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DEI training asks scholars which ethnicities should live or die in hypothetical scenario

A “Cultural Competence Training” that asks participants who should live or die in a hypothetical scenario in which the world is ending has drawn criticism from some online observers.

Doug Ponder, a biblical studies professor at Grimke Seminary in Virginia, tweeted a copy of the training March 14, writing: “A friend of mine, who works in a public university, sent this to me earlier this week.”

Ponder, also a pastor at Remnant Church in Virginia, continued in his tweet that what he posted is page one of a diversity, equity and inclusion training his friend’s department was “forced to take,” starting with “an exercise that asks which intersectional identities you’d save and which you’d leave to die.”

“This is demonic,” he added.

Ponder could not be reached by The College Fix for comment, including to ask at which university this diversity training was offered.

According to Course Hero, the activity, titled “Whom to Leave Behind,” appears to have been offered over the years at several universities nationwide in various capacities, including in English, economics and sociology classes.

It presents a situation in which there is a spaceship leaving a doomed earth, and participants must choose only eight out of the 12 original passengers to be saved, described as:

Accountant with substance abuse problem Militant African American medical student 33-year old female, Native American who doesn’t speak English The accountant’s pregnant wife Famous novelist with a disability 21-year old female, Muslim international student Hispanic clergyman who is against homosexuality Female movie star who is a recent sexual assault victim Racist armed police officer who has been accused of using excessive force Gay male, professional athlete who is a vegetarian Orphaned 12-year old Asian boy 60-year old Jewish university administrator

Ponder’s tweet gained traction over the last week, amassing more than 6.9 million views and 5,100 retweets. Even Elon Musk replied “!!” to the tweet.

Some on Twitter also started participating in the exercise, voting on who they would save.

The document Ponder tweeted was labeled “Cultural Competence Training — Mental Models and World Views | Day one Activity Handout” with a label from OASAS, a substance abuse recovery organization.

A google search of the “Whom to Leave Behind” document also links back to a company called Coordinated Care Services Inc., “a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring innovation in practice by providing essential business services in partnership with organizations that improve lives and strengthen communities.”

CCSI did not respond to a request from The College Fix seeking comment.

It’s unclear who developed the worksheet or how long it’s been used nationwide.

In 2018 the same exercise was reported as being used at an Ohio middle school after a city councilman shared the worksheet on Facebook.

Parents from the middle school told local news outlets that they were outraged and believed that the activity divides people instead of promoting inclusivity, prompting an investigation.

In reaction to his viral tweet, Ponder later tweeted the three reasons he posted the worksheet: “To raise awareness of a big problem, to vindicate those who speak up, [and] to move toward a real solution.”


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