Posted on July 15, 2022

California Spent $500M on DEI Initiatives

Houston Keene, Fox News, July 12, 2022

A conservative nonprofit estimated that California has spent over $500 million on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, including spending nearly $50,000 on “racial equity” trainings for the state Fish and Wildlife Department.

The Center for Organizational Research and Education (CORE), a consumer protection nonprofit, called DEI initiatives the Golden State’s “next billion-dollar industry” in their new report on California’s critical race theory-based spending.

“Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is becoming California’s newest billion-dollar industry — on the taxpayer’s dime,” CORE lead researcher Will Coggin told Fox News Digital on Monday. “It’s everywhere from kindergarten classrooms to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.”

“Instead of effectively addressing issues like housing, crime or homelessness, California officials have chosen to line the pockets of well-connected diversity consultants,” he continued.

Fox News Digital exclusively obtained the new report, which wrote that California “public institutions seized the opportunity to expand their budgets and implement ultraprogressive policies often without public awareness.”


CORE received a response for almost half of their sunshine law inquiries, reporting that the Golden State has “spent nearly half a billion dollars on DEI projects alone” from the data received “with a majority of responses encapsulating FY2020 through FY2022.”


Several entities in the report spent state tax dollars on woke initiatives, such as the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, which spent “$49,500 in contracts for ‘racial equity’ trainings and workshops for employees,” and the California High Speed Rail Authority, which dropped “nearly $29,000 in consultants budgeted in FY2021-22 as part of its effort to form a Diversity Task Force.”

California’s Department of Conservation spent nearly $180,000 on DEI initiatives in FY2020-2021 that “included nearly $88,000 in training geared toward critical race theory and racial equity themes from contractors well connected within the state of California.”

The Department of Conservation also spent $9,000 on copies of Ibram X. Kendi’s cornerstone critical race theory book, “How to Be an Antiracist,” specifically to be handed out to staff including ‘Supervising’ and ‘Senior’ oil and gas engineers in the Department’s Geologic Energy Management division,” with one email flagged as “high priority.”

Additionally, the California Department of Water Resources was also another source of DEI spending, spending “over $414,000 on DEI goals over FY2020 and FY2021.”


The report also found that, below the state level, California counties and cities spent a total “$110 million at the county level, and nearly $90 million at the city level” of public funds on DEI initiatives.