It’s been a little less than a week since Joe Biden became the United State’s 46th president, and he has already laid out a plan to address systemic racism. As CBS News reported, Biden signed four executive actions on Tuesday (Jan. 26) in a push for racial equity.
“I ran for president because I believe we’re in a battle for the soul of this nation,” he said. “And the simple truth is, our soul will be troubled as long as systemic racism is allowed to persist…I firmly believe the nation is ready to change, but government has to change as well.”
In one of the executive actions, Biden urges the Justice Department to end their contracts with private prisons. In another, he orders the Department of Housing and Urban Development to “take steps necessary to redress racially discriminatory federal housing policies that have contributed to wealth inequality for generations” and “fully implement the Fair Housing Act.”
The remaining actions call for regular and meaningful engagement between federal agencies and tribal governments as well as the consideration of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in all COVID[-19] response efforts.
Last week, after his inauguration, Biden signed an executive order that required race and equality to be at the center of decisions made during his term. His goal, it said, was to ”pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”
Though today’s actions have continued on that agenda, The White House confirmed that more is to come as Biden is “committed to working with Congress to pass bold legislation that advances racial equity, including increasing funding for small businesses, investing in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions, and tripling funding for Title I schools, which serve a majority of low-income students.”