Justice Week At-A-Glance
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Economic Impact and Diversity hosted its first ever Justice Week from Monday, September 12, 2022 through Friday, September 16, 2022. The five-day event convened external and internal stakeholders to discuss the Department’s justice and equity efforts and the best path toward a new energy system.
DOE is committed to advancing environmental justice and tackling the climate crisis through equity-centered solutions, including the implementation of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative and DOE’s Equity Action Plan (EAP). Two days of Justice Week programming were dedicated to diving deeper into these initiatives and reviewing the actions the Department has made to date, connecting with external stakeholders and gaining insights about optimizing DOE’s equity and justice efforts.
The agenda for Justice Week’s virtual external events included keynotes by DOE senior leaders, panel discussions with equity and justice organizations, community engagement sessions and much more. The event programming focused on highlighting the work the Department is doing to advance justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility and hearing first-hand from the community about the best path toward overcoming our energy justice and equity challenges.
Day 3 of Justice Week: Discussing DOE’s Equity Action Plan
On Day 3 of Justice Week, attendees took part in discussions about pathways to advancing racial equity, providing meaningful support for underserved communities, and learning more about DOE’s Equity Action Plan (EAP).
DOE’s Deputy Secretary, David. M. Turk and Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity and Secretarial Advisor on Equity, Shalanda Baker echoed similar messaging about the importance of achieving equity and justice for underserved and overburdened communities as we transform the energy system.
The highlight of the day came during the Equity Action Plan Town Hall with external stakeholders who shared their thoughts about optimizing DOE’s engagement efforts and implementing the Equity Action Plan. DOE welcomed more than 400 stakeholders to the virtual town hall and attendees participated in small group sessions on a variety of topics.
“We see you! We hear you! We are doing a lot here in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. But we have 400 years of inequity and inequality to overcome. So, we have to do a lot, and we have to do more. We look forward to being in partnership,” said Director Shalanda Baker.
Day 5 of Justice Week: Advancing Racial Equity and Providing Support for Underserved Communities
DOE’s Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm kicked off the final day of Justice Week with opening remarks and shared her thoughts about the importance of meeting the Department’s equity and justice goals. “I hope the past few days have demonstrated that equity is truly our north star at the Department under the Biden Administration. From day one we have looked to equity as our guide at DOE and with the Justice40 initiative, we have a clearer roadmap for driving equity and justice forward,” said Secretary Granholm. “We are so deeply committed to working with communities as we strive to make this vision of a healthy planet, a just economy and an equal society all a reality,” she concluded.
Xiye Bastida, Climate Justice Activist, Co-founder of Re-Earth Initiative provided the keynote address and challenged listeners to reimagine the world and think about how we approach equity and justice in our daily lives. “We are here as youths not just to be inspiring but to be challengers! We are here to cut through the noise, to keep pushing forward, to hold politicians accountable and to remind everybody that the climate justice aspect cannot be missing from any single bill,” said Xiye. Click below to watch the full keynote address.
DOE’s Justice Week laid the foundation for the important and critical work ahead to implement the equity and justice policies established by the Biden Administration. We are excited about the work we are doing in advancing equity and tackling the climate crisis through equity-centered solutions. To learn more about our efforts, visit the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity and Justice Week websites.
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