President Biden Signs Executive Order on Racial Equity

January 20, 2021

From President Biden’s clear call for unity to poet laureate Amanda Gorman’s impassioned reading of her poem “The Hill We Climb,” this morning’s inauguration ceremony delivered the unifying message our country desperately needs to move forward to create a just and equitable society where all people and communities flourish. 

Today, on his first day in office, President Biden signed 17 executive orders on issues ranging from the COVID-19 crisis and the economy, to climate change and racial justice. We were pleased to see an executive order on advancing racial equity and supporting underserved communities. This order creates a whole-of-government initiative to advance racial equity, directing federal agencies to undertake a baseline review of the state of equity within their agencies, launches an equitable data working group, and directs agencies to engage with communities who have been historically underrepresented, underserved, and discriminated against in federal policies. Importantly, this executive order revokes the previous administration’s order that limited the ability of federal government agencies, contractors, and grantees from implementing critical diversity and inclusion training. The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities co-led a letter, signed by 41 other organizations, opposing the original Trump executive order in October of 2020.

We also applaud actions taken today to prevent workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the extension of the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until at least March 31, and the extension of the pause on student loan payments until at least Sept. 30. At a time when our economy is struggling, these actions will provide needed relief and begin to move our country in the right direction. While these are only first steps on so many critical issues, they represent the actions required to power us forward…together.

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities is merging with the Council on Accreditation to form a new organization that will convene and catalyze a dynamic, inclusive, multifaceted network of human and social services organizations and passionate allies committed to achieving greater impact in communities across our country. 

The inauguration and President Biden’s address this morning has led to feelings of hope and optimism as we work together to create this new collaborative and unified organization. Our job now is to rally and inspire our community of social heroes and essential workers. Our responsibility, as a social sector, must be to continue efforts to work together to address the larger needs in our nation. 

Today, more than ever, we look forward to engaging our network and harnessing the power of the social sector to create a brighter bolder future.   


Jody Levison-Johnson
President and CEO
Alliance and COA


About COA

Founded in 1977, the Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit organization that accredits human and social service providers. Our mission is to partner with human and social service organizations to strengthen their ability to improve the lives of the people they serve.