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Temple residents push back on DEI Commission plans, encourage faith-based policies instead

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Posted at 7:41 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 11:34:43-04

TEMPLE, Texas — The city of Temple started a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commission in 2020 as a response to the police shooting of Michael Dean in 2019.

Earlier this week the city backed out of a $112,000 contract with the national group Nova Collective following harsh feedback from Temple residents.

"We don't see any reason for DEI to be in our city at all whatsoever," David Newsome, a pastor in Temple, told 25 News. "We're not here to ostracize them or anything like that. We just don't want that agenda pushed in our city and would have a negative effect, especially on our children and life as a whole."

According to the NOVA website, the company is "devoted to transforming organizational cultures", and to building "equity and achieve meaningful, lasting change."

It would have worked with the city to bring in new inclusive programs and policies, but protesters outside city hall on Tuesday said it wouldn't bring the change they want to see.

"This committee was created to move towards a good and better Temple culture and we desire that also," Temple resident Jacob Miller said. "The big difference is we have a foundation in Christ and the scriptures that leads us to our conclusions and they don't."

A letter released by the city on Monday said they have "listened to feedback from the community regarding the proposal" and they plan to continue their work towards inclusion without an outside agency to "build a community every person loves to call home."

Miller said he hopes that means a plan based on faith and Gospel teachings.

"We want the spreading of the Gospel to all nations, all tongues, all people," he said. "We are diverse by nature in the church, but we know the only standard of what is good is the standards of Christ."

With the Nova Collective contract now scrapped, protesters say it was just the first step to bringing God back to their communities.