A nonprofit run by a Trump administration official is training 'critical race theory activists' to overtake local school boards

By Morgan Keith

Conservative social welfare group Citizens for Renewing America is training "critical race theory activists" how to organize within their communities and win back local school boards.

Founded by Trump administration official Russ Vought, Citizens for Renewing America has said on its website and in its materials that critical race theory is a radical theology that will "socially replace" and lead to discrimination against white people.

"In other words, because people of color were discriminated against in the past, white people, including children in schools, need to be discriminated against now in order to make up for it and let African Americans catch up," a toolkit from the organization said.

"Combatting Critical Race Theory In Your Community" gives tips on building grassroots coalitions, recalling school board officials, and launching political campaigns. The toolkit urges local groups to create social media profiles, pen op-eds, distribute training materials, and even find legal advisors in case of lawsuits.

School board members drew more recall petitions than any other group in the first half of 2021, according to Ballotpedia, with a total of 126 school board members facing recall campaigns. In Texas, Spectrum News reported that opponents of critical race theory are traveling to school board meetings throughout the state to speak during public comment, almost exclusively repeating the same conservative talking points.

Coined by lawyer and legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, critical race theory is a practice, not a diversity and inclusion training, that recognizes race as a social construct embedded in our country's institutions, consequently relegating people of color to second-class citizenship, according to the American Bar Association.

Vought directed federal agencies during his tenure in the Office of Management and Budget to cancel all contracts and divert spending related to training on critical race theory or white privilege, which he called "divisive, anti-American propaganda" in a September 2020 memo.

His stance has not wavered since becoming president of Citizens for Renewing America in 2021.

Business Insider reached out to Citizens for Renewing America for comment.