A civil rights collaborative is calling on President Joe Biden and his administration to establish a White House Office on Racial Equity and Inclusion.
The Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative, self-described as the foremost diverse coalition of national racial justice and civil rights organizations, sent a memo to the Biden administration outlining actions it wants to see the White House address. Those include creating an office on racial inequality to coordinate and advance racial equity.
The collaborative said the request is based on Biden’s promise to confront systemic racism and in Biden’s own words, heal the “soul of our nation.”
America’s racial inequities and systemic racism were exposed by the coronavirus and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement last summer. While the pandemic was killing a disproportionate number of Black Americans, the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality.
The power of minority voters was also on display during the presidential election as Biden received minority support in several swing states including Georgia, Wisconsin, and Michigan that carried him to victory. All three and several other swing states were won by Trump in the 2016 election.
According to the group, generations of systemic racism have left Black, Latino, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Native American, and others behind and the U.S government has helped shape those policies.
The Biden-Harris administration has made good on its promises, including creating the most diverse cabinet in U.S. history and signing executive orders concerning racial inequality and unfair housing.
The collaborative, however, believes there is much more to be done and in its memo asks the administration to also develop a racial equity vision and assist and support federal agencies to assess readiness to advance racial equity work and setting measurable goals.
“We stand in solidarity and in support of an approach to racial equality that lifts up all people and provides equal opportunities for growth and prosperity in every function of the administration,” the memo states. “The Anchors, Advancement Project, National Office; Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum; Demos; Faith In Action; NAACP; National Congress of American Indians; National Urban League, Race Forward and UnidosUS, are ready, willing, and able to assist the Biden/Harris administration in implementing our recommendations.”