NASA has released its first-ever Equity Action Plan, in support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to advance racial equity in the federal government. The plan establishes key focus areas that will allow the agency to track progress toward improved diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility both internally and externally to NASA.
The four focus areas the plan addresses are:
- Increasing integration and utilization of contractors and businesses from underserved communities and expanding equity in NASA’s procurement process.
- Enhancing grants and cooperative agreements to advance opportunities, access, and representation for underserved communities
- Leveraging Earth Science and socioeconomic data to help mitigate environmental challenges in underserved communities.
- Advancing external civil rights compliance and expanding access to limited English proficient populations within underserved communities.
NASA will lean into the focus areas by further analysing and assessing feedback received from an initial request for information. The initial request solicited insight from the public on whether. NASA programs and policies perpetuate barriers and limit benefits for people of colour and other underserved communities.
The agency also will work to implement enhancements to policies and programs that bridge gaps and provide more opportunities within NASA, the aerospace industry and STEM fields. This action plan is the latest step in the agency’s Mission Equity initiative announced last year in response to White House Executive Order 13985 “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.”