Friday, February 17, 2023

Executive Order on Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through The Federal Government


FEBRUARY 16, 2023

Executive Order on Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through The Federal Government



By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows: 


Section 1.  Policy.  On my first day in office, I signed Executive Order 13985 of January 20, 2021 (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government), which charged the Federal Government with advancing equity for all, including communities that have long been underserved, and addressing systemic racism in our Nation’s policies and programs.By advancing equity, the Federal Government can support and empower all Americans, including the many communities in America that have been underserved, discriminated against, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.  We can also deliver resources and benefits equitably to the people of the United States and rebuild trust in Government.

     Over the past 2 years, through landmark legislation — including the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117‑2); the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Public Law 117-58) (Bipartisan Infrastructure Law); division A of Public Law 117-167, known as the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act of 2022; Public Law 117-169, commonly referred to as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022; and the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (Public Law 117-159) — as well as executive action, my Administration has vigorously championed racial equity and has advanced equal opportunity for underserved communities.  Executive departments and agencies (agencies) have engaged in historic work assessing how their policies and programs perpetuate barriers for underserved communities and developing strategies for removing those barriers.  They have made important progress incorporating an evidence-based approach to equitable policymaking and implementation, and they have crafted new action plans to advance equity.  In short, my Administration has embedded a focus on equity into the fabric of Federal policymaking and service delivery.  Our work to transform the way the Federal Government serves the American people has been complemented by Executive Order 14035 of June 25, 2021 (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce), which continues to help ensure that my Administration — the most diverse in our Nation’s history — reflects the growing diversity of the communities we serve.

     My Administration’s commitment to equity has produced better decision-making and more equitable outcomes.  We have delivered the most equitable economic recovery in memory, and, driven by the expanded Child Tax Credit, we cut child poverty to its lowest rate on record in 2021, including record low Black, Latino, Native American, and rural child poverty.  Under my Administration, the economy has created nearly 11 million jobs, and we have brought down unemployment nationwide — in particular for Black and Latino workers, for whom unemployment rates are near 50-year lows.  My Administration has provided emergency rental assistance to help millions of families stay in their homes, and we have prohibited Federal contractors from paying people with disabilities subminimum wages.  We are rebuilding roads and bridges, replacing the Nation’s lead pipes to provide clean drinking water for all, delivering access to affordable high-speed internet to Americans in both rural and urban communities, investing in public transit, and reconnecting communities previously cut off from economic opportunity by highways, rail lines, or disinvestment.  My Administration has provided funding to improve accessibility for passengers with disabilities on rail systems and in airports, expanded health coverage for millions of Americans, and expanded home- and community-based services so more people with disabilities and older adults can live independently.  We have secured billions of dollars in direct new investments for Tribal Nations and Native American communities and have directed an increase in the share of Federal Government contract spending awarded to small disadvantaged businesses.  My Administration has taken action to strengthen public safety, advance criminal justice reform, correct our country’s failed approach to marijuana, protect civil rights, and stand up against rising extremism and hate-fueled violence that threaten the fabric of our democracy.  We have taken historic steps to advance full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) Americans, including by ending the ban on transgender service members in our military; prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics across Federal programs; and signing into law the Respect for Marriage Act (Public Law 117-228) to preserve protections for the rights of same-sex and interracial couples.  My Administration is also implementing the first-ever National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, have the opportunity to realize their full potential.

     These transformative achievements have advanced the work of building a more equitable Nation.  Yet, members of underserved communities — many of whom have endured generations of discrimination and disinvestment — still confront significant barriers to realizing the full promise of our great Nation, and the Federal Government has a responsibility to remove these barriers.  It is imperative to reject the narrow, cramped view of American opportunity as a zero-sum game.  When any person or community is denied freedom, dignity, and prosperity, our entire Nation is held back.  But when we lift each other up, we are all lifted up.  Therefore, my Administration must take additional action across the Federal Government — in collaboration with civil society, the private sector, and State and local government — to continue the work begun with Executive Order 13985 to combat discrimination and advance equal opportunity, including by redressing unfair disparities and removing barriers to Government programs and services.  Achieving racial equity and support for underserved communities is not a one-time project.  It must be a multi-generational commitment, and it must remain the responsibility of agencies across the Federal Government.  It therefore continues to be the policy of my Administration to advance an ambitious, whole-of-government approach to racial equity and support for underserved communities and to continuously embed equity into all aspects of Federal decision-making.

     This order builds upon my previous equity-related Executive Orders by extending and strengthening equity-advancing requirements for agencies, and it positions agencies to deliver better outcomes for the American people.  In doing so, the Federal Government shall continue to pursue ambitious goals to build a strong, fair, and inclusive workforce and economy; invest in communities where Federal policies have historically impeded equal opportunity — both rural and urban — in ways that mitigate economic displacement, expand access to capital, preserve housing and neighborhood affordability, root out discrimination in the housing market, and build community wealth; advance equity in health, including mental and behavioral health and well-being; deliver an equitable response to the COVID-19 pandemic; deliver environmental justice and implement the Justice40 Initiative; build prosperity in rural communities; ensure equitable procurement practices, including through small disadvantaged businesses contracting and the Buy Indian Act (25 U.S.C. 47); pursue educational equity so that our Nation’s schools put every student on a path to success; improve our Nation’s criminal justice system to end unjust disparities, strengthen public safety, and ensure equal justice under law; promote equity in science and root out bias in the design and use of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence; protect the right to vote and realize the promise of our Nation’s civil rights laws; and promote equity and human rights around the world through our foreign policy and foreign assistance.  By redoubling our efforts, the Federal Government can help bridge the gap between the world we see and the future we seek.

     Sec2.  Establishing Equity-Focused Leadership Across the Federal Government.  (a)  Establishment of Agency Equity Teams.  The Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, the Commissioner of Social Security, the Administrator of General Services, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Director of the National Science Foundation, and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (agency heads) shall, within 30 days of the date of this order, ensure that they have in place an Agency Equity Team within their respective agencies to coordinate the implementation of equity initiatives and ensure that their respective agencies are delivering equitable outcomes for the American people. 


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