As Americans Struggle with Layoffs, Federal Employees to Attend Webinar on 'Institutional Betrayal Trauma'

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The United States Geological Survey is a federal agency in the Department of the Interior that specializes in studying the landscape. They are best known for making maps. Tomorrow, while hundreds of thousands of Americans have been furloughed without pay, federal employees at the USGS will get a break from maps, rocks, sand, and topography to attend a webinar having nothing to do with maps, rocks, sand, and topography.


The USGS has invited federal employees working at the agency to attend a webinar May 6 entitled “The Role of Institutional Courage in Harassment Prevention.”

The webinar is taught by Dr. Jennifer Freyd. Freyd is founder of the “Center for Institutional Courage.”

U.S. Department of Interior Photo

The invitation to the federal employees comes from the USGS “Civility and Inclusion Council.” It states:

Dr. Freyd and her students investigate the causes and impact of interpersonal violence and institutional betrayal on mental and physical health, behavior, and society. Freyd’s research with adult and child participants investigates predictions made by betrayal trauma theory. In recent years Freyd has focused especially on betrayal and its antidote at the institutional level: institutional betrayal and institutional courage. Current projects include studies of campus and workplace sexual assault and harassment, minority discrimination, gender and sexual orientation, disclosures of abuse, physical and mental health distress, and institutional betrayal and institutional courage.

The Center for Institutional Courage is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to building a narrative of structural biases and malevolence toward the downtrodden and oppressed. The website states:


Sadly, institutions often make our lives worse, not better. They don’t protect us from harm. They are indifferent when we suffer. They focus first on profits and self-protection.

Featured at the Center for Institutional Courage are various examples of betrayal, including amplification of the media message that President Trump is responsible for the coronavirus pandemic — “Institutional Betrayal: The Lasting Trauma Of Playing Down the Threat of Covid-19 and Failing to Act.” The website includes endorsements from Gloria Steinem and Ashley Judd. It promises to “transform institutions into more accountable, equitable, healthy places for everyone” (emphasis in original).

Features at the Center for Institutional Courage’s homepage is a photo of a rally from “extinction rebellion,” a climate change alarmist effort. James Reilly, the head of USGS ironically implemented reforms at USGS to distance itself from climate alarmists.

Regarding that “Civility and Inclusion Council” at a federal agency dedicated purportedly to science and earth:

The USGS Civility & Inclusion Council is an employee‐led and management‐directed group that works to support and strengthen an inclusive workplace environment within the Bureau that fosters and promotes the civil treatment of employees, and acts as an advisory council aimed at implementing actions that provide a proactive, employee‐centered approach for addressing harassment and discrimination.


You can read all about the Civility and Inclusion Council here at the official USGS home. And if you are unemployed and looking for something to do starting at 11 a.m. PST, you can dial to hear your tax dollars at work at 415-527-5035 code 904 800 073.


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