Author: Stacey M. Brown     Published: 2/15/2024    Washington Informer Newspaper

**FILE** President Joe Biden (left) and Vice President Kamala Harris (Courtesy of Mark Mahoney)

The Biden-Harris administration has unveiled its Equity Action Plans for federal agencies in a continued push for equity and racial justice. This release marks the first anniversary of President Biden’s second Executive Order on Equity, outlining strategies to address systemic barriers and promote inclusivity in policies and programs.

Since taking office, officials tout how the administration has championed an equity and racial justice agenda, ensuring equal opportunities for all communities. However, they acknowledged that, despite progress, historical disparities persist in laws and public policies, hindering the advancement of underserved communities.

In a fact sheet released Wednesday, administration officials said the White House has actively implemented two historic Executive Orders on equity, the President’s Investing in America Agenda, and key legislation to advance opportunity and fulfill Biden’s promise of America for everyone.

“Since day one of our administration, President Biden and I have been fully committed to ensuring that every person in America has equitable access to opportunity and the ability to thrive,” Vice President Kamala Harris remarked.

On the first anniversary of the second equity executive order, federal agencies, including all cabinet-level agencies, released their 2023 equity action plans. The White House said these plans include measures to increase access to federal contracting dollars, address discrimination in the housing market, promote environmental justice, tackle health disparities, bolster civil rights enforcement, and combat bias in technology.

The administration also released a White House Progress Report on Equity, showcasing over 650 actions taken by agencies since the release of their 2022 Equity Action Plans. The actions range from increasing access to federal funding for small, disadvantaged businesses to addressing health disparities and promoting fairness in the justice system.

In her statement, Harris celebrated the past year’s accomplishments and reiterated the commitment to addressing remaining barriers.

“Together, we will continue to advance equity across the federal government, not only in hiring and appointments but in the historic investments we are making in communities that had been overlooked for far too long,” she stated.