Thursday Worksheet 12: Social equity in the Biden administration

Instructions –Follow the instructions below, answer the questions. and submit your answer as a text submission to D2L. Feel free to work with your classmates. You can submit until midnight tonight Thursday night.

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On Tuesday, we took a look at social equity within the federal government, identifying ways that federal policy has contributed to social inequity, as well as some of the policies that the federal government has implemented to address social inequity. The Biden administration has been very active in promoting social equity among federal agencies. Today we’ll take a closer look at some of the Biden administration’s initiatives in this area.

1. You can find a nice summary of the Biden administration’s executive orders and actions on social equity here: https://www.boisestate.edu/bsi/blog/2021/03/29/equitybased-executive-orders-an-overview/ So far, the Biden administration has issued 10 executive orders pertaining to social equity. List those executive orders below, using the example provided Example: Executive order 14020: Establishes a White House gender policy council

2. Which groups does the Biden administration target, and why?

3. Why do you think that the Biden administration has done this via executive order (rather than by pushing legislation through Congress)?

4. Click on the information for Executive Order 13985. Read the introductory text for this EO.

a. What does Biden mean when he refers to a “ whole-of government equity agenda”?

b. Read the text starting with “By advancing equity across the federal government.” What is the goal of this executive order?

c. What are agencies required to do under this executive order?

5. Scroll to Section 5 of this EO. What are agencies instructed to do?

6. The Department of Interior is one agency that has filed its initial report under EO 13985. You can find its initial report here: https://www.doi.gov/ppa/equity/13985

a. What actions is the Department taking under the EO?

b. What are the “listening sessions” the Department has had?

7. The Biden administration proposes a new direction for addressing social equity in the federal government. Previously – under the Civil Right Act – the federal government focused on prohibiting agencies from engaging in intentional acts of discrimination. How is the approach in EO 13985 different?

8. Do you think that the Biden administration’s approach is appropriate for addressing social inequities in the 21st century? Why or why not?

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