By Gerren Keith Gaynor | TheGrio
A few days before the November 3rd election, the campaign for then President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President elect Kamala Harris released an agenda to support the African diaspora. The comprehensive plan aims to address the inequities and bolster the socio-economic conditions for citizens and immigrants of African descent living in the United States.
The Biden-Harris agenda is a multi-pronged approach to racial inequality focusing on immigration, the economy, education, health care, and, more specifically, foreign policy in Africa.
“The African diaspora community is one of America’s most diverse communities, inclusive of people who speak multiple languages, come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and practice various faiths,” the campaign says in its Biden-Harris Agenda for the African Diaspora.
- Richelieu and Mary Dennis | Meet the Liberian mother and son team who founded one of the largest black-owned cosmetic firms in America
- African immigrants in the US poised to influence domestic policy
- Nawal Denard | Ghanaian Immigrant entrepreneur draws on business support systems to brighten Detroit’s wardrobe
- African immigrant entrepreneurs thriving in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
- Interview with Léonce Ndikumana | The Burundian professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts
“While unique on some fronts, culturally, people of African descent also share similar values: supporting their families, creating opportunities for their communities, and contributing to America’s growth and prosperity.
“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris share these values and know that the next administration must understand what the current one does not: in America, no matter where you start in life or where your parents were born, there should be no barriers to your success and no limits to what you can achieve. As president and vice president, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will rebuild our country in a way that brings everyone along.”
Biden and Harris, who if elected would become the nation’s first Black American and woman of color to serve as vice president, promise to restore America’s relationship with Africa — a continent President Donald Trump targeted when he called several African nations “shithole countries.”
The Biden campaign said it would restore diplomatic relations with the African Union and other African governments, ensure the U.S. government and U.S. Foreign Service hires more professionals who are of African descent, and continue a young African leaders initiative aimed at “deepening America’s commitment to engage with Africa’s dynamic young leaders.”
What’s more, Biden and Harris offered up an immigration plan directly geared toward immigrants from Africa, which includes reversing the Trump administration’s travel ban on countries like Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia.
Other immigration priorities would be restoring refugee programs for those fleeing war or persecution and “providing a roadmap to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants, including Dreamers.”null
The Biden-Harris African diaspora agenda also sets forth an objective to invest back into Black communities amid a coronavirus pandemic that has severely impacted the economy and health care system.
The campaign’s racial equity plan, which serves as a bit of an umbrella agenda, would spur $50 billion in additional public-private venture capital to Black and Brown entrepreneurs, and invest $100 billion worth of low-interest business loans in Black and Brown communities.
Biden also plans to invest in education by raising the pay for educators, providing universal preschool and “investing resources to help students grow into physically and emotionally healthy adults.”
The education plan would also address the student loan debt crisis, and provide support to colleges and universities that “play unique and vital roles in their communities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.”
The latest policy agenda comes after the Democratic presidential hopeful released in May his “Lift Every Voice: The Biden Plan for America.”
The plan, which references the Black national anthem “Lift Every Voice,” calls for prioritizing the prosecution of hate crimes, creating a $900 million fund to fight gun violence, and providing better access to federal funding for African Americans who are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden leads Trump in polls among Black voters by a landslide (about 82 percent for Biden and 10 percent for Trump), however, Trump has seen gains among young Black voters, particularly young Black men. In an effort to reach those voters, Biden launched a roundtable series called “Shop Talk” geared toward engaging Black men on the issues that are important to them like jobs and policing.
In a recent exclusive interview with theGrio, Sen. Kamala Harris emphasized that she and Biden are not taking the Black vote for granted.
“I do not believe that anyone has to vote for us … I believe we have to earn their vote,” Harris said. Speaking more specifically to this election’s coveted Black male voters, she added, “The issues that impact Black men impact everybody. The condition of Black men in America impacts every American as far as I’m concerned. And every issue impacts the Black man.”
Read from source The Grio