Attorney General Strengthens Commitment to Equal Opportunity in Recovery Spending

Equal opportunity is one of our nation’s most valuable national assets.

On September 27, 2010, the Office of the Attorney General reinvigorated our nation’s commitment to opportunity for all people by releasing a memorandum adopting The Opportunity Agenda’s ongoing policy recommendations for the economic recovery.

To comply with civil rights requirements prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, and gender in federally funded programs, the Attorney General stated that federal agencies should consider:

•Posting prominent notices on their websites concerning the applicability of these civil rights laws to projects receiving stimulus funding.

•Requiring adherence to all civil rights assurances and agreements, including those pertaining to the collection and analysis of racial and ethnic data.

•Utilizing existing and readily available data to “identify situations in which racially or ethnically identifiable communities may be harmed by, or excluded from the benefits of” a project funded under the Recovery Act.

The Attorney General also asserted that the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division is under instruction to “utilize its oversight authority fully” to assist agencies in achieving these goals through methods including information sharing, training, targeted partnerships, and the provision of technical assistance on data collection.

Now, at a moment when our economic stability has not yet been assured, this memorandum gives advocates, public officials, and recipients of federal funding an important tool in our efforts to ensure that all groups can participate in the building of our economic future.

Read more at The Opportunity Agenda website.

Tags: Opportunity, attorney general, holder, Justice Department, civil rights, equal opportunity, Economic Recovery (all tags)

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