One Year After Biden Administration Releases “Agency Equity Action Plans,” Civil Rights Group Calls for Data to Track Progress
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rachel Hooper, [email protected]
WASHINGTON – One year after the Biden administration released plans for agencies to advance equity, The Leadership Conference Education Fund is releasing “Data for Equity: A Review of Federal Agency Equity Action Plans.” “Data for Equity” — which makes eight specific recommendations about how federal agencies can improve the collection, analysis, and sharing of data — is the fourth in The Education Fund’s series of reports about civil rights data collection.
On President Biden’s first day in office, he released Executive Order 13985, “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” That executive order acknowledged that systemic racism and other entrenched disparities in the laws, policies, and institutions of the United States have denied equal opportunity to many. In response to that first-day order, in April 2022, more than 90 federal agencies released Agency Equity Action Plans that identify each agency’s priority actions to advance equity. This report is grounded in a detailed review of 45 of these plans and makes eight recommendations for federal agencies:
- Improve data collection on key topics across agencies
- Assist agencies in expanding the collection of data necessary to assess equity
- Collect more disaggregated data, including on MENA, AANHPI, and SOGI
- Consider language and disability access in all data collections and study ways to improve response rates
- Give agencies resources to conduct equity assessments
- Cost-benefit analysis must be reformed to account for concerns about equity and justice
- Ensure big data and algorithms do not entrench inequity
- Agencies should increase data accessibility by building more user-friendly tools
“These action plans are vital to advance equity and civil rights, yet the government isn’t collecting or disaggregating the data needed to track or assess impact,” said Meeta Anand, senior director of the census and data equity program at The Leadership Conference Education Fund. “What isn’t measured isn’t seen. We urge the Biden administration to take a long hard look at how it can best measure its efforts to improve equity within and across communities. We hope that Data for Equity and its recommendations will assist agencies in making progress towards a more equitable future for all.”
For more information:
- Read the full report here.
- Read a blog post about today’s report here.
- Read the new fact sheet, “Data Disaggregation: A Blueprint for Government Agencies,” here.
The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal and state policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit civilrights.org/edfund/.