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Historically Underrepresented Communities

The Department recognizes that embracing diversity in all aspects of our operations is crucial to achieving our mission. Diversity is more than simply numbers and statistics, it is a cross-cutting imperative of our people, programs, partners, and innovation at the Department. Everyone deserves equal participation and access to the energy programs of the Department, and, with the support of Secretary Moniz and President Obama, the Department's Office of Diversity and Inclusion seeks to ensure that underrepresented communities are always at the table.

To this end, we seek to help historically underrepresented communities learn how to work with the Department, rectify environmental injustices, and ensure everyone is a part of the decision-making process at the Department. We engage with Tribal government leaders through our Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programsminority banks; minority-owned small businesses; businesses in historically underutilized business zonesminority educational institutions; and we work with minority employees here at the Department to ensure the full protection of their rights under the law.

We also form partnerships with community groups who work with underserved communities. In July 2011 we partnered with the Clean Energy Economy Development Center to create economic sustainability roundtables and grant writing workshops in five gulf coast states. In December 2011, roadshows were held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama. In June 2011 we partnered with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society to connect our Nation's American-Indian students with the power of our National Laboratories. In May 2011 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Asian American Government Executives Network and the Federal Asian Pacific American Council to expand training and mentoring opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

In 2010, the first of three reports was released about the Department's socio-economic impact of energy consumption in 1,000 minority households, as part of a partnership with Morehouse College, a Historically Black College. Results of this study will be used to create an education and outreach program serving approximately 100-200 economically disadvantaged minority households about how to consume less energy and reduce energy costs in their homes.