Civil rights groups praised President Joe Biden’s order to conduct racial justice, but said it was just a start to improving the playing field for minority communities.
On the first day of his tenure, Biden ordered every federal ministry and agency to review their policies and programs to see if they maintain systemic barriers against “underserved communities.” This is an early step in keeping the new president’s promise to promote racial justice.
“The order of the executive was a good move as it will force the agencies to conduct an audit and report. And if they do, it could create a foundation for public order, ”said Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League.
“To the best of my knowledge, no president has done this before. I don’t know what President Johnson could have done in the 1960s when the civil rights law was passed. But no president has ever been so explicit for me. “
Involving all departments to carry out cross-agency equity reviews is also an important step, civil rights activists praised the scope of the order.
“If you tell us about Finance, you will have more opportunities to do business and close the wealth gap. With Education, we can eliminate the diversity and quality of education our children are offered, ”said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of NAACP.
“We cannot prioritize one agency over the other when, in fact, each agency could have a positive impact on accelerating opportunities, closing gaps and removing structural barriers.”
The regulation calls on the agencies to examine equity in terms of “race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability”. Federal agencies will look for potential barriers to communities and individuals seeking or accessing services and services, or agency sourcing and procurement opportunities, and assessing the resources available to them.
The reviews should determine whether any new policies, regulations or guidance are needed to boost equity. Results must be sent to the President’s Assistant for Home Affairs by August 8th.
The full impact of the reviews on each agency and affected communities remains to be seen, said David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition.
“This is why the combined protection language and cross-agency assessments matter,” said Johns. “The agency that needs it most depends on who in America you ask to answer the question.”
Johns added that the impact could affect many different groups, for example, members of the Black LGTBQ community could benefit from assessments from authorities to help bridge the digital divide for children, find equitable housing and better access to health care to reduce the spread of sexual diseases. The Justice Department might also find the need to decriminalize and legalize sex work so that individuals can do their jobs in safer and safer environments.
“For a black lesbian couple working from home with children during the pandemic, the digital divide and any bureaucracy making it difficult for their children to attend school virtually and safely is more pressing,” said Johns.
Proponents said the review is just the first step in making sure the agencies are promoting equity and removing barriers to underserved communities.
“It is important that every agency goes through this process thoroughly and sensibly, and that the people of America are kept informed of the progress and the impact on our lives,” said Johns.
Organizations like the National Urban League, NAACP, National Black Justice Coalition, and Rainbow PUSH look forward to working with the Biden administration to improve racial justice.
The Executive Ordinance urges the head of each agency to consider ways of coordinating and working with community-level organizations and civil rights organizations.
“Depending on what you find, this could be very meaningful and meaningful to the black community. We can say there have been loopholes, but the Biden administration is investigating the barriers holding the community back, ”said Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., President and Founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
“This is a big deal and we will continue to work with the administration in the future.”
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