Joe Biden releases ‘Lift Every Voice’ plan for African Americans

Former vice president creates initiative that pledges to support Black businesses and entrepreneurs

Presidential candidate Joe Biden pledges to invest in Black businesses and entrepreneurs to help ensure equal access to credit and capital.

Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks about the coronavirus outbreak, at the Hotel Du Pont March 12, 2020. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential hopeful and the presumptive presidential nominee, Joe Biden unveiled a new agenda for Black America on Monday called the “Lift Every Voice” plan. 

The plan, which is a reference to the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice,” prioritizes the prosecution of hate crimes, creates a $900 million fund to fight gun violence, and provides for better access to federal funding for African Americans who are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

READ MORE: Why we ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’- The story behind the ‘Black national anthem’

On his website, it states that Biden knows that African Americans can never have a fair shot at the American Dream so long as entrenched disparities are allowed to quietly chip away at opportunity. He is running for President to rebuild our economy in a way that finally brings everyone along— and that starts by rooting out systemic racism from our laws, our policies, our institutions, and our hearts.”

Joe Biden

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – MARCH 09: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden tries to calm his supporters as demonstrators disrupt his rally at Renaissance High School. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The plan vows to:

  • Advance the economic mobility of African Americans and close the racial wealth and income gaps.
  • Expand access to high-quality education and tackle racial inequity in our education system.
  • Make far-reaching investments in ending health disparities by race.
  • Strengthen America’s commitment to justice.
  • Make the right to vote and the right to equal protection real for African Americans.
  • Address environmental justice.

Biden has pledged to invest in African American business and entrepreneurs, ensure equal access to credit and capital, and double the funding for the State Small Business Credit Initiative which drives billions of dollars into local lending programs. He also pledges to double funding for Community Development Financial Institutions many of which develop businesses in low-income and rural communities in industries like early childcare centers.

Funding for African Americans is a central part of the plan which includes more opportunities for Black-owned businesses to have access to federal contracts. The plan also looks to support Black churches, and expand African American homeownership and access to affordable, safe housing.

The Lift Every Voice plan is comprehensive in its examination of the needs of Black America and could not come at a better time as Black Americans are being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus epidemic. Funding for research into the factors that made the virus so deadly in Black communities is included.

READ MORE: The reason Beyonce created HBCU theme and sang ‘Lift Every Voice’ for white Coachella audience will give you chills

Just last week, Hip-Hop star, Sean “Diddy” Combs vowed to “hold the vote hostage if I have to,” in an interview with Naomi Campbell on her No Filter with Naomi YouTube show.

“The Black vote is not gon’ be for free,” the legend said, “We’re gonna have to see some promises. We’re gonna have to understand what kind of deal we’re getting out of—what are we getting in return for our vote? Nothing has changed in America for Black America. And, in order for us to vote for Biden, we can’t be taken for granted.”

He said, “It’s whoever is going to take care of our community, whoever wants to make a deal, it’s business at this point.”

Joe Biden has put his deal on the table with the Lift Every Voice plan, Diddy has yet to respond.