The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is requesting input from the public on how it can advance racial justice and equity for underserved communities as part of its implementation of Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.
USDA is requesting input to identify barriers that people of color and underserved communities and individuals may face in obtaining information from USDA. This includes accessing, enrolling, and participating in USDA programs and services, and engaging with USDA staff. USDA seeks to identify opportunities in current USDA policies, regulations, and guidance to address systemic inequities. USDA requests input on how to best engage external stakeholders and community members representing marginalized, vulnerable, or underserved communities in order to increase participation in USDA programs, services, committees and decision-making processes.
In the months ahead, USDA will establish a Racial Equity Commission. The Racial Equity Commission will focus specifically on addressing systemic impediments to equity in USDA programs. USDA is asking for comments on any and all interactions with USDA programs. All comments will be aggregated, summarized, and shared with USDA Leadership and the Racial Equity Commission. The Racial Equity Commission may choose to seek additional input to meet its goals and objectives. USDA will continue to reach out to stakeholders and community members for the purposes of Executive Order 13985 and to fulfill its mission.
The USDA will consider comments received by July 15, 2021. For further information on this initiative, including how to provide input, please visit the Agriculture Department’s notice in the Federal Register, here.