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Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government

On the first day of his Presidency, President Biden signed Executive Order 13985 Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. This Executive Order charges the Federal government 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.

“Equity” means the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

Executive Order 13985 called for agencies to produce a plan within one year to address any barriers to full and equal participation in a selection of the agency’s programs and policies. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is uniquely positioned to help rebuild, empower, and support the federal workforce. By implementing the actions and goals outlined in this equity action plan, OPM will do its part to advance a whole-of-government approach to advance equity for all.

OPM’s equity work was coordinated as an agency-wide initiative through the Office of the Director. The OPM Equity Team was composed of senior executive leaders, subject matter experts, and specialists spanning multiple offices. OPM gratefully recognizes the key contributions of the following offices: HR Solutions; Retirement Services; Healthcare & Insurance; the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility; the Office of the General Counsel; the Office of Human Capital Data Management and Modernization; and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Budget & Performance.

In carrying out this order, OPM consulted with members of communities that have been historically underrepresented in the Federal Government and underserved by Federal policies and programs. OPM plans to continue to meaningfully engage members of underserved communities related to the equity action areas outlined in the plan.

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