Over the past three years, President Biden and Vice President Harris have leveraged the full force of the Federal Government to advance racial justice and equity and ensure the promise of America for all communities, including Black Americans, across the country. With the support of these efforts, Black Americans are starting new businesses, creating jobs, buying homes, and taking advantage of increased education opportunities at historic rates—contributing to a 60% increase in wealth compared to before the pandemic. And this boom in wealth creation following the pandemic is helping to drive a historically equitable economic recovery. From promoting entrepreneurship to increasing access to homeownership and delivering the lowest Black unemployment rate, from proving it’s possible to reduce child poverty to historic lows to expanding access to quality affordable healthcare, from advancing voting rights and police accountability to ensuring equal access to a high-quality education with historic funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), President Biden and Vice President Harris are committed to investing in the future of Black communities.
Growing Economic Opportunity for Black Families and Communities
Through the President’s legislative victories, including the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—as well as the President’s historic executive orders on racial equity—the Biden-Harris Administration is ensuring that federal investments through the President’s landmark Investing in America agenda are equitably flowing to communities to address longstanding economic inequities that impact people’s economic security, health, and safety. And this vision is already delivering results. The Biden-Harris Administration has:
- Powered a historic economic recovery that created 2.6 million jobs for Black workers—and achieved both the lowest Black unemployment rate on record and the lowest gap between Black and White unemployment on record.
- Helped Black working families build wealth. Black wealth is up by 60% relative to pre-pandemic—the largest increase on record.
- Cut in half the number of Black children living in poverty in 2021 through ARP’s Child Tax Credit expansion. This expansion provided breathing room to the families of over 9 million Black children.
- Began reversing decades of infrastructure disinvestment, including with $4 billion to reconnect communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by building needed transportation infrastructure in underserved communities, including Black communities.
- Connected an estimated 5.5 million Black households to affordable high-speed internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program, closing the digital divide for millions of Black families.
Helping Black-Owned Businesses Grow and Thrive
Since the President entered office, a record 16 million new business applications have been filed, and the share of Black households owning a business has more than doubled. Building on this momentum, the Biden-Harris Administration has:
- Achieved the fastest creation rate of Black-owned businesses in more than 30 years—and more than doubled the share of Black business owners from 2019 to 2022.
- Improved the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flagship loan guarantee programs to expand the availability of capital to underserved communities. Since 2020, the number and dollar value of SBA-backed loans to Black-owned businesses have more than doubled.
- Launched a whole-of-government effort to expand access to federal contracts for small businesses, awarding a record $69.9 billion to small disadvantaged businesses in 2022.
- Through Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative, invested $10 billion to expand access to capital and invest in early-stage businesses in all 50 states—including $2.5 billion in funding and incentive allocations dedicated to support the provision of capital to underserved businesses with $1 billion of these funds to be awarded to the jurisdictions that are most successful in reaching underserved businesses.
- Helped more than 37,000 farmers and ranchers who were in financial distress, including Black farmers and ranchers, stay on their farms and keep farming, thanks to resources provided through IRA. The IRA allocated $3.1 billion for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide relief for distressed borrowers with at-risk agricultural operations with outstanding direct or guaranteed Farm Service Agency loans. USDA has provided over $2 billion and counting in timely assistance.
- Supported small and disadvantaged businesses through CHIPS Act funding by requiring funding applicants to develop a workforce plan to create equitable pathways for economically disadvantaged individuals in their region, as well as a plan to support procurement from small, minority-owned, veteran-owned, and women-owned businesses.
- Created the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund that will invest in clean energy projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
Increasing Access to Housing and Rooting Out Discrimination in the Housing Market for Black Communities
To increase access to housing and root out discrimination in the housing market, including for Black families and communities, the Biden-Harris Administration has:
- Set up the first-ever national infrastructure to stop evictions, scaling up the ARP-funded Emergency Rental Assistance program in over 400 communities across the country, helping 8 million renters and their families stay in their homes. Over 40% of all renters helped are Black—and this support prevented millions of evictions, with the largest effects seen in majority-Black neighborhoods.
- Published a proposed “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which will help overcome patterns of segregation and hold states, localities, and public housing agencies that receive federal funds accountable for ensuring that underserved communities have equitable access to affordable housing opportunities.
- Created the Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity, or PAVE, a first-of-its-kind interagency effort to root out bias in the home appraisal process, which is taking sweeping action to advance equity and remove racial and ethnic bias in home valuations, including cracking down on algorithmic bias and empowering consumers to take action against misvaluation.
- Taken additional steps through HUD to support wealth-generation activities for prospective and current homeowners by expanding access to credit by incorporating a borrower’s positive rental payment history into the mortgage underwriting process. HUD estimates this policy change will enable an additional 5,000 borrowers per year to qualify for an FHA-insured loan.
Ensuring Equitable Educational Opportunity for Black Students
To expand educational opportunity for the Black community in early childhood and beyond, the Biden-Harris Administration has:
- Approved more than $136 billion in student loan debt cancellation for 3.7 million Americans through various actions and launched a new student loan repayment plan—the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan—to help many students and families cut in half their total lifetime payments per dollar borrowed.
- Championed the largest increase to Pell Grants in the last decade—a combined increase of $900 to the maximum award over the past two years, affecting the over 60% of Black undergraduates who rely on Pell grants.
- Fixed the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, so all qualified borrowers get the debt relief to which they are entitled. More than 790,000 public servants have received more than $56 billion in loan forgiveness since October 2021. Prior to these fixes, only 7,000 people had ever received forgiveness through PSLF.
- Delivered a historic investment of over $7 billion to support HBCUs.
- Reestablished the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans.
- Through ARP, secured $130 billion—the largest investment in public education in history—to help students get back to school, recover academically in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and address student mental health.
