Did You Know? “DEI” is Becoming “DEIJ”

A good many Americans are aware of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI), a vogue phrase signaling the application of Critical Race Theory. They read DEI statements from their employers, see stories about DEI on the news, and learn about it in school. What Americans may not be aware of—yet—is that myriad companies, institutions, and organizations have begun to include the word “Justice” in their statements pledging allegiance to the “anti-racist” fad.

Among many examples of the phenomenon are the following:

  • The UNC School of Medicine’s website features a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion “Toolkit.” (Horrifically, JEDI is grappling with DEIJ to be the Left’s preferred acronym.) In this toolkit, UNC offers steps toward becoming more inclusive, such as replacing a tall, white male with a “short, Native American person” in one’s mental image of an airline pilot.
  • The North American Association for Environmental Education’s (NAAEE) website contains a page on DEIJ. The page is headlined “The way we think … The way we act … The way we are.”
  • The Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), a U.S. affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, includes this page on their website to signal their virtue to the “socially conscious” public. The phrase “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice” is prominently featured.
  • The website for the group Restore America’s Estuaries contains a page with their own DEIJ statement: RAE “recognize[s] and acknowledge[s] the systemic inequities facing past and present marine, coastal, and estuarine project implementation, policy formation, and grant distribution.” Clearly, if the claim that racism permeates every part of Western society is to be true, racism must be found even in partially enclosed coastal bodies of water.
  • The preK-8 French-immersion school Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley has a page trumpeting the success of their efforts to transform children into social-justice warriors. Here again, DEIJ reigns.
  • The Ocean Foundation, an organization dedicated to “reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world,” has its own DEIJ statement and directs viewers to such “featured” organizations as 500 Queer Scientists and Black Girls Dive.
  • American Trails is a group advancing “the development of diverse, high quality trails and greenways.” Its website contains an article entitled “Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (JEDI): Part 1 (The What and Why of JEDI).” Let’s get to reading!
  • The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has a page covering their DEIJ statements. The organization’s website also contains countless articles shouting about the importance of DEIJ and intersectionality.
  • The Nebraska Examiner is a state-focused news outlet aiming “to provide a hard-hitting, daily flow of important news, scoops and reports to help us better understand our community.” While its website claims that the Examiner is “independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan,” it clearly and unambiguously takes a partisan stance on Critical Race Theory on its DEIJ policy page.
  • The National Fish and Wildlife Fund’s website has an article covering the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund’s commitment to DEIJ. Indeed, it appears that nearly every environmental-preservation organization has some statement praising the new acronym.
  • Vote Solar is an organization working “state by state to repower our communities with sunshine and build a thriving clean economy with affordable solar energy for all.” Their website has a DEIJ page.
  • EXPLO, a nonprofit out of MIT offering student-enrichment courses, programs, and materials, has its own DEIJ page.
  • The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, private Catholic institutions in Minnesota, share a website. On this site is a page with the schools’ DEIJ statement and a list of their contributions to DEIJ.
  • McKinsey and Company, the global consulting firm of Mayor Pete fame, seeks to help corporations achieve growth, environmental sustainability, and diversity. Countless articles can be found on its “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice” page.
  • San Francisco State University’s Department of Computer Science has its own Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI again) page.
  • SEIA, the trade association for the American solar industry, tweeted out this advertisement for its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Certification Program, through which organizations can earn bronze, silver, gold, and platinum certifications.

It appears that the advocates of Critical Race Theory are slowly but steadily adding another innocent-sounding word to their worldview. The problem is that, instead of defining the word “justice” honestly, as rendering to each what is due, these advocates twist the word to fit the mental mold of identity politics. For those practicing such politics, “justice” now means vigorously advocating for perceivedly oppressed groups. The tacking on of “justice” to the already troublesome “DEI” is about more than an additional letter in an acronym. It is yet another sad instance of a word becoming weaponized.

Keller Moore is a rising freshman at Thales College, where he will study the classical liberal arts and entrepreneurial business, and a summer ’22 intern at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.