Breaking News
More () »

Owner of historic construction firm fears for future of programs that help minorities and women

Cheryl McKissack Daniel says some national firms have joined together to explore ways to save the programs

DALLAS — Here in Texas, lawmakers have banned the use of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs at state universities. 

And Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said it is illegal for state agencies to use DEI initiatives in hiring.

The owner of the oldest minority/women-owned architectural design and construction company in the United States fears that while state leaders are currently focused on minority hiring, they’ll soon go after businesses like hers, those owned by minorities and women. 

"I think that’s the next step," Cheryl McKissack Daniel told us on Inside Texas Politics. "First, it’s the colleges and universities as far as the number of students or slots that have been allotted for people of color. I think the next step will go straight to the heart of the economics around people of color."

Based in New York City, her firm McKissack & McKissack has been a family-owned business for more than 118 years, and involved in more than 6,000 projects. 

And the company’s vision statement is clear: “To be a national construction and program management services firm across all industry sectors while being mindful socially and environmentally and a trailblazer of diversity & inclusion.” 

McKissack Daniel says she believes programs such as the Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises certification (MWBE), the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and others that help small businesses owned by minorities and women are all at risk now.  

And she tells us several organizations across the country have joined together to hire constitutional attorneys to help advise on what the next step should be to help save these programs. 

“They’ve been extremely effective in opening up doors for all people in America, just not for a few. And I think that’s important for innovation and creativity and all that we need as a nation going forward,” she said. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out