Faculty, staff, and students regularly reach out to Heterodox Academy with concerns about mandated diversity training at their schools, given their dubious empirical or practical merit, and the problematic theoretical frameworks they often uncritically draw from.

Diversity-related training programs are generally ineffective and often bring negative side effects (see here for a review of the literature). Mandatory training causes people to engage with the materials and exercises in an adversarial and resentful frame of mind. Consequently, mandatory training often leads to more negative feelings and behaviors, both towards the institution and minority co-workers. This effect is especially pronounced among the people who need the training most. Yet roughly 80% of diversity-related training programs in the U.S. seem to be mandatory.

This tip sheet offers five pieces of practical advice to constructively engage campus communities in discussion about the unintended negative consequences of mandated diversity training, including suggestions for more effectively advancing the goal of creating a more positive and welcoming environment for people from historically marginalized and underrepresented groups.