APHA denounces order banning trainings that address racial and sex stereotyping

Date: Sep 25 2020

Contact: Media Relations

Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD

The American Public Health Association is appalled by President Trump’s recent executive order that prohibits trainings to address race and sex stereotyping. The executive order specifically seeks to bar federal contractors or grantees from conducting these trainings.

The president’s action is unsettling, alarming and runs in stark contrast to the critical movement of our time demanding racial equity and justice.

Trump’s order insinuates that some federally funded training sessions, whose focus is to foster workplace environments free of racial or sexual prejudice, will instead perpetuate the problem.

That notion cannot be further from the truth. The goal and the outcome of these invaluable trainings is to help address discrimination and microaggressions to create a more cohesive and equitable workplace. They do not perpetuate “racial stereotypes and division” as claimed in the executive order, but instead offer thought-provoking and powerful examinations of systemic racism and sexism.

We see discrimination every day in all aspects of life, including housing, education, the criminal justice system and employment. During this pandemic, inequities have been magnified as communities of color face everything from a greater burden of COVID-19 cases to less access to testing, treatment and care.

The American Public Health Association has long held that racism is a systemic problem in this country that must be dismantled through brutally honest conversations, policy changes and practices.

Educating Americans about the ongoing harms of racism and other forms of discrimination should be key tenets of every workplace. We urge the administration to rescind this ill-conceived order and instead work to address the serious issue of racism and other forms of discrimination that continue to plague our nation.


The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.