Sioux Empire United Way leadership defends diversity, equity, inclusion policy; denies gender identity a requirement for funding
Leadership at leading South Dakota philanthropic organization pens letter rebutting claims
The Sioux Empire United Way is rebutting accusations that demographic reporting — including gender identity — is required for beneficiaries of the organization.
SEUW President Allan Turner, along with Board Chair Randy Knecht and Treasurer Miles Beacom, say the philanthropic organization does not require nonprofits seeking SEUW funds to report whether any of their clients identify as transgender, and that the basis for a boycott related to the allegations by a longtime recipient — Harmony South Dakota — is without merit.
“Over the course of the last year, Dan Goeller, Executive Director of Harmony South Dakota, has repeatedly made misleading and inaccurate statements regarding Sioux Empire United Way (SEUW),” the trio wrote in a letter sent to The Dakota Scout. “During this time, multiple meetings were held and additional meeting offers were made to clarify this information with Mr. Goeller and members of his Board of Directors. Despite our best efforts to clarify his misunderstandings in private, we are now faced with no other option but to more publicly state the facts as they stand today.”
Earlie this month, Goeller told The Dakota Scout that the free after-school music program for children would be forgoing SEUW grants over ideological concerns stemming from recent changes in the application process, which he said now includes the collection of “pronoun information,” which he characterized as “insane.”
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