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Orders Centered on Racial Justice Underscore Biden Administration’s Commitment to Addressing Longstanding Inequities, Injustices

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A series of executive orders and actions unveiled today underscore President Joe Biden’s commitment to addressing the longstanding racial injustices and inequities Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and other marginalized and frontline communities have endured for generations. The National Wildlife Federation urged the Biden Administration to build on these initial steps to address the racial injustice crisis.

“The pandemic has only made clearer the vast disparity in the health and environmental challenges that communities of color face,”  said Simone Lightfoot, national director of urban initiatives and environmental justice for the National Wildlife Federation. “These actions — the first of what we hope will be many — show the Biden Administration is not only dedicated to addressing the challenges facing Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other communities of color, but also that it is listening to what these communities need. We look forward to working with the administration on continuing to address the issues that impact communities of color by prioritizing environmental justice and access issues.” 

“Indigenous Peoples are the original caretakers of the land and wildlife, and history has shown that inadequate consultation with Tribes can lead to devastating outcomes for the environment and Tribal communities,” said Garrit Voggesser, national director for tribal partnerships at the National Wildlife Federation. “The Biden Administration’s steps today to strengthen partnerships and consultation with Tribal governments are not only important to maintaining the federal government’s trust responsibility to Tribes, but to righting a historic wrong and creating a shared future. Partnering with and elevating the voices of Native communities is fundamental to truly making progress in conservation, public health, and environmental justice.” 

The National Wildlife Federation, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and partner organizations urged lawmakers last year to address the historic and ongoing injustices facing Black, Brown and Indigenous communities and prioritize environmental justice. The organizations highlighted a series of recommendations from frontline communities in a report stemming from a series of national and regional environmental justice roundtables.

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