Date: Friday, August 26, 2022
WASHINGTON — As the nation marks the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech this weekend, the Department of the Interior today released its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan outlines ongoing and future plans to root the agency’s work in equity and justice, address barriers to access to the outdoors, and increase equal employment opportunities throughout our bureaus and offices.
“The Interior Department has a unique responsibility to be a model for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility as we work to tell America’s story and increase access to public lands and waters for all Americans. We can serve communities best when we have people who share those experiences contributing to our work,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “By advancing equity across the Department — from our work to spur a clean energy economy and increase access to outdoor spaces to our contracting and employment efforts — we can empower communities that have been historically underserved, which benefits all Americans.”
As articulated in the Strategic Plan, the Interior Department’s strategic objectives for advancing DEIA in its current and future workforce are designed to capture a meaningful lifecycle experience for all current and prospective employees. Efforts include:
To fulfill these objectives, Secretary Haaland in February 2022 established a DEIA Council, taking a proactive step toward embedding DEIA principles and actions in everything the Interior Department and its bureaus do, every day.
The DEIA Council establishes executive leadership across the agency to coordinate the development and implementation of specific policies, programs and initiatives related to advancing DEIA both internally for the Interior workforce and externally for citizens. With representatives from senior leadership in every Interior bureau, the Council ensures that decision-making processes include input from Interior employees at all levels and that bureaus are held accountable for achieving results. It is also a forum for collaboratively identifying and promoting best practices for integrating DEIA across the Department.