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U.S. Department of Commerce Releases 2023 Update to Equity Action Plan, Outlines New Commitments to Advance Equity


Today the U.S. Department of Commerce released the 2023 update to its Equity Action Plan, in coordination with the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government equity agenda. This Equity Action Plan is part of the Department’s efforts to implement the President’s Executive Order on “Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through The Federal Government,” which reaffirmed the Administration’s commitment to deliver equity and build an America in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.

“Homogeneity is the enemy of innovation. If we are to out-build, out-innovate, and out-compete the rest of the world, we need to ensure we’re harnessing and empowering Americans across the country by utilizing our greatest strength - diversity,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “That’s why the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to equity is so important and why I’m proud to see that reflected in this updated action plan. We fail to meet our full potential as a nation unless we harness the talents and strengths of all parts of the country, including those who have too often been left behind.”

Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves will participate in an event at the White House this morning to outline the updated Equity Action Plan, where he will be accompanied by Donna Ennis, Co-Director of the Georgia Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing (Georgia AIM), who is a winner of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC). The presentation will highlight  workforce pipelines put in place to ensure all Americans, including people from underserved communities, can participate in the innovation economy.

“Thanks to President Biden’s continued and steadfast commitment to supporting underserved and underrepresented communities, this Administration has made historic progress to achieving equity centered initiatives,” said Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves. “Through investments in business grants and funding opportunities, the Secretary and I are proud of the Commerce Department’s efforts in promoting equitable and inclusive capitalism that will pave the path to America’s economic prosperity.”

In alignment with the Department of Commerce’s strategic goals, the Equity Action Plan includes real-life examples of how America’s economy and people are best served by filtering our work through a prism of equity. America’s diversity is its competitive advantage – but only if everyone has an opportunity to fulfill their potential and fully participate in our economy.

The equity strategies associated with each strategic goal will assist in designing programs that will address barriers to equity and meet the needs of all Americans, including underserved communities.

  • Equity Strategy 1: Mobilize our nation’s diversity to fuel innovation and sustain our global competitiveness across geographic regions so that all communities have equal access to opportunities.
  • Equity Strategy 2: Expand growth opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs, including in underserved communities.
  • Equity Strategy 3: Promote equitable economic development and career pathways to good jobs.
  • Equity Strategy 4: Use targeted investments and program design to address the climate crisis through mitigation, adaptation, and resilience efforts to ensure environmental and economic resilience.
  • Equity Strategy 5: Expand opportunity and discovery through data to inform and evaluate actions that improve community outcomes.

Since the release of its first-ever Equity Action Plan in 2022, the Department of Commerce has:

  • Released $3 billion in American Rescue Plan dollars across 780 awards through six innovative economic development programs.
  • Reduced the cost of bringing high-speed internet to unserved and underserved communities, and increased the resilience of internet infrastructure.
  • Invested $100 million to support the needs of tribal governments and Indigenous communities across 51 awards in 25 states and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Learn more about the Administration’s equity work at whitehouse.gov/equity and check out all Federal Equity Action Plans at performance.gov/equity.

To follow stories and posts across agencies, follow the hashtags #GovEquity and #GovDelivers on social media.