Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Equity Commission

USDA Announces Intent to Establish an Equity Commission, Solicits Nominations for Membership

The application deadline for the USDA Announcing its Intent to Establish an Equity Commission, Solicits Nominations for Membership for your consideration has been extended to November 30, 2021. See the following federal register notice: Federal Register :: Solicitation of Nominations for Membership on the Equity Commission Advisory Committee and Equity Commission Subcommittee on Agriculture Extension of Application Period.

To view information on how to submit a nomination, application, and other details for the commission, please visit: Equity Commission | USDA.

To view the media press release:

The Equity Commission will advise the Secretary of Agriculture by identifying USDA programs, policies, systems, structures, and practices that contribute to barriers to inclusion or access, systemic discrimination, or exacerbate or perpetuate racial, economic, health and social disparities. The Subcommittee on Agriculture will be formed concurrently and will report back to the Equity Commission and provide recommendations on issues of concern related to agriculture. There will also be subsequent subcommittees on other policy areas. The Equity Commission will deliver an interim report and recommendations within 12 months of inception and a final report will be produced within two years.

USDA is soliciting nominations to consider membership on both the Equity Commission and the Subcommittee on Agriculture. Both seek to reflect a diversity in demographics, regions of the country, background, and in experience and expertise. The Equity Commission and Subcommittee on Agriculture will require substantial representation from those whose mission is to serve or advocate for underserved communities, minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, individuals with limited English proficiency, rural communities, and LGBTQ+ communities. Other perspectives to capture include those from the small business community, higher education institutions, farmworker groups, and members of the American population and communities who bring their personal experiences to the discussion.

Nomination for the Equity Commission and the Subcommittee on Agriculture membership is open to the public and any interested person or organization may nominate qualified individuals for membership. The Equity and the Subcommittee on Agriculture will each be comprised of 15 members. The Deputy and the Secretary will designate a Co-Chair to serve along with the Deputy Secretary as co-chairs of the Equity Commission.

President Biden signed an Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government | The White House and committed to creating an Equity Commission as part of his rural agenda and commitment to closing the racial wealth gap and addressing longstanding inequities in agriculture. Section 1006 of the American Rescue Plan directed USDA to create the Equity Commission and funded the effort along with an additional $1 billion in funding to support forward-looking activities that will advance equity and opportunity for historically underserved farmers, ranchers, forest land owners. The funding will be utilized to remove gaps that currently exist in USDA program benefits, improve access to resources, and restore trust and confidence in the Department for groups that have not had equal access to such resources through a combination of grants, loans, pilot programs, technical assistance, cooperative agreements, and more. In June, UDSA published a Request for Information on Racial Justice and Equity and held over 15 hours of listening sessions with a wide-range of stakeholders to learn about experiences and receive feedback about its programs and services. The information collected will serve as a strong foundation for both the Equity Commission and to ensure these funds are deployed effectively and in response to the needs and priorities of underserved communities.

To view the announcement published in the Federal Registrar on September 27, 2021:

Source: USDA