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Biden administration rolls out ‘equity actions plans’ across gov’t agencies

The Biden administration this week rolled out a number of strategies across government agencies to promote racial equity and support “underserved communities” to fulfill an executive order from President Biden.

Biden signed an order on Inauguration Day directing agencies to “pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.” 

PENTAGON ROLLS OUT ‘EQUITY’ PLAN

Over a year later, more than 90 agencies, including all Cabinet departments, released their plans, outlining more than 300 strategies and action plans to make federal policies fairer.

“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,” the White House said.

The Department of Homeland Security released a plan that will focus on everything from naturalization, access to humanitarian protection, bidding on DHS contracts, countering all forms of terrorism and targeted violence, filing complaints and seeking redress in DHS programs and activities, airport screening and accessing Trusted Traveler Programs.

DHS LAUNCHES FIRST EVER ‘EQUITY ACTION PLAN’

As a part of the plan, DHS vowed to “identify barriers that may impede access to naturalization among underserved communities” and remove those barriers to make the naturalization process easier. In addition, DHS said it will “expand engagement” with small businesses that are owned by or that support “members of underserved communities.”

The department also said it would work to “expand gender-identification options” for certain traveler programs like TSA PreCheck.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced it will seek to rearrange its supply chain in order to open up opportunities for underserved communities. It will also bolster a variety of programs aimed at assisting those same communities in the area of military bases, such as American Indian initiatives and environmental efforts.

In other agencies, the Department of Labor is strengthening enforcement of wage and hour protections, while the Department of Housing and Urban Development is working to eliminate the racial gap in home ownership. The Environmental Protection Agency said that it is developing a framework to evaluate the impacts of pollution on underserved communities and helping households with low incomes to weatherize their homes.

The Justice Department is improving language access to its programs to help people with limited English proficiency better report crimes, while the Interior Department is providing technical assistance to Native American tribes to help them apply for grants. 

The administration touted the plans are “an important step forward.”

“Advancing equity is not a one-year project—it is a generational commitment,” the White House said.

Fox News’ Kyle Morris and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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