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Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.

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Thoughts from Our Fellows: Foster Social Equity

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:

  • The recommendations from our Election 2020 project regarding the first year of the new administration,
  • Recommendations from our fellows from the 2021 Social Equity Leadership Conference,
  • Management Matters podcasts related to this grand challenge, and
  • The top 5 clicked articles on this grand challenge from our Management Matters online newsletter.
											 NAPA Social Equity 72
Election 2020

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:

  • Establish a Cross-Agency Priority goal to improve child well-being grounded in an evidence-based approach to measure trends in this area.
  • Increase Farm to School Funding to improve the ratio of demand for grants to funding availability and create an accountability tracking system to measure progress towards a more equitable food system.
  • Prioritize program goals that leverage resources for children Ages 5 and under such as the Farm to School grant program and ECE sites and tribal community projects.
  • Increase SNAP benefits by 15% for eligible households to help pay for food during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Establish a coordinated effort described in the GAO-18-41SP Child Well-Being to coordinate the effort among many federal agencies, track implementation of services and programs, and evaluate the impact in high priority areas

The Working Group recommended the following actions for its second paper, Promoting Social Equity in an Evidence-Based Policy Environment:

  • A social equity evidence review of rigorous research and evaluation on approaches that have improved social equity and gaps in research that should be filled with new research.
  • 2. A social equity data and statistical inventory of public data and statistical series with periodic (e.g., annual) information on equity and inequity by nation, state, and local areas.
  • 3. A social equity Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goal and the establishment of a core CAP workgroup to assess progress on improving social equity outcomes.
  • 4. A social equity measure for assessing programs that would not only provide a guide for the questions that public administrators need to proactively consider but would also provide a valuable resource for accessing extant data, research, and expertise.

Thoughts from Our Fellows

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:

  • Restorative Practices and Social Justice: Interrupting Racism
  • Social Equity in the City
  • Dismantling Racism, Sexism and Inequities in Transportation
  • Advancing Equity as a Catalyst for Federal Funding
  • The Racial Wealth Gap
  • Advancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Towards New Social Equity: Addressing the “Impact” in the 400 Years of African American History
  • Equity on the Rise: Views from within the Biden Administration
  • Promotion of Timely and Relevant Research Race and Gender in Public Administration
  • Coastal Resiliency through a Social Equity Lens
  • Data Analytics and Responsible Science Session
  • The Role of Professional Organizations in Advancing Racial Equity in Underserved, Underrepresented, and Vulnerable Communities
  • ONE Virginia: A Statewide Strategy to Advance DE&I
  • COVID-19 Examining Equity and Excessive Deaths
  • Racial Justice Not a Zero Sum Game: Government's Role in the Racial Justice Reckoning
  • Racial and Systemic Inequities
  • Data Analytics and Responsible Science
  • Blueprint for a Just and Equitable Future
  • Equity in Higher Education
  • Viewing Government Performance through the Lens of Equity
  • A Conversation on Racial Equity at the County Level

Related Podcasts

Grand Challenge: Foster Social Equity
NAPA podcast-logo
The Impacts of Social Equity on Health with Gail Christopher

Fellow: Gail Christopher

Season: 1 Episode:59 | June 21, 2021

Grand Challenge: Foster Social Equity
NAPA podcast-logo
Addressing Social Equity through Federal Procurement with Stan Soloway

Fellow: Stan Soloway

Season: 1 Episode:60 | June 28, 2021

Grand Challenge: Foster Social Equity
NAPA podcast-logo
Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Michael Massiah

Fellow: Michael Massiah

Season: 1 Episode:57 | June 07, 2021

Grand Challenge: Foster Social Equity
NAPA podcast-logo
How Mayors Promote Social Equity with Sharon Sayles-Belton

Fellow: Sharon Sayles-Belton

Season: 1 Episode:58 | June 14, 2021

Grand Challenge: Foster Social Equity
NAPA podcast-logo
Special Edition: How Businesses Foster Social Equity with Marcus Peacock

Fellow: Marcus Peacock

Season: 1 Episode:16 | August 14, 2020

Grand Challenge: Foster Social Equity
NAPA podcast-logo
Special Edition: Utilizing Technology to Foster Social Equity with Dan Chenok

Fellow: Daniel Chenok

Season: 1 Episode:18 | August 21, 2020

Grand Challenge: Foster Social Equity
NAPA podcast-logo
Special Edition - Social Equity, the Pandemic, and the Police (with Fellow Susan Gooden)

Fellow: Susan Gooden

Season: 1 Episode:3 | June 10, 2020

Grand Challenge: Foster Social Equity
NAPA podcast-logo
COVID-19, Social Equity Considerations & Re-opening at the Local Level with Lee Feldman

Fellow: Lee Feldman

Season: 1 Episode:6 | June 22, 2020

Grand Challenge: Foster Social Equity
NAPA podcast-logo
COVID-19, Social Equity Considerations and Re-opening in Louisiana with Dr. Courtney Phillips

Fellow: Courtney Phillips

Season: 1 Episode:4 | June 15, 2020

Top 5 Articles on Modernize and Foster Social Equity


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.

Read The Full Article

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.

Read The Full Article

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.

Read The Full Article

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.

Read The Full Article

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.

Read The Full Article