Rhode Island Foundation Stands By Funding Providence Teacher Hiring Program That Discriminates Against Whites
Compares racially discriminatory hiring program to picking one academic field to support over another: “It’s not anything against other [white] teachers, just that’s an area, just like could be science teachers.”
The Rhode Island Foundation (RIF) is the largest community charity in the state, and one of the largest in the country. It has approximately $1.5 billion in assets, and funds almost $100 million per year in grants and programs funding a variety of good causes. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a major priority for RIF, including prioritizing grantee institutions led by “people of color.”
Rhode Island Democrat congressman David Cicciline will resign from Congress in June 2023 to become President of RIF. It’s a sweet gig that will net him several hundred thousand dollars in salary and compenstation. Hiring Cicilline is a risk for RIF, because Cicilline is one of the most aggressive and vitriolic politicians in D.C., and that’s saying a lot. RIF already is viewed with suspicion by many because of its obvious liberal leanings, and Cicilline in command will reinforce that perception.
Cicilline’s hiring comes on the heels of a controversy swirling around RIF due to its funding of a program administered by the Providence Public School District (PPSD) as part of its employment hiring practices to provide loan forgiveness to newly hired teachers — but only for non-white teachers. Prospective and newly hired white teachers need not apply. Indeed, the program is called the “Educators of Color Loan Forgiveness Program,” with even the name making it clear who gets this employment benefit.
Legal Insurrection Foundation has challenged this discriminatory employment program by filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, which made a referral of the matter to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Despite knowing of our complaint, PPSD continues to promote and use the program. The details of the loan forgivenss program and other discriminatory PPSD practices are set forth in these posts:
- Providence (RI) Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program Only Open To Non-Whites Challenged By Legal Insurrection Foundation
- Black Community Activists Support Legal Insurrection’s Challenge To Providence School’s Anti-White Hiring Incentives
- Segregated Providence (RI) Teacher Event Open Only to “Educators of Color” Challenged By Legal Insurrection Foundation
- Providence (RI) School District Backs Away From Segregated Teacher Event After Legal Insurrection Exposé
- Providence (RI) Schools Continue Anti-White New Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program As Investigation Moves To EEOC
- Providence (RI) Schools Appear To Abandon Segregated Teacher Meetups After Legal Insurrection Challenge
PPSD’s openly discriminatory policies (of which there are more than what we have written about so far), was an impetus to creating the Equal Protection Project (EqualProtect.org), as I discussed recently on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Equal Protection Project (EqualProtect.org) Launched To Fight Equity Discrimination:
So what does the Rhode Island Foundation think of all this? Is it proud of its role in financing a teacher hiring program that discriminates on the basis of race?
We now know the answer to that question. Neil Steinberg, the current President of RIF, was interviewed by Tara Granahan, one of the better known local radio hosts. You should listen to the whole interview, embedded below.
Here is a key excerpt, in which Steinberg defends the Educator of Color Loan Forgiveness Program, and suggests that it’s nothing unusual, likening it to a program that supports hiring a particular subject matter teacher or particular medical specialist.
(transcript auto-generated, may contain transcription errors)(emphasis added)
Granahan: Neil Steinberg from the Rhode Island Foundation on the line with me. Just, you mentioned off the top, and when we were talking about now there’s a lot of eyeballs and a lot of ears open. Because Congressman Cicilline s leaving, and then we’ve got a special election and what, what is this Rhode Island Foundation? So all of a sudden you’re kind of pushed into the, into really into the spotlight. And you mentioned, you know, it was mentioned on CNN, the Rhode Island Foundation was also thrown into a conversation, on Fox yet just last night, yesterday. And they say, oh, there’s an organization, in Providence, Rhode Island, where the Providence Public School District is, you know, they’re saying they’re criticizing a program that I do believe comes from the Rhode Island Foundation, where you will make good on loans for teachers of color. But this is Fox News. This is the Legal Insurrection Foundation. Very right leaning. This somehow got to them. He jumps up on Tucker Carlson and says, it’s not fair to the white teachers. Now, this is something that has, may have been going on for years, and now all of a sudden you’re shoved into the political limelight here.
Steinberg: Yeah. And, and you know, to be honest, we stay true to the work. So, you know, in the city of Providence, 80% of the kids are, are kids of color, and about 10 to 20% of the teachers, it’s been well documented that if the teachers, we have more teachers that look like the kids, they respond better to learning, and there’s a teacher shortage. So all of those things are just, you know, they’re well known.
We had the opportunity, and actually a lot of what we do is donors come to us and say, Hey, could you put together a program where we could recruit and retain more teachers of color? It’s not anything against other teachers, just that’s an area, just like could be science teachers. But there was a shortage. And so that’s what we did. We put together a program. Donors are funding it. It’s not any city or state money, and it is to help pay back loans for teachers that come to Providence and stay in Providence for a few years. We did that in the past to recruit primary care physicians. You know, there’s a shortage of primary care physicians. Several years ago we were involved in that, in helping loan repayment. But a lot of what we do, we do because there’s a need and because there are donors that are interested in meeting that need.
Of course, racial discrimination in hiring by a public entity is nothing like choosing to support one academic subject matter teacher rather than another, or hiring a primary care physician when there is a shortage in that specialty. And just because some donors want you to support discriminatory programs doesn’t mean a charity like RIF should do it. And no, it’s not well-documented that the race or color of a teacher matters, as Wenyuan Wu recently debunked, The “Racial Pairing” Fallacy.
Anyway, here is the full interview.with RIF President Steinberg
(If player does not load, Click here)
We will continue to expose discriminatory programs and practices in the Providence Public School District and elsewhere, and to the extent money from charities like the Rhode Island Foundation is funding it, we will shine the light on that as well.
Call me an optimist, but while Cicilline joining RIF is a risk, it’s also an opportunity. Cicilline is a very savvy operator, and he has to understand that funding racially discriminatory programs puts RIF at potential legal and reputational risk.DONATE
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