Youth music nonprofit boycotting United Way funds over diversity reporting requirements
Harmony South Dakota will forgo what's traditionally been 80 percent of its funding source over gender identity reporting stipulation
A Sioux Falls nonprofit is forgoing what would likely be hundreds of thousands in future grant dollars over a benefactor-requirement that it collect gender identity information from clients.
Harmony South Dakota, a free after-school music program for children in Sioux Falls, has relied on the Sioux Empire United Way for a majority of its funding since its inception, helping the decade-old organization foster musical talents in more than 400 area youth.
But the future of Harmony South Dakota is in question after its board of directors voted earlier this year for the boycott of United Way funds over the ideological disagreements over Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) standards.
Harmony South Dakota co-founder Dan Goeller told The Dakota Scout in October the decision comes after the Sioux Empire United Way (SEUW) expanded reporting requirements of its beneficiaries to include demographics on gender. That’s meant the nonprofit with the motto “social transformation through music” has had to ask its program participants about personal information that Goeller and his board deem to be intrusive and inappropriate.
“I have to collect pronoun information,” Goeller said. “It's insane… You want me to go ask all of my kids what their pronouns are? For most, I would have to explain to them what that even means.”
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