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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Fwd: Huffington Post: Lucas Receive NBFA Award, John Boyd, 30 Nov 2017, Michael McCray



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fwd: Fw: Fw: Fwd: Fwd: Huffington Post: Lucas Receive NBFA Award, John Boyd, 30 Nov 2017, Michael McCray
From: Lawrence Lucas <lawrlcl@aol.com>
Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2017, 8:03 AM
To: landrightsnfarming.seamom89.farming@blogger.com,landrightsnfarming.seamom89@gmail.com
CC:





From: tcb713@msn.com
To:
Sent: 12/9/2017 1:54:41 PM Eastern Standard Time
Subject: Fw: Fw: Fwd: Fwd: Huffington Post: Lucas Receive NBFA Award, John Boyd, 30 Nov 2017, Michael McCray

This is Mallory Baker's (our classmate) sister. 




From: Anita B Adams <anitabakeradams@gmail.com>
Sent: Saturday, December 9, 2017 2:00 PM
To: Trudy Boyd
Subject: Re: Fw: Fwd: Fwd: Huffington Post: Lucas Receive NBFA Award, John Boyd, 30 Nov 2017, Michael McCray

Thanks Trudy for sharing -- this is very important! My kudos and blessings to Lawrence for the honor bestowed upon him.  Simply fantastic!  Please share with him my congratulations.  Thanks      Another "RISE" from the mighty Spingarn -- that great school just producing success stories.


Anita "Jackie" Baker Adams
301.336.0558 (preferred) - 301.655.9384 (no messages accepted)

On Sat, Dec 9, 2017 at 7:49 AM, Trudy Boyd <tcb713@msn.com> wrote:

Thanks Lucas - sharing with others.




From: Lawrence Lucas <lawrlcl@aol.com>
Sent: Friday, December 1, 2017 6:14 PM
To: becreative3@verizon.com; becreative51@verizon.net; tcb713@msn.com
Cc: lawrlcl@aol.com
Subject: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Huffington Post: Lucas Receive NBFA Award, John Boyd, 30 Nov 2017, Michael McCray




    •  
    •  
    •  


PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL MCCRAY
National Black Farmers Association Welcome Banner

HATTIESBURG, MS—Earlier, this month I had the pleasure of attending the 27th Annual National Black Farmers Association Conference hosted in partnership with the Association of American Indian Farmers (AAIF) and National Women Farmers Association (NWFA). It is an interactive two day program giving you practical knowledge and techniques to enhance your skills and networking, and financial resource capabilities for small, limited resource and socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and landowners. I drove to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to receive the President’s Award for Civil Rights on behalf of my good friend Lawrence Lucas.

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL MCCRAY
National Black Farmers Awards Banquet

I arrived just in time for the 27th Annual NBFA Awards Banquet. It was a long drive down the winding country roads to Hattiesburg, MS—Dinner was served with the special entertainment. Dr. John Boyd introduced the award telling a very moving story about how Lawrence Lucas mentored him about fighting for Civil Rights against USDA. Dr. John Boyd is perhaps most famous for bringing two mules (liberty & justice) to the National Mall in front of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protest the poor treatment of Black Farmers.

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL MCCRAY
National Black Farmers Awards Presentation

The theme for the conference was “Growing Opportