Black Caucus bemoans threat to diversity programs' funding

Friday, December 18, 2015, Vol. 39, No. 51

NASHVILLE (AP) — Members of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators are condemning what they consider to be an "attack" on diversity programs in higher education by Republican lawmakers.

Some conservative lawmakers have vowed to review funding for college diversity programming across the state following two recent controversial incidents at the University of Tennessee.

The Knoxville University's Office of Diversity and Inclusion posted on the campus website suggestions about gender-neutral pronouns and inclusive holiday celebrations that have been criticized by conservatives.

Those posts were removed, but some Republican lawmakers have called for the General Assembly to defund the office and to review other diversity programs across the state.

Black Caucus chairwoman Brenda Gilmore of Nashville says the group "strongly opposes these actions and any actions to reduce diversity efforts in Tennessee."