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DeSantis-Appointed Board Governing Disney World Abolishes Racial Hiring Practices, Diversity Initiatives |

DeSantis-Appointed Board Governing Disney World Abolishes Racial Hiring Practices, Diversity Initiatives

Arjun Singh on August 2, 2023

The board appointed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida to govern Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will abolish all in-house diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, according to an announcement on Tuesday.

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, formerly known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, was reconstituted by the Florida state legislature in February, which replaced the district’s existing board with DeSantis’ appointees. The board will abolish “all DEI programs” and DEI-based contractor requirements, according to a press release on its website.

“The so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives were advanced during the tenure of the previous board and they were illegal and simply unamerican,” Glenton Gilzean, Jr., the District Administrator, said in the press release. “Our district will no longer participate in any attempt to divide us by race or advance the notion that we are not created equal. As the former head of the Central Florida Urban League, a civil rights organization, I can say definitively that our community thrives only when we work together despite our differences.”

The district’s DEI committee will be dissolved, DEI job duties will be eliminated and district staff will also no longer be permitted to pursue DEI initiatives on company time, the release reads. Racial and gender quotas required of contractors working with the district will be abolished, with the press release arguing that finding compliant businesses cost more money.

DeSantis is currently embroiled in a federal lawsuit filed by Disney for reforming the District’s governance, which had been autonomously controlled by the company since 1967. The reforms came after Disney criticized the DeSantis administration’s Parental Rights in Education Bill, which prohibited the teaching of gender and sexuality to students below the fourth grade.

The dispute has become a line of attack against DeSantis by his GOP presidential campaign rivals, such as former President Donald Trump and former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina.

The Executive Office of the Governor of Florida did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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