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FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Releases Agency Equity Action Plans to Advance Equity and Racial Justice Across the Federal Government

On his first day in office, President Biden signed Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. That historic Executive Order directed the whole of the federal government to advance an ambitious equity and racial justice agenda. Today, more than 90 federal agencies, including all Cabinet-level agencies, are releasing the first-ever Equity Action Plans that lay out more than 300 concrete strategies and commitments to address the systemic barriers in our nation’s policies and programs that hold too many underserved communities back from prosperity, dignity, and equality.

Advancing equity is not a one-year project—it is a generational commitment. These plans are an important step forward, reflecting the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to make the promise of America real for every American, including by implementing the first-ever national strategy on gender equity and equality; working to ensure the federal government is a model for diversity equity, inclusion and accessibility; working to deliver environmental justice through the Justice40 Initiative; and working to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Across the federal government, agencies are taking ambitious action to expand federal investment and support in communities that have been locked out of opportunity for too long, including communities of color, Tribal communities, rural communities, LGBTQI+ communities, people with disabilities, women and girls, and communities impacted by persistent poverty. . . . [Fact sheet summarizes multiple plans]

In addition to prioritizing greater equity in the services the federal government provides the American people, Agency Equity Action Plans also contain innovative new strategies to embed equity, racial justice, and gender equality in day-to-day governing. These approaches include:

Building accountability for equity through data collection and reporting. Better demographic data is key to advancing equity, offering insight into whether government programs, benefits, and services are reaching all communities. Recognizing this, President Biden established a first-of-its-kind Equitable Data Working Group to facilitate appropriate expanded collection and use of demographic data toward advancing equity. Cross-agency practices are being developed to address specific barriers to generating and using equitable data efficiently and appropriately, including how best to share and acquire disaggregated data and how to increase community access to data while protecting individual privacy and promoting public trust in the data. More information on the Working Group’s efforts, including initial recommendations, will be released in the coming weeks.

Reducing administrative burdens and simplifying government services. Under newly-released guidance from the Office of Management and Budget, agencies are reducing the complexity of forms and enrollment procedures to address the often-hidden barriers to access for governmental services, ensuring that information is written clearly, and expanding from in-person interview requirements to telephone or virtual options.

Reimagining federal service design and delivery through life experiences.  The Biden-Harris Administration is building a new approach to delivering government services based on how people actually live their lives rather than an approach based on bureaucracy. This new approach requires agencies to work within and across government, to better serve Americans during significant events or transitions that often require interaction with multiple federal agencies and levels of government, like surviving a disaster.

Engaging with stakeholders and communities who have been historically excluded. To ensure government policies are informed by the broadest cross-section of Americans, agencies are engaging trusted intermediaries and tailoring outreach to make meaningful and authentic participation possible for a wider range of Americans.

Narrowing wealth gaps through federal contracting and procurement. As the largest buyer in the world, the federal government will address racial and gender wealth gaps by leveraging the power of federal procurement to drive greater investment in minority-owned and women-owned small businesses.

Delivering equity through grantmaking. Persistent barriers make it difficult for under-resourced and underserved communities to be aware of, compete for, and effectively deploy federal grants for everything from infrastructure to medical research. Agencies are addressing these barriers by helping underserved communities learn about and navigate federal funding opportunities, expanding capacity-building efforts, and embedding a focus on equity into decision-making about how to award federal grants.

Advancing equity through American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Implementation. The President has made equity a priority in the implementation of two of the most ambitious legislative packages in generations, with the goal of ensuring an inclusive response and recovery from the pandemic and in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.
Fact sheet: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/04/14/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-releases-agency-equity-action-plans-to-advance-equity-and-racial-justice-across-the-federal-government/   
Advancing Equity and Racial Justice Through the Federal Government -- with links to individual agency equity action plans: https://www.whitehouse.gov/equity/  
Advancing an Equitable Government https://www.performance.gov/equity/

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