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President Biden Signs Executive Order to Advance Racial Equity and Support Underserved Communities

On Thursday, February 16th, President Joe Biden signed an executive order titled “Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through The Federal Government.”[0] This order seeks to expand the administration’s “equity-advancing requirements for agencies” with an aim to increase federal procurement expenditures going to small and disadvantaged enterprises by 50% by the year 2025. The order also directs agencies to produce an annual public Equity Action Plan that will assess and include actions to address the barriers underserved communities may face in accessing and benefitting from the agency’s policies, programs, and activities.[1]

The order creates a new “Agency Equity Team” within federal agencies. This team is required to “coordinate the implementation of equity initiatives and ensure that their respective agencies are delivering equitable outcomes for the American people.” The team is also tasked with training and leadership development to promote inclusivity of disabled people and those with language barriers while preventing algorithmic discrimination in automated technology.[2]

In addition to the Agency Equity Team, the order also creates a “White House Steering Committee on Equity,” chaired by Susan Rice.[3] This committee is charged with “coordinating efforts to embed ‘equity’ at every agency.”[3]

The order also establishes the president’s goal of increasing the share of federal contracting dollars awarded to small disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent by 2025, and instructs agencies to expand procurement opportunities for small disadvantaged businesses through grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and other investments and programs that flow through states and local entities.

Moreover, the order directs the Working Group on Equitable Data, which is housed within the National Science and Technology Council, to facilitate better collection, analysis, and use of demographic data to advance equity, and to regularly report on progress to the White House and the American public.[4] Additionally, the order mentions the historic achievements for LGBTQ Americans during the Biden-Harris administration, and recognizes that attaining equity is not a one- or two-year undertaking.[5]

Finally, buried within the order is a directive for federal agencies to implement what’s called the “Justice40 Initiative”, an effort by left-wing activists to advance neo-Marxist policies under the guise of “environmental justice.[6]

0. “President Biden Doubles Down on Advancing Equity Throughout the Federal Government” GovExec.com, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.govexec.com/management/2023/02/president-biden-doubles-down-advancing-equity-throughout-federal-government/383059/

1. “Biden executive order seeks to strengthen federal racial equity, anti-poverty efforts” UPI News, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2023/02/16/Biden-executive-order-racial-equity/3631676561891/

2. “Biden Orders Federal Agencies To Ensure Their Use Of AI ‘Advances Equity’” The Maine Wire, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.themainewire.com/2023/02/biden-orders-federal-agencies-to-ensure-their-use-of-ai-advances-equity

3. “New Racist Biden EO Installs Equity Czars in Every Federal Agency and Converts Entire Exec Branch Into Woke DEI …” America First Legal, 17 Feb. 2023, https://aflegal.org/new-racist-biden-eo-installs-equity-czars-in-every-federal-agency-and-converts-entire-exec-branch-into-woke-dei-cult-afl-vows-relentless-opposition

4. “Biden's equity executive order includes data, AI provisions” FCW.com, 16 Feb. 2023, https://fcw.com/digital-government/2023/02/bidens-equity-executive-order-includes-data-ai-provisions/383044/

5. “New Executive Order Recommits Biden-Harris Administration to Fighting for Equity” Georgia Voice, 17 Feb. 2023, https://thegavoice.com/news/national/new-executive-order-recommits-biden-harris-administration-to-fighting-for-equity

6. “Biden's ‘Equity' Executive Order Is Systemic Racism In Disguise” The Federalist, 20 Feb. 2023, https://thefederalist.com/2023/02/20/bidens-new-equity-executive-order-is-systemic-racism-in-disguise/