The director of variety, fairness, and inclusion (DEI) at a California school mentioned she was “harassed and bullied” out of her job as a result of she needed to contemplate the views of individuals from all races equally.
Dr. Tabia Lee, who’s black, advised The New York Submit that college at De Anza School in Cupertino, California, labeled her a “white supremacist” after she pushed to “create safe spaces for everyone.” Lee mentioned that in her evaluation for tenure, she was denied and will likely be out of a job on June 15.
“Some people wanted me to create spaces that were just safe for them, and that’s not my mission as an educator,” Lee mentioned. “That’s not what I’m here to do.”
Lee labored for years as a center college instructor and adjunct professor earlier than she landed the job because the DEI director at De Anza in 2021. In that place, one she described as a “dream come true,” Lee centered on designing workshops to advertise inclusion, the Submit reported. However after beginning at De Anza, Lee mentioned she was topic to “daily, endless harassment right from the start.”
On one event, Lee mentioned she questioned why college communications capitalized “Black” however not “white.” She pointed to suggestions from the Nationwide Affiliation of Black Journalists, which advises that every one racial teams needs to be capitalized.
“For that, I was accused of being a white supremacist,” she mentioned. “These constant accusations of calling people racist or calling them a white supremacists or saying that they’re aligned with right wingers — that’s such ridiculousness. It’s very damaging.”
Lee tried to arrange a summit to deal with anti-Semitism after Jewish college students and college got here to her, saying they skilled anti-Semitism on campus, however she mentioned some co-workers argued that an occasion for Jewish folks wasn’t vital as a result of they too are white oppressors.
The DEI director additionally mentioned she acquired flak from her co-workers after she declined an invite to affix a campus socialist community.
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“I do not identify as a liberal or a conservative or a Republican or a Democrat or a libertarian or socialist or a communist or a feminist,” she advised the Submit. “I don’t identify with any of those labels, so I just had no interest in being a part of that.”
Lee mentioned there are others like her in DEI positions who “are trying to do it in an inclusive way … actually being inclusive,” however she lamented that “those people are targeted for elimination and neutralization … by people who are working from extreme ideologies.”
Lee has not dominated out taking authorized motion in opposition to the school.
De Anza’s Coordinator of Communications Paula Norsell responded to Lee’s accusations, telling the Submit that “faculty members have comprehensive due process and appeal rights both under the law and negotiated through their bargaining unit.”
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