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South Florida woman joins others in lawsuit over 'Stop the Woke Act'

CBS Miami
CBS Miami
 2022-08-10

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Business owner speaks out on "anti-woke" law 02:17

FORT LAUDERDALE - The case against the 'Stop the Woke Act' went before a judge this week after a group filed a lawsuit to try to stop it.

The new law went into effect July 1st, it not only bans critical race theory in schools but blocks businesses from requiring diversity practices or training.

CBS 4 sat down with one of the plaintiffs in the case from Broward County.

"Chicago Freedom movement was the work that got us the Fair Housing Act and my father and Dr. King, and Al Raby was instrumental in doing this," Chevarra Orrin told us.

You could say Orrin was born into her line of work.  Her father was a civil rights activist, James Bevel, he was the architect behind the Birmingham Children's Crusade, to protest against segregation laws.   I've been involved in justice work almost all of my life."

However, relaying any of that personal experience or history is now off limits in the workplace, and that's not good for Collective Concepts, Orrin's Fort Lauderdale company which helps train workers in diversity and inclusion.

"The strategies that I'm having that make organizations more equitable, it's forcing me to have to change language, not use concepts. For example, unconscious bias, having a conversation about race and gender. This effectively stops me from being able to do my work," Orrin explained.

Because of Stop Woke Act, she told CBS 4 she is losing customers.  "The organization that I shared with you that brought me in a couple of days prior to this taking effect, we had talked about doing some longer-term work those conversations have halted."

For her this is unconstitutional and that's part of the reason she's pushing back.

"I'm very proud to be a large group of people a collective who absolutely recognize that our freedom of speech is one of our most core values," Orrin said.  She's joined two other plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Florida.  They're being represented by Protect Democracy, a non-partisan, non-profit organization aimed at fighting abuses of power.

"We have laws anti-discrimination laws, they already exist," Shalini Agarwal, an attorney with the group said.

But the state argues the new law is needed to remove a focus on race and gender, thus allowing for natural inclusion, and helping prevent some from feeling guilt.

"The law is so unclear that any reasonable employer who's trying to understand how do I comply with this would not know. That's really the issue, it's chilling employers from talking, going anywhere near concepts related to race or sex," Agarwal explained.

Now Agarwal and her team have filed an injunction, if granted, that could stop the lawn from being enforced. For Orrin this is a little bit of history repeating itself, and she's carrying on the legacy of her parent to advocate for equality and defend civil rights.

"We should be deeply concerned when any of our rights and freedoms are taken away," Orrin added.

Comments / 112

Leilu Garnett
08-11

it is a term for any person that inflicts their beliefs that feels that those who are " NOT "" of their not homosexual lifestyle should be forced to take " diversity " training in their job and learn how to address others who are NOT heterosexual in the manner which they demand. This includes pronouns that refer to a man if he chooses to identify as a woman be called " She "...and visa versa......also if " they " are gender fluid.....THEY..want to be called .." THEY".... This presents some problems.as out of over 370 million populous in America we are the biggest percentage of heterosexuals....having said that...we don't really care about what a small percentage of those that wish to be treated as such...we just don't want it in our schools or shoved down our throats..hence some politicians have passed some laws to forbid these teachings in school age children grade kindergarten through 3rd grade... sexuality should be addressed by PARENTS....

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SB1111
08-11

Diversity used to be about inclusion & empathy. No longer, now it’s about hating anyone who disagrees or does not push their narrative. That is not progress at all. In fact it is exactly what they said they did not want yet they are doing it to everyone. Cancel culture is about exclusion & hate. People should be judged on their character. Not their religion, sex, skin color… CRT teaches that hate by skin color is the way to go. No wonder normal people do not agree with it. It’s just wrong. It hurts everyone. It creates more racism in its very teachings. That was intentional by the original author too. Yet people are so lazy they do not bother to research it. They just follow along like sheep believing what someone they admire told them, not knowing that person also was just following someone else who was just following someone else. 80% of humans will follow without much question… whatever someone they admire tells them. That’s great when it’s MLK… not great when it’s Hitler.

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Melony Erice
08-11

If you don’t like the laws in Florida voted on by our elected representatives, move to a blue state where you can preach your bull every day

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