New York, NY – This week as President Biden enters his second year in office, Race Forward and PolicyLink launched a new report on their efforts to support the advancement of racial equity within the federal government. The report, Advancing Equity in Year 2 of the Biden Administration, outlines how the Biden Administration can hold itself accountable to its equity commitments and build on this foundation to ensure the federal government serves all people.
On his first day in office, Biden issued Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, announcing his intention to make advancing racial equity one of his immediate priorities and making Biden the first American President to formally embrace racial equity. Throughout 2021, Biden has issued several other executive orders and passed transformative recovery bills to invest in communities, families and workers. Race Forward and PolicyLink are committed to ensuring these efforts are sustained.
“This report provides a framework to help civil servants confront racism at the federal level by addressing the root of inequities–the current institutions and structures in place,” said Carlton Eley, Senior Director for Federal Strategies at Race Forward. “The goal is for the administration to use the report as a guide to actively work towards dismantling institutional racism at the federal level in their commitment to achieve racial equity.”
PolicyLink and Race Forward have been honored to work closely with the Biden Administration to inform his historic executive order making equity and racial justice “the responsibility of the whole of our government.” As a response to the distribution of the Executive Order on Racial Equity last year, Race Forward and PolicyLink announced the launch of The Federal Initiative to Govern for Racial Equity in September of 2021 with the goal of creating sustainable change for racial equity in federal government structure, policy and practice. As a part of that launch, over the past few months, Race Forward and PolicyLink have built on that initiative by releasing this report on advancing racial equity, and by planning to release more tools in the coming months.
The report includes actions the Biden Administration can take to advance equity, such as:
- Provide clarity and guidance to ensure standard application of Racial Equity Impact Assessments across the government.
- Continue to urge the Senate to pass the Equality Act, which would create sweeping protections for LGBTQ people in housing, education, health care and more.
- Expand health-care coverage and invest in community health interventions.
- Support existing legislation including the BREATHE Act, the Community Emergency Response Act, and the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act
- Issue an executive order to cancel federal student loan debt, which disproportionately affects people of color.
- And many more.
More details on the report will be discussed at an event co-hosted by Race Forward and PolicyLink, “Racial Equity: “The Whole of Government Responsibility," taking place on February 3—the 152nd Anniversary of the passage of the 15th Amendment, with the failure of the Senate to move national voting rights legislation forward in the backdrop—Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Nsé Ufot of the New Georgia Project will join Race Forward and PolicyLink to reflect on the past year and the work ahead.
About Race Forward:
Race Forward, catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we bring systemic analysis and innovative approaches to complex race issues to build strategies and help people take effective action to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.
PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®.