VMI Lawsuit: The Red Flags Were There

As a 1976 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), I read with interest the article on the lawsuit put forth by the Center for Applied Innovation, LLC (CAI) in regard to VMI’s alleged failure to comply with the Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA). In issuing a “Notice of Intent to Award” to NewPoint Strategies in February of 2022, the question must be asked – where was the oversight by the Youngkin Administration in enabling the process to find its way to a court of law?

The mandate was very clear by the voters of Virginia to cease and desist with “inherently divisive concepts” being taught in the state’s public education system. In reviewing the Request for Proposal (RFP) that VMI put forth to develop a “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training and Consulting Services,” one of the requirements stipulated under the “Description of Services” section was: “The organization must be able to discuss cultural and identity oppression (emphasis added) in the context of current culture as it relates to VMI.” Red flag #1. Given that NewPoint Strategies had submitted a proposal, did the Attorney General’s office look into this company? Just going to their website, terms are used such as: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Implicit Bias; DEI- Police Reform; Social and Racial Justice.” They also provide virtual training in “racial equity.” Red flag #2

In March of this year, a petition was sent to the AG’s office calling for an investigation into Critical Race Theory entering into the realm of VMI, as well as putting a hold on a contract to develop a DEI training program at VMI. Despite over 1100 supporters of this petition and multiple follow-up emails to the AG’s office, no investigation was called for. Red flag #3. One Attorney General didn’t ignore the red flags and that was Eric Schmitt of Missouri when he called for an investigation into 7 school districts over student surveys asking questions that could be viewed as “inherently divisive concepts.” Leadership is not only about “talking the talk but walking the walk.”

Carmen D. Villani, Jr

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