The California Department of Food and Agriculture has rolled out its inaugural Racial Equity Action Plan, which aims to serve as a “blueprint for action” for fostering equity within CDFA programs, policies, and practices.

The plan, CDFA noted in a release, is designed to repair systems that have historically served "certain groups over others."

“CDFA is proud to join other state agencies in releasing an action plan to guide our work to tackle systemic and institutional racism. We recognize this is a long-term effort that requires time and trust,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a statement. “This initiative will build upon the Governor’s Executive Order on Equity and help to realize the vision of a California for All.”

The plan has five goals: to engage with Californians "most underserved" by CDFA; ensure the state's racial diversity is reflected in CDFA's staffing; offering CDFA employees opportunities for career development; providing ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion training for CDFA staff; and intentionally creating an "internal culture of inclusion, diversity and belonging" at CDFA.

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CDFA envisions the action plan as the cornerstone of its efforts to address racial equity, ensuring the continued implementation of AB 1348, the Farmer Equity Act, throughout the agency. This commitment extends both externally and internally, the department noted, including through fostering equity among its staff.

The plan, which can be viewed in full on CDFA's website, is designed to evolve continually, adapting to track and advance progress toward its defined goals and vision. CDFA plans to host listening sessions to discuss the plan throughout the remainder of 2023 and into the early part of 2024.

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