Alabama governor signs anti-DEI bill into law

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed a bill prohibiting the use of funds from state agencies and higher education institutions for programs and offices promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Ivey told news outlets that “my administration values Alabama’s diversity and will continue doing so. However, I do not want a few bad actors to use taxpayer money to promote their liberal political movements, which are contrary to the beliefs of the majority of Alabamians.”

Civil rights groups and advocacy organizations slammed the legislation, arguing similar policies restrict freedom of expression.

Derrick Johnson, CEO of the NAACP, said that “today the Alabama government failed our children”. The ongoing assault on equity, diversity and inclusion is part a racist agenda which seeks to take our country back to an era when Black students and educators were denied access to classrooms. We refuse to return.”


Professionals in the field define DEI as a way to correct inequities in an organization. This could include accessibility measures for persons with disabilities, correction of discriminatory hiring practices and gender and racial inequities in pay, anti-bias education and more.

SB129 would also “authorize public entities to discipline employees or contractors who break this act”.

The bill prohibits public entities from “promoting, endorsing or requiring affirmation or certain divisive ideas relating to race, religion, or sex,” “conditioning attendance or enrollment in certain classes or programs on the basis race or color,” and “requiring higher education institutions ensure that multiple occupancy restrooms are designed for use according to biological sex.”

The bill is part of a conservative movement that has been aimed at restricting programs, curriculum, and activities that address race, gender and sex.

Legal challenges have limited the impact on similar bills. For example, Florida’s Stop WOKE Act, which prohibits race-related training and teaching in schools.

The law will come into effect on October 1, 2024.