Under the Biden administration, more than 90 federal agencies have pledged their commitment to equity by adopting action plans that put gender, race and other such factors at the center of their governmental missions.
The Equity Action Plans, which have received little notice since they were posted online last month following a document request from RealClearInvestigations, represent a “whole of government” fight against “entrenched disparities” and the “unbearable human costs of systemic racism.”
The equity blueprints show that:
- The U.S. State Department is keen on exporting American-style gender and race consciousness into foreign diplomacy and across the globe. Citing “identity” and “intersections of marginalization” as focal points, State Department officials acknowledge that promoting these Western concepts in foreign lands may clash with “societal norms” and elicit an “unwillingness to cede power by dominant groups.”
- The Environmental Protection Agency plans to tap into “community science” from tribal nations and other interest groups, in addition to relying on academic peer-reviewed research. As the agency shifts its enforcement focus from responding to complaints to proactively initiating its own investigations, the EPA plans to fund “community scientists” to supply evidence of what it calls environmental racism and other corporate practices to be targeted for federal investigation.
- The Smithsonian Institution is embedding diversity and equity in “everything we do” across the labs and collections that make up the world’s largest museum complex. The Smithsonian has, like other agencies, enthroned a Head Diversity Officer position to coordinate these efforts, and will refocus its energies to explore “how race has informed all our lives” and affirm “the centrality of race in America.”
The Equity Action Plans are a response to an executive order President Biden signed on his first day of office in January 2021, committing his administration to pursuing “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.”