When I joined the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2021 as the nation’s first-ever Deputy Director for Energy Justice, President Biden tasked me with building an equitable, just, clean energy economy. I am thrilled to report on the progress DOE has made toward advancing our energy justice and equity goals.
To start, I achieved a personal milestone when the U.S. Senate confirmed me as DOE’s Director of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED) in June 2022, which gave me the opportunity to accelerate our environmental justice efforts and tackle the climate crisis through equity-centered solutions. This included the implementation of President Biden’s historic Justice40 Initiative and DOE’s first-ever Equity Action Plan.
Before we dive into all that our office has accomplished in 2022, let’s take a minute to reflect on our previous successes. In 2021, ED built DOE’s equity and Justice40 team, which doubled our staff size and created additional capacity to do this mission-critical work. We also developed a framework to embed equity in DOE processes and programs and established our strategic priorities to help guide our work. In entirety, our 2021 achievements laid a solid foundation for the work we have accomplished so far this year, and our achievements to date will do the same as we look to the year ahead.
So, please join me in celebrating all that we have accomplished in 2022 with our year in review blog featured below. From connecting with our external stakeholders to implement the Justice40 Initiative, all the way to ED senior leadership providing keynote remarks and serving as a panelist in over 160 events, we have been working across the DOE enterprise to drive change and integrate equity in all that we do.
There’s a lot to be proud of, and our continued focus will be on helping DOE prioritize equity and place-based strategies in our investments to model a clean energy transition that delivers real benefits to frontline communities—especially those historically impacted by the legacy of pollution and environmental injustice.
Let’s dive in, and I look forward to carrying ED’s progress forward into 2023.
2022 Year in Review
Implementing Justice40 Initiative and Equity
In July 2022, DOE released a list of 144 Justice40 covered programs across 23 program offices that support President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure Federal agencies deliver 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities.
Explore DOE’s full list of covered programs here.
ED also developed several products to facilitate sharing Justice40-related information for both internal and external stakeholders that include:
- DOE’s Justice40 webpage provides information for both internal and external stakeholders. The page includes general guidance on Justice40 implementation, environmental justice fact sheets, and highlights of DOE funding and environmental justice activities.
- The Disadvantaged Communities Reporter and Mapping Tool helps internal and external stakeholders visualize the location of disadvantaged communities to be targeted for Justice40 covered investments and related benefits. Users may explore and produce reports on the census tracts DOE has categorized as disadvantaged communities.
- DOE’s Office of Management and Budget Justice40 Technical Guidance document assists program managers with integrating the principles of Justice40 into program design.
Justice Week 2022: Prioritizing Energy Justice and Equity
ED hosted its first-ever Justice Week in mid-September. The five-day event convened nearly 4,000 external and internal stakeholders to discuss DOE’s justice and equity efforts and the best path toward a new energy system.
Click here to watch the event recordings and more.
Ramping Up Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Efforts
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Strategic Plan
In September 2022, DOE released its first-ever Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan to underscore the Department’s commitment to creating a workplace that celebrates Americans of all backgrounds.
Read DOE’s full DEIA Strategic Plan here.
DOE’s Equity Action Plan
In support of President Biden’s Executive Order to advance racial equity, on April 14, 2022, DOE released its Equity Action Plan designed to ensure that the agency eliminates barriers to access, transforms programs and policies to open even broader pathways for underrepresented groups to access DOE resources, and stands up new programs to better serve communities.
The Equity Action Plan represents nearly a year-long process of data collection through crowdsourcing, listening sessions, and focus groups across the Department and the public.
DOE’s Equity Plan outlines five priority actions to advance equity that will be carried out over the next several years. Click here to find out what they are and to read DOE’s full Equity Action Plan.
Community-Based Solutions for Minority Businesses
ED hosted nine Technical Assistance (TA) webinars from March 2022 through May 2022 to advance equity in DOE’s procurement process. These TA webinars supported 938 Small Businesses, 327 Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), and 83 Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
ED also hosted four TA webinars in partnership with DOE National Laboratories from February 2022 to May 2022. These webinars garnered 429 attendees from MBEs, MSIs, and Small Businesses.
ED convened a research and development focused panel discussion during Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week to provide DOE’s Office of Science with a platform to amplify over $30 million in research opportunities that available to advance HBCU competitiveness in research and fellowship programs spearheaded by the Office of Science and DOE National Laboratories.
Last but certainly not least, ED oversaw financial assistance projects supporting over 1,110 participants in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics pipeline development, over 450 participants in Energy Workforce Training programs, and over 80 scholarships.
Click here to watch event recordings.
We hope you enjoyed reading our year in review blog. To stay up to date with future events, energy justice and equity initiatives, blogs and more, visit ED’s website.