In alignment with the direction of Executive Order 13985 and the USDA Equity Action Plan, the NRCS Equity Action Plan was developed using a framework to advance equity in the culture of NRCS and to act with unflinching commitment to institutional transformation.
That framework forms an approach to long-lasting, transformational change that is built upon:
- AWARENESS: Building equity awareness and analytical capacity across NRCS, fostering common understanding of key concepts such as: equity and inequity; implicit and explicit bias; individual, institutional, and systemic racism.
- CAPACITY BUILDING: Recruiting and developing leadership, staff, and stakeholders with the tools, strategies, and resources to be effective in fostering implicit equity education that will provide successful outcomes for equity, justice, and opportunity.
- ACTION: Engaging in methodical messaging to combat equity barriers and biases. Implementing equitable sustainability practices that change the scope of NRCS program processes, access, and participation. Organizing advance, deliberate, and intentional changes to NRCS policy, processes, and practices with fair equity intent.
Upon this framework, the NRCS Equity Action Plan describes five strategic goals.
Strategic Goal 1: Organizational Capacity for Equity – Enact changes throughout the breadth and organizational depth of NRCS, from the National Headquarters level to the Local level, for training and infrastructure to build employee understanding about equity goals and to create equity and inclusion experts and teams across the agency.
Strategic Goal 2: Equity Toolkits – Institutionalize use of Equity Toolkits to integrate equity into decision-making processes to change policies, programs, and practices as necessary to eliminate inequities, to prevent decisions that may create or perpetuate inequities, and to develop decisions that promote advancement of equity.
Strategic Goal 3: Equity and Inclusion Data – Implement strategic data planning and develop data-driven measurements to evaluate the success of specific programmatic and policy changes by developing baselines, setting objectives, and measuring progress toward NRCS and community goals.
Strategic Goal 4: Equity and Inclusion Partnerships – Work in collaboration with communities and other institutions at the National, Regional, State, and Local levels to ensure NRCS efforts for change are informed by the lived experiences of communities that changes seek to benefit.
Strategic Goal 5: Operationalize Equity – Communicate and act with urgency to incorporate institutional mechanisms for required continuance of education, transparency, and accountability to eliminate program, policy, and service inequities.
One of our top priorities, equity is the consistent and systematic treatment of all people in a fair, just, and impartial manner, including members of communities that have been denied such treatment. Federal agencies have been directed to ensure equity in services, planning, and decision making.Learn More