Countering Political Attacks on DEI: Resources for Student Affairs Professionals

Health, Safety, and Well-being Student Success Civic Engagement Policy and Advocacy Supporting the Profession Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice
May 1, 2023

Recent state-level legislation and judicial decisions questioning the very foundation of higher education to prepare diverse graduates to lead inclusively for a complex and globally-connected world has us at NASPA feeling, at times, disheartened and also recommitted to our collective purpose to fulfill the purpose of higher education. 

Our message to our members and all student affairs educators: You and your work matter deeply. You create environments where all students have the opportunity to learn and develop, and for many of us in the field, we do this work because of who we are and the educational experiences we have had. Our work is both personal and political. 

NASPA shared a statement about Anti-DEI Legislation Response and Resources with our community on May 3, 2023.


Gather & Share

NASPA has created this web page to share resources and strategies, track legislation, solicit input, and provide opportunities to gather and learn. This page will be updated regularly, and we welcome feedback about what our members would find helpful to share. Fill out the feedback form below to share your thoughts.

Upcoming and Past Programs

NASPA Statements


Below is a list of resources that can help you understand proposed and enacted legislation and many other resources that can help you as a higher-ed professional.

Guidance from Department of Education and Department of Civil Rights

On August 15, 2023, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division jointly released two resources to help colleges and universities understand the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2023 decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina et al. 

  • Press Release, "Advance Diversity and Opportunity in Higher Education"
  • Dear Colleague Letter outlining recruiting and retention strategies colleges and university can employ to "pursue campuses that are racially diverse and that include students with a range of viewpoints, talents, backgrounds, and experiences" 
  • Question and Answer resource with strategies institutions can continue to use to remove barriers and expand opportunities for all students 


Activation around these issues may take varying forms - education, support, advocacy - as student affairs educators weigh their personal and professional safety and contexts. 

Advocacy Resources
Deliberative Dialogue
Support Resources

In highly-politicized campus environments, facilitating deliberative dialogues can create learning spaces for considering multiple perspectives. In partnership with the Kettering Foundation, NASPA has created a series of Issue Guides for Deliberative Dialogue addressing campus inclusion and equity, including the 2021 issue guide on the “Role of Institutions in Addressing Systemic Racism on Campus.”



Creating and accessing in-person and virtual communities of support is critical when much of the work of student affairs is facing existential attack. Workplace affinity groups, NASPA Knowledge Communities, confidential colleague circles, Employee Assistance Programs, and friends can help to counter isolation and increase access to resources.