Virginia’s Governor Youngkin Cleaning House in the State’s Diversity Office

Michael Robb Photography /
Michael Robb Photography /

Here is a story about a politician who is actually following through on his campaign promises. Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia just announced a significant change to the purpose of his state’s diversity office.

Gov. Youngkin has asked Angela Sailor to work as Virginia’s chief diversity, opportunity, and inclusion officer. Sailor is a former official in former President George W. Bush’s administration, and she is the vice president of The Feulner Institute at the Heritage Foundation.

One of the recent changes in this office comes with a name change. The term “opportunity” now replaces the term “equity” in the position’s title. This is a sign of the new mission for this state agency.

Gov. Youngkin signed an executive order indicating that Sailor will promote free speech and civil discourse in civic life. It was also clear in this order from the governor that Sailor will serve as an ambassador for unborn children. And this office will also be responsive to the rights of parents in state education and decisions regarding public school curriculum.

It was reported by Virginia Business that Youngkin said in a statement that the people of the state have elected the most diverse leadership in the history of the commonwealth.

He also stated, “Virginia is big enough for the hopes and dreams of a diverse people. Angela Sailor’s experience in government, nonprofits, and the private sector will guide us as we ensure that the government is working for all Virginians across our diverse commonwealth, especially when it comes to economic opportunity for all Virginians.”

This move by the governor did not come without criticism. A Manhattan Institute senior fellow and a leader in education reform activism, Christopher Rufo, said that the state’s department should be scrapped altogether.

“My recommendation: abolish the DEI department entirely and replace it with a MEO department, promoting ‘merit,’ ‘excellence,’ and ‘opportunity.’ This is ultimately a war of values and most Americans prefer a system of individual rights and achievement — not neo-Marxist ‘equity,’” Rufo said on Twitter.

Gov. Youngkin did not waste any time making these changes. He signed 11 executive orders on his first day in office that were promises he made on the campaign trail. Making good on those promises, the Virginia governor is wanting to restore excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts. He is focusing on Critical Race Theory in public education. Youngkin also wants to allow parents to make decisions on whether their children will wear a mask in school. And he is planning to investigate any wrongdoing in Loudoun County.

Some of the other executive orders promise to prevent human trafficking along with providing support to those who have survived. Youngkin is also planning to develop a commission to fight antisemitism in his state. He plans to cut regulations that limit jobs by 25% in Virginia. And he hopes to restore individual freedoms and personal privacy by taking back the vaccine mandate for all state employees.

While giving the governor’s inaugural address, Youngkin said that the will of the people has granted him a license to serve. He called it a temporary license that was extended with trust, hope, and expectations to deliver on his promises. He said that in reflecting on his home, his love for America, and her founding principles, he was humbled to be the 74th governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Youngkin considers himself to be a messenger of a movement that has entrusted him to protect liberty and create opportunity. He will attempt to build unity for the hard work his administration will have in the coming days.

Sounds refreshing, doesn’t it?