As President Joe Biden announced plans to take actions to address persisting racial inequities, Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice steps into the role as the newly created Race Czar Created in response to demands from civil rights leaders.
During a press conference Tuesday, Rice said the president was committed to an equitable and inclusive economic recovery. Reporting for The Grio, April Ryan highlighted the federal government’s aim to address racial justice and equity across all decision making processes and agencies.
Calling for bold strategies to end systemic racism, NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson applauded Biden’s appointment of Rice
“We can no longer afford a piecemeal approach or to address these issues solely through civil rights offices,” Johnson said in a brief statement last week. “We must identify strategies for coordinating and deploying all levers of the federal government to tackle structural inequality.”
Johnson said the NAACP demanded the creation of such a position to address the ongoing challenges and barriers posed by racial inequality.
“It will require a herculean effort to eliminate the institutional barriers throughout the government that still perpetuate racial inequality,” he added. “We are elated that the Biden administration has appointed Dr. Susan Rice to lead this august challenge.”
Johnson called for Rice to have the resources and staffing necessary to carry out this task. After a December meeting with the incoming Biden Administration, the NAACP called for the creation of a position to focus on racial justice, equity, and advancement.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka echoed the call for a racial equity Czar a week before Biden’s inauguration.
While some celebrate the first steps taken by the Biden Administration with the signing of four executive orders aimed at racial justice, grassroots organizers across the country continue to push for broader changes to address systemic issues. For some, the order to end private prisons does not go far enough. Rice confirmed Tuesday the order does not apply to privately run immigration detention centers.
Last summer, Rice spoke about the need for systemic reform to combat systemic racism in the midst of uprisings and protests across the country. Rice suggested that the economy could expand by $5 trillion if policies addressed racial gaps in income.
Anoa Changa is a movement journalist and retired attorney based in Atlanta, Georgia. Follow Anoa on Instagram and Twitter @thewaywithanoa.
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