Utah Voices: Should places of work and schools focus on DEI?

Share your perspective with The Salt Lake Tribune.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Michelle Franzoni-Thorley, center, is embraced by sisters Marilee Coles-Ritchie, left, and Deanne Coles as they join a silent rally at the Utah Capitol before the Senate Education Committee hears HB261, the anti-DEI bill that would dismantle diversity offices in Utah public education and government, on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024.

Amid discussion and legislation regarding DEI initiatives, we asked our Top Stories newsletter subscribers and our social media followers why places of work and schools should — or shouldn’t — focus on increasing diversity, equity and inclusion. The answers below are just a few that came from those subscribers and followers.

Let us know what you think here or in the form below, and subscribe to Top Stories to share your insight.

  • “Yes, they absolutely should. The ‘best candidates for the job’ are the ones who bring new perspectives and new ideas ... Diversity is important in work environments and needs to be encouraged.” — Mike, Salt Lake City

  • “Absolutely not! It is not the schools’ job to teach, or push, any political agenda. I wonder if the teachers that are opposing the anti-DEI bill would be ok with religious symbols in the classroom. I bet not.” — Dennis, Draper

  • “Yes. My company has a huge DEI program that includes meetings to listen to experts and employee groups for different minority groups. This allows for those groups to have resources within the company and to host events to highlight cultures/celebrations. Meetings with experts bring awareness to different topics. Without the DEI program, there would be less unity and no opportunity for employees to highlight who they are.” — Justine, Millcreek

  • “No. Anything that compromises meritocracy is harmful. These concepts should be considered separately and not packaged together. I can support diversity and inclusion in hiring practices, for instance, whereby recruiting focuses on them. Selection can be guided to prefer underrepresented groups if, and only if, a candidate is equally competent in all necessary ways.” — James, Spokane, Washington

  • “Yes, absolutely. It’s the least we can do to begin addressing the bias and racism we white European colonizers have ignorantly built into our social systems for centuries.” — Bob, Provo

  • No. Hiring should be based on skill/qualifications for the job to be performed. Period. The end. Focus should be on getting the most qualified person to do the job. There should be no other discrimination for or against ‘diversity.’” — Jaroses, Herriman

  • “Yes. Diversity makes our community stronger and gives people a seat at the table who have been historically excluded.” — Marisa, Ogden

  • “NO. Using race, physical characteristics, or certain ideologies as a basis for curriculum, standards, and pretty much any other decision ostracizes, creates division and animosity, and promotes hate. It’s an ideology that embraces falsehoods to benefit some while refusing to acknowledge the merits of others.” — Tamara, Brigham City

  • “Yes. Diversity is a strength! Everyone should have access to what they need to succeed.” — Christina, Lehi

The Salt Lake Tribune is committed to creating a space where Utahns can share ideas, perspectives and solutions that move our state forward. We rely on your insight to do this. Find out how to share your opinion here, and email us at voices@sltrib.com.