate and learn about heritage/history months from various speakers, who are scientists, engineers or educators,” the NSF spokeswoman, Jessica Arriens, told JW. She added that ODI holds similar events throughout the year, but would not disclose how much Betances was paid for the appearance. JW has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out.
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