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Photo by David Lienemann/The White House
Each semester, Biden Institute programming and research focuses on specific policy areas, aiming to substantively shape public conversation and affect policy at the local, state and federal levels.
In all its work, the Institute seeks to draw on the strengths and talent of the University of Delaware community.
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Foundational to the Biden Institute are the issues that have animated President Biden's commitment to public service: civil rights, criminal justice reform, environmental sustainability, health care reform, the state of our democracy and politics, strengthening the middle class and violence against women. In the spring of 2017, President Biden announced the formation of the Biden Institute Policy Advisory Board to support the work of the Institute on these issues.
The advisory board includes some of the most important voices on the pressing issues facing America today. These experts and practitioners work with President Biden and the Institute to shape, influence, and solve these policy challenges.
Click here to view the Biden Institute's Policy Advisory Board.
American Politics and Democracy: For more than 40 years, President Biden has sought to reach across the aisle, bring people together and make democracy work for all Americans. Today, more than ever, the President's disposition for empathy and bipartisanship should serve as a model for lawmakers, stakeholders, civic and business leaders alike. The Biden Institute is uniquely positioned as a nexus for the dialogue required to restore faith in public institutions, limit the influence of money in politics, temper the effects of polarization and unify Americans for a brighter future.
Protecting Civil Liberties and Criminal Justice Reform: A powerful movement for criminal justice reform has emerged in recent years. And while progress began to take shape throughout the Obama-Biden Administration, we must ensure the conversation continues and remain vigilant in protecting the rights of all Americans. The groundswell of support for reform persists and the time is ripe for fresh thinking about our criminal justice system.
Increasing Environmental Sustainability: President Biden has been a leader on environmental issues since the beginning of his career. In 1986, he authored one of the first pieces of legislation addressing climate change Now, with the Obama-Biden Administration's historic regulations and the Paris Agreement at risk, we are called to defend the progress made to date and take additional action to mitigate the effects of climate change, lower our carbon emissions and ensure access to clean air and water for future generations.
Expanding Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care: By signing the Affordable Care Act, President Obama ended a century-long debate in the United States about whether health care is a right for all or a privilege for the wealthy. But threats to repeal the legislation persist and serious bipartisan efforts to improve the bill are essential in order to fulfill the promise of quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
Ensuring LGBTQ Equality: Never in the history of the country has public sentiment moved so fast on such a deep cultural issue as it has with respect to marriage equality. The President played a unique role in this movement throughout his years of public service, including his notable interview on Meet the Press in 2012 during which he explained why he supports marriage equality. But much work remains if we are to achieve equality for all Americans. The LGBTQ community still lacks protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations. LGBTQ youth face discrimination and harassment in their classrooms, communities, and even their homes. Now is the time to stand up and keep fighting for equal treatment, dignity, and justice for all people. In the spring of 2019, Human Rights Campaign National Press Secretary Sarah McBride taught a course at the Biden Institute on LGBTQ policy. Sarah was featured as a special guest during the fall 2018 Biden Policy Dinner series, you can read about that dinner here.
Strengthening the Middle Class: President Biden has long believed that growing income inequality not only threatens the health of our economy and the future of the middle class, but also threatens the social stability of our nation. In the fall of 2018, the Biden Institute and the Biden School hosted The Biden Challenge, a conference dedicated to finding policy solutions to revitalize the middle class. You can learn more about the Biden Challenge, read blogs from scholars, and watch all of the presentations from the event here.
Preventing Violence Against Women: No other issue could more so define the public career of President Biden. As the author of the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), President Biden continued his focus on addressing issues such as domestic violence, sexual assault, teen dating violence, and stalking throughout his career in the Senate. In the White House, he announced the appointment of the first-ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women and continued to serve as a national leader in efforts to combat gender-based violence. For the President, reducing gender-based violence hasn't just been about changing the lawit's about changing the culture. While progress has been made in the legal system, on college campuses, and in our communities, there is much more to be accomplished.
Honoring Veterans and Military Families: Motivated by President Biden's belief that our nation has a singular and sacred obligation to the men and women who have served our country in uniform, the Biden Institute is dedicated to veteran programming and policy with a focus on advancing higher education and employment opportunities for veterans and their families. Through focus groups, speakers, student veteran policy interns and engagement with national and state leaders in veteran services, the Biden Institute is committed to serving our current student veterans so that they achieve a positive educational experience that supports meaningful career opportunities, while also using our work to positively impact service to veterans and their families on a state and national level.