Delta Regional Authority Releases Equity Action Plan

April 14, 2022

DRA joins over 90 Federal agencies in historic release supporting the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government equity agenda. 

CLARKSDALE, MS – Today, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) joined over 90 Federal agencies in a historic release of its Equity Action Plan to support the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government equity agenda.  The plan acknowledges barriers to equitable outcomes and commits to undertaking strategic actions to minimize these barriers both in the mid-term and long-term.

“While the Delta has many abundant assets, it also has deeply entrenched obstacles that limit access to opportunity for some, including generational poverty and racial inequity, that is exacerbated by inadequate infrastructure, lack of access to quality education and healthcare, and limited employment opportunities,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Dr. Corey Wiggins.  “Delta Regional Authority’s Equity Action Plan is only the first step in making appropriate programmatic and policy-related changes that will support our equity agenda focused on listening to all stakeholders, operationalizing equity in practice and policy, and increasing participation from marginalized groups throughout the Delta region.”

On the first day of the Biden-Harris Administration, President Biden signed Executive Order 13985 on “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” calling for a comprehensive approach for the Federal Government to transform itself – for fairness and equity to become not just ideals, but principles embedded in the daily practices by which Government serves the people.  The Executive Order charged the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in partnership with heads of agencies, to identify by July 2021 effective methods for assessing whether agency policies and actions (e.g., programs, services processed, and operations) equitably serve all eligible individuals and communities, particularly those of that are currently and historically underserved.

DRA’s Equity Action Plan will:

  • Revise programmatic guidelines to increase engagement with HBCUs and Federally-recognized tribes.
  • Devise a more inclusive stakeholder outreach strategy and revise programmatic guidelines to increase engagement with BIPOC, LGBTQ+, faith-based organizations, and other marginalized groups.
  • Revise programmatic guidelines to increase investment in persistent poverty counties and parishes.

Opportunities for stakeholder engagement related to the equity action plan are forthcoming.

To read DRA’s Equity Action Plan:  https://www.dra.gov/equity

To learn more about the Biden-Harris Administration’s Equity Agenda:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/equity

To learn more about government-wide equity efforts:  https://www.performance.gov/equity

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About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions.  DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public  infrastructure, workforce training, and business development.  DRA’s mission is to help create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of those who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state region.

DRA Media Contact:
Shawna Blair
202-515-1354
sblair@dra.gov