- Secured a 30% increase in child care assistance funding last year. Black families comprise 38% of families benefiting from federal child care assistance. Additionally, the President secured an additional $1 billion for Head Start, a program where more than 28% of children and pregnant women who benefit identify as Black.
Improving Health Outcomes for Black Families and Communities
To improve health outcomes for the Black community, the Biden-Harris Administration has:
- Increased Black enrollment in health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act by 49%—or by around 400,000—from 2020 to 2022, helping more Black families gain health insurance than ever before.
- Through IRA, locked in lower monthly premiums for health insurance, capped the cost of insulin at $35 per covered insulin product for Medicare beneficiaries, and helped further close the gap in access to medication by improving prescription drug coverage and lowering drug costs in Medicare.
- Through ARP, expanded postpartum coverage from 60 days to 12 months in 43 states and Washington, D.C., covering 700,000 more women in the year after childbirth. Medicaid covers approximately 65% of births for Black mothers, and this investment is a critical step to address maternal health disparities.
- Financed projects that will replace hundreds of thousands of lead pipes, helping protect against lead poisoning that disproportionately affects Black communities.
- Provided 264 grants with $1 billion in Bipartisan Safer Communities Act funds to more than 40 states to increase the supply of school-based mental health professionals in communities with high rates of poverty.
Launched An Unprecedented Whole-Of-Government Equity Agenda to Ensure the Promise of America for All Communities, including Black Communities
President Biden believes that advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity is the responsibility of the whole of our government, which will require sustained leadership and partnership with all communities. To make the promise of America real for every American, including for the Black Community, the President has:
- Signed two Executive Orders directing the Federal Government to advance an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda that matches the scale of the challenges we face as a country and the opportunities we have to build a more perfect union.
- Nominated the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court and more Black women to federal circuit courts than every President combined.
- Countered hateful attempts to rewrite history including: the signing of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act; establishing Juneteenth as a national holiday; and designating the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument in Mississippi and Illinois. The Department of the Interior has invested more than $295 million in infrastructure funding and historic preservation grants to protect and restore places significant to Black history.
- Created the Justice40 Initiative, which is delivering 40% of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments in clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other programs to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution as part of the most ambitious climate, conservation, and environmental justice agenda in history.
Protecting the Sacred Right to Vote for Black Families and Communities
Since their first days in office, President Biden and Vice President Harris have prioritized strengthening our democracy and protecting the sacred right to vote in free, fair, and secure elections. To do so, the President has:
- Signed an Executive Order to leverage the resources of the Federal Government to provide nonpartisan information about the election process and increase access to voter registration. Agencies across the Federal Government are taking action to respond to the President’s call for an all-of-government effort to enhance the ability of all eligible Americans to participate in our democracy.
- Repeatedly and forcefully called on Congress to pass essential legislation, including the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, including calling for an exception to the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.
- Increased funding for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, which has more than doubled the number of voting rights enforcement attorneys. The Justice Department also created the Election Threats Task Force to assess allegations and reports of threats against election workers, and investigate and prosecute these matters where appropriate.
- Signed into law the bipartisan Electoral Reform Count Act, which establishes clear guidelines for our system of certifying and counting electoral votes for President and Vice President, to preserve the will of the people and to protect against the type of attempts to overturn our elections that led to the January 6 insurrection.
Addressing the Crisis of Gun Violence in Black Communities
Gun violence has become the leading cause of death for all youth and Black men in America, as well as the second leading cause of death for Black women. To address this national crisis, the President has:
- Launched the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, and taken more executive action on gun violence than any President in history, including investments in violence reduction strategies that address the root causes of gun violence and address emerging threats like ghost guns. In 2022, the Administration’s investments in evidence-based, lifesaving programs combined with aggressive action to stop the flow of illegal guns and hold shooters accountable yielded a 12.4% reduction in homicides across the United States.
- Signed into the law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun violence reduction legislation enacted in nearly 30 years, including investments in violence reduction strategies and historic policy changes to enhance background checks for individuals under age 21, narrow the dating partner loophole in the gun background check system, and provide law enforcement with tools to crack down on gun trafficking.
- Secured the first-ever dedicated federal funding stream for community violence intervention programs, which have been shown to reduce violence by as much as 60%. These programs are effective because they leverage trusted messengers who work directly with individuals most likely to commit gun violence, intervene in conflicts, and connect people to social, health and wellness, and economic services to reduce the likelihood of violence as an answer to conflict.
Enhancing Public Trust and Strengthening Public Safety for Black Communities
Our criminal justice system must protect the public and ensure fair and impartial justice for all. These are mutually reinforcing goals. To enhance equal justice and public safety for all communities, including the Black community, the President has:
- Signed a historic Executive Order to put federal policing on the path to becoming the gold standard of effectiveness and accountability by requiring federal law enforcement agencies to ban chokeholds; restrict no-knock warrants; mandate the use of body-worn cameras; implement stronger use-of-force policies; provide de-escalation training; submit use-of-force data; submit officer misconduct records into a new national accountability database; and restrict the sale or transfer of military equipment to local law enforcement agencies, among other things.
- Taken steps to right the wrongs stemming from our Nation’s failed approach to marijuana by directing the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice to expeditiously review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law and in October 2022 issued categorical pardons of prior federal and D.C. offenses of simple possession of marijuana and in December 2023 pardoned additional offenses of simple possession and use of marijuana under federal and D.C. law. While white, Black, and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionately higher rates.
- Announced over 100 concrete policy actions as part of a White House evidence-informed, multi-year Alternatives, Rehabilitation, and Reentry Strategic Plan to safely reduce unnecessary criminal justice system interactions so police officers can focus on fighting crime; supporting rehabilitation during incarceration; and facilitating successful reentry.