President Biden Doubles Down on Advancing Equity Throughout the Federal Government
A new executive order builds on earlier efforts by the Biden administration.
President Biden doubled down Thursday on his administration's commitment to using the power of the federal government to support underserved communities and advance racial equity.
“My administration has embedded a focus on equity into the fabric of federal policymaking and service delivery,” Biden said. “These transformative achievements have advanced the work of building a more equitable nation.”
The White House outlined the progress the administration has made, such as the major agencies issuing their first-ever equity plans in April 2022, efforts to diversify the federal workforce and signing the marriage equality act.
“Yet, members of underserved communities -- many of whom have endured generations of discrimination and disinvestment -- still confront significant barriers to realizing the full promise of our great nation, and the federal government has a responsibility to remove these barriers,” the president said. “Therefore, my administration must take additional action across the federal government -- in collaboration with civil society, the private sector, and state and local government -- to continue the work begun with executive order 13985.”
Some of the objectives of the new executive order include ensuring within 30 days that the major agencies have equity teams in place, strengthen partnerships and engagement with communities, and advance equitable data practices, elevate agencies’ civil rights offices, to continue using procurement, particularly, for small businesses to boost equity and establish a White House Steering Committee on Equity, which will coordinate government wide efforts on equity and monitor agencies’ activities to promote accountability.
Next, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, which is often referred to as the nerve center of the government, should consider updates and changes to OMB directives, guidance, memos, etc., to “support equitable decision-making, promote equitable deployment of financial and technical assistance, and assist agencies in advancing equity, as appropriate and wherever possible,” reads the executive order.
The order also outlines a process to make equity more a part of the budget process as well as advance the president’s executive orders on preventing and countering discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation; tackling the climate crisis; and dancing gender policy.
NextGen America, a progressive advocacy nonprofit, tweeted that the executive order “is an important step towards addressing long lasting injustices — let's keep organizing to build a government that respects and represents us!”