U.S. DOE Publishes First Equity Action Plan that Includes Funding Commitments to Minority Serving Institutions

Source: RL Martin

On April 14, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its Equity Action Plan, which pledges to transform existing federal policies and programs so that they better service under resourced communities. DOE is just one of the 90 federal agencies that published a plan, as part of the response to President Biden’s Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. The Equity Action Plan will include a comprehensive effort to ease prohibitive application processes for funding opportunities, engage more diverse participants in DOE financial assistance programs, increase stakeholder engagement with Tribal Nations and other underrepresented groups, and expand access to DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program for low-income households. In addition to these commitments, the Equity Action Plan outlines a grant program that would provide $102 million to Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) (including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs). These funds will be used to bolster programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields and expand workforce development efforts to meet the demand for professionals working towards climate solutions. For more information on DOE’s new Equity Action Plan, see the White House press release here.