President Joe Biden has worked to keep his campaign promises to Black Americans during his first term as president.

Biden's efforts have centered on helping working people, especially those who have been historically and intentionally excluded due to race.

Biden's achievements were accomplished with the slimmest majority ever held by a Democratic President during his 1st two years in office and with a Republican-held House during his second two years in office.

These are some examples of how the bills President Biden championed have addressed racial inequity:

American Rescue Plan - helped Americans get through and out of the pandemic, helped re-open schools and get people back to work. Black Americans were disproportionately impacted during the pandemic, with high death rates, higher unemployment rates and other economic challenges that were eased through the American Rescue Plan. His American Rescue Plan in particular targeted aid to small Black-owned businesses. $4 billion in the debt relief program was targeted to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers — which includes Black, Native American, Hispanic, and Asian communities. The program would have offered up to 120% of the outstanding indebtedness. Republicans sued and those funds were never released, halting Biden’s efforts to address historical inequities and funding disparities by the USDA.

Bipartison Infrastructure Act - crafted between the White House and the Congressional Black Caucus, it is rebuilding our nation’s roads and bridges, upgrading our public transit, cleaning up pollution, and providing high-speed internet to every American. "(This bill will) level the playing field, so we are not leaving rural communities behind, we are not leaving poor people behind and we are not leaving African-American communities behind,” said White Office of Public Engagement  Director Cedric Richmond. The digital divide has been an issue for decades, especially burdening Black communities who are less likely to have broadband availability. The Biden administration has invested $20 billion to build infrastructure in rural areas and expand existing programs that subsidize internet and phone services for low-income individuals.

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act - the most significant gun violence prevention legislation in 30 years that helps keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, narrowed the “boyfriend loophole,” and expanded mental health and safety services in schools. Black communities are disproportionately and overwhelmingly impacted by gun violence.

The Chips and Science Act - is bringing back manufacturing jobs from overseas and creating good-paying union jobs here at home. This bill addresses America's critical shortage in microchips that caused supply chain backups and increased prices during and after the pandemic. The Chips and Science Act promotes equity in STEM and innovation through new initiatives to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions.

The PACT Act - the most significant expansion of benefits and services for America's toxic-exposed veterans in more than 30 years. It is benefitting 2.5 million Black Americans.

The Inflation Reduction Act - is helping to bring down costs for families, lower prescription drug prices, and is making historic investments in American clean energy jobs and manufacturing and improved access to healthcare for communities of color. Every single Republican in Congress voted against it. 

Criminal Justice Reform Executive Order: Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing, and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety - since Republicans in Congress blocked the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, Biden signed an Executive Order which increases safe and accountable policing, ban chokeholds, restrict no-knock entries by police, created a national police accountability database, and prohibited the transfer of military equipment to local police departments. The ACLU called it a foundation to build-on.

These are some examples of Biden's other actions to help Black Americans:

Unemployment - the Black unemployment rate was 9.2% at the time Biden took office, which was above the national average and the highest among other races. The most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the Black unemployment rate at 5.6%. Biden created 2.6 million jobs for Black workers.

Black Entrepreneurship - Biden's policies have led to the fastest rate of Black entrepreneur start-ups in 30 years.

Diversifying Federal Government - Biden has historically diversified the federal government, with 1 in 5 Biden appointees identifing as Black Americans. Black Americans now make up almost 19% of federal government workers.

Racial Wealth Gap - Biden has made great strides to close the racial wealth gap, with a 60% increase, the most in twenty years.

Voting Rights - as has been well-documented, voting restrictions disproportionately burden Black communities. While Republican in Congress blocked the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, on Dec. 29, 2022, Biden signed into law legislation overhauling the 1887 Electoral Count Act. A response to the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, the move, at its core, makes it more difficult to overturn a certified presidential election by clarifying and reforming the counting of electoral votes. The votes of Black Americans, including in Madison and Milwaukee WI, were primarily targeted by Trump and his associates in their attempt to overturn the 2020 election. In addition, Biden on March 7, 2021, issued Executive Order 14019, a visionary executive order instructing federal agencies to “consider ways to expand citizens’ opportunities to register to vote and to obtain information about, and participate in, the electoral process.”

Canceled Student Debt - Black and Hispanic borrowers carry the bulk of the nation's student loan debt, with Black borrowers comprising 70% of Pell grant recipients. Biden has canceled student debt for over 4 million borrowers and borrower's payments were cut in half under the SAVE plan. Biden's loan relief programs particularly benefit Black borrowers.

LGBT Equal Rights - the Human Rights Campaign has documented an “epidemic of violence,” especially against Black transgender women. While Republicans in Congress have blocked the Equal Rights Act, Biden has advanced LGBT equality in other ways. On Dec. 13, 2022, Biden signed the Respect For Marriage Act, which the HRC described as “the biggest legislative win in the fight for LGBTQ equality in over a decade, guaranteeing federal rights, benefits and obligations of marriages in the federal code for same-sex couples.” On Feb. 23, 2021, following President Biden’s orders, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it was expanding its support for transgender veterans. And on Jan. 25, 2021, he repealed the ban on transgender military service.

Diversity on the Bench - As of March, 190 of Biden's judicial nominees have been confirmed by the Senate. In addition to 41 circuit and 146 district court lifetime appointments was the historic nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Biden also tied the number of confirmed LGBTQ judges and broke the record of appointing more Black judges in one term than any other president in history. Of the confirmed judges, 122 are women, 58 are Black, 35 Latino/Latina, and 33 Asian American and Pacific Islander. More than a dozen practiced civil rights law. There were37 public defenders, eight labor attorneys, 69 prosecutors, and 107 sitting judges, according to a spokeswoman for Sen. Dick Durbin, the majority whip and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Biden’s nomination streak isn’t over. He announced his 46th round of nominations in February.

Gun Safety - Biden passed the most significant gun safety legislation in decades and established the first ever Office of Gun Violence Prevention, helping to keep guns out of dangerous hands, helping students to deal with trauma from gun violence and more. Levels of violent crime, including murders, have dropped significantly, with the murders dropping one of the fastest rates ever recorded..

Historic Investments in HBCUs - Biden has invested over $16 billion in historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in his four years in office. HBCUs represent 3% of all colleges and universities but account for 8% of all undergraduate enrollment of Black students and 13% of all bachelor's degrees earned by Black students. Research suggests that HBCUs provide opportunities for upward mobility compared to other colleges in the country. Nearly a third of students who graduate from HBCUs will move up at least two income quintiles from their parents by the age of 30.

Reproductive Health - while Biden doesn't have enough votes in Congress to codify reproductive rights after Republicans overturned Roe, the Biden Administration is taking steps to protect reproductive rights. With the status of abortion access largely in states’ hands, the threats to access are ongoing, as those mostly congregated in the Southeast, where more than half of the country’s Black population resides, implement increasingly strict bans. The White House is defending itself against lawsuits aimed at curbing federal protections of abortion access. With the closing of rural hospitals and clinics on the rise, the number of states expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage to a full year after delivery is a victory for the Biden administration and protects Black mothers and infants, the most vulnerable to high mortality rates. 

Clemency - Biden promised in 2020 the he would address the mistake of supporting the 1994 crime bill that increased the incarceration rate of Black and Latino people.  Within Biden’s first two years, he broke away from a long streak of presidents who didn’t use their executive powers to grant clemency, pardons, or commutations earlier in their terms. Those with the executive power to make these decisions — the president, governors — usually wait until the end of their term or around the holiday season to make an announcement. In April 2022, Biden began the process and granted commutations to 75 nonviolent drug offenders and pardoned three federally incarcerated people. April is now known as Second Chance Month. In October 2022, Biden pardoned simple marijuana possession convictions for 6,000 people. In April 2023, Biden commuted the sentences of 31 people, under the CARES Act, for nonviolent drug convictions. By the end of 2023, the U.S. Justice Department, under Biden's direction, announced improvements to the clemency process that includes hiring more staff to sift through the backlog to deny or approve an application sooner.

Climate Justice - Biden's Environmental Justice for All executive order requires federal agencies to notify communities if toxic substances are released from a federal facility, something which has disproportionately impacted Black communities. In addition, Biden's Justice40 directs 40% of climate spending to reach disadvantaged communities. Biden's lead pipe removal program reduces lead pipes throughout the country and which are located primarily in communities of color.

Biden accomplished these improvements with the slimmest majority ever held by a Democratic President during his 1st two years in office and with a Republican-held House during his second two years in office.

As significant as these accomplishments by the Biden Administration have been, they haven't gone far enough to address the wide inequities between Black and White Americans. There is still much more work to do and Biden has promised to continue to work for Black Americans during his second term as president.