June 30, 2021
June 30, 2021
Welcome to Thoughts from Our Fellows, a collection of recent activity regarding the Academy's Grand Challenge of each Month. In June, the Academy focused on Foster Social Equity. Below you will find:
In November of 2020, the Academy published 2 papers as a part of its Election 2020 Project. The Working Group recommended the following actions for its first paper, Improving Child Well-Being & Reducing Food Insecurity:
The Working Group recommended the following actions for its second paper, Promoting Social Equity in an Evidence-Based Policy Environment:
The 20th Annual National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) Social Equity Leadership Conference (SELC) was held from June 9 – 11, 2021. Several of the Academy's Fellows contributed to the discussion of this year's theme: “Fostering Social Equity: Innovation and Change." To view the videos from the conference, please register here!
Conference sessions included:
Route Fifty: New White House initiative seeks to lift up Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Communities, by Courtney Buble
President Biden signed an executive order on Friday establishing a new White House initiative to lift up Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, such as by looking at how to increase their representation in the government workforce.
“Our nation has also seen again that anti-Asian bias, xenophobia, racism, and nativism have deep roots in our nation,” which “increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, casting a shadow of fear and grief over many AA and NHPI communities, in particular East Asian communities,” said the executive order. “The federal government must provide the moral leadership, policies and programs to address and end anti-Asian violence and discrimination, and advance inclusion and belonging for all AA and NHPI communities.”
The order establishes the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, which will be led by the Health and Human Services secretary and another agency head chosen by the president.
Stat News: Nobody is catching it: algorithms used in health care nationwide are rife with bias, by Casey Ross
The algorithms carry out an array of crucial tasks: helping emergency rooms nationwide triage patients, predicting who will develop diabetes, and flagging patients who need more help to manage their medical conditions.
But instead of making health care delivery more objective and precise, a new report finds, these algorithms--some of which have been in use for many years--are often making it more biased along racial and economic lines.
FCW: The small federal office at the heart of Biden's equity agenda, by Natalie Alms
A civil rights office tucked inside the Labor Department is gearing up to play an outsized part in the Biden administration's work on racial equity.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) might not be widely known, but it's familiar to federal contractors that fall under its purview. It has the power to check the internal human resources practices of private companies that perform work for the government.
"OFCCP, from a civil rights viewpoint, is probably the most impactful civil rights organization the government has, because it can tell contractors, 'this is how we want you to do things,'" said Anthony Kaylin, vice president at the American Society of Employers, a human resources trade association.
Route Fifty: How ranked-choice voting elevates women and people of color seeking office, by Barbara Rodriguez
One of Susan Lerner’s favorite moments of this year’s New York City mayoral race happened toward the end of a Democratic candidate debate in May, when — assuming their first choice would be themselves — the participating contenders were asked about their second choice for the job.
Of the eight candidates, four said they were still weighing their options. But the others named a combination of the three leading women candidates at the time, recognizing that under the city’s new ranked-choice voting, their answers could provide value to supporters.
NextGov: Report: Nearly half of popular federal websites fail accessibility tests,, by Frank Konkel
Federal websites are not as accessible for those with disabilities as the law mandates they should be, according to a report released Thursday by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
The report tested the 72 most popular federal websites and used a combination of automated tests and qualitative assessments to assess their compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The law requires the General Services Administration to ensure federal websites are accessible to people with disabilities, including federal employees and the public.
According to the report, 30% of the most popular federal websites did not follow modern web accessibility standards on their homepages, and 48% failed a standard test on at least one of their three most popular web pages.