Interior Department’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Makes Significant Investments in Racial Equity, Civil Rights Movement Preservation

Last edited 06/14/2021
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Date: Monday, June 7, 2021


WASHINGTON —As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s whole-of-government approach to advancing equity and justice, the Department of the Interior’s 2022 budget proposal contains major investments in initiatives that advance racial equity and tell the stories of historically underrepresented communities and the struggle for civil rights.   

“From our national parks and monuments, to our own workforce development efforts, telling the rich, diverse story of America is a priority for us at Interior. President Biden’s budget will make much-needed investments in communities and projects that will advance our vision for an equitable future while preserving the past,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “We will continue to center the voices of those who have been historically unrepresented or underrepresented as we strive to lift up every community through our work.” 

The President’s 2022 budget proposal includes a $12.8 million increase across the Department to better address diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in our workforce. As part of this process, the Department is working to identify gaps, challenges, best practices, and examine what changes need to be made to ensure this opportunity for growth and discovery within the agency. 

Through the President’s Justice40 Initiative, the Department will seek to bring 40 percent of the overall benefits of relevant federal investments to underserved communities. This initiative will focus on clean energy and energy efficiency, training and workforce development, the reduction of legacy pollution, and affordable and sustainable housing in Tribal communities. 

The budget also includes significant investments in other Interior programs, including:  

  • $15 million to expand capacity for national park units and programs that preserve and tell the story of historically underrepresented and marginalized groups.  
  • $10 million for the Selma Interpretive Center to construct a voting rights center that honors the legacy of civil rights leaders, including the late Congressman John Lewis.  
  • $10 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities through the National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund.    
  • $5 million in additional funds for competitive historic preservation grants to increase support to State and local efforts to preserve sites that document the struggle for civil rights and equal opportunity for African Americans.   
  • $3 million to continue support for the work of the 400 Years of African American History Commission. 
  • $540,000 in Land and Water Conservation Fund funding to preserve the Forks of the Road slave market site at the Natchez National Historical Park, which is listed on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom and is an important part of America’s history. 

For more information on the President’s FY22 Budget, please visit the President’s Budget page. 


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