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Pentagon rolls out ‘equity’ plan

The Department of Defense issued an equity report, aiming to equalize outcomes for employees and partners across racial, sexual and gender lines.

The DOD released its equity report alongside all other departments of President Biden’s administration this week. In the text, the DOD explained a series of procedural changes to better align with the White House’s demands for “equity.”

“While the Department has historically focused on increasing equity within the DOD community, the collective actions described in this plan represent a shift in the Department’s approach and focus to better ensure that we leverage our capabilities to create opportunities for all Americans,” the Department of Defense wrote in its report.

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION UNVEILS STEPS TO BOOST EQUITY IN GOVERNMENT

The DOD report offers a series of plans moving forward that “will identify potential barriers that underserved communities and individuals face regarding Federal programs.”

First, the DOD 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 February 2021, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered military leaders at all levels of command to facilitate “discussion of the principle that all those who support DOD’s mission deserve an environment free of discrimination, hate and harassment.” 

The report continued, “This included a focus on how extremist or dissident ideologies violate the fundamental principles of the Department.” 

The DOD went on to boast about its increased tolerance for military service by transgender soldiers.

“DOD took steps to ensure transgender individuals who wished to serve in the military and could meet the appropriate standards were able to do so openly and free from discrimination,” the report stated.

The DOD also announced it will be making targeted investments into minority communities, committing to “invest in underserved communities and expand access to DoD programs and opportunities by increasing investments in Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and investments in K-12 and K-20 programs.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin holds a briefing in Tbilisi on Oct. 18, 2021.

After more than a year of review, more than 90 federal agencies, including all major Cabinet departments, began releasing their “equity action plans” on Thursday. 

These changes are the product of an executive order President Joe Biden signed hours after taking office with the goal of advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities across the federal government.

The Justice Department is improving language access to its programs to help people with limited English proficiency better report crimes. The Interior Department is providing technical assistance to Native American tribes to help them apply for grants. The Energy Department is helping low-income households access programs to weatherize their homes and save energy.

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris listen as former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act at the White House on April 5, 2022.

The Department of Education has released a document outlining its plan to increase “equity” in U.S. schools. The 19-page report explains the Education Department’s plan to implement President Biden’s “Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” The administration has been tasked with strategizing equitable outcomes via intervention by the federal government into institutions perceived as biased.

“As we enter a new era of possibility for our nation, education must be at the forefront of our recovery, rebuilding and resiliency efforts,” the department wrote in the report. “To meet this potential, our nation’s education system must reckon with and address the long-standing disparities that students from underserved communities face in achieving equal education opportunity.”

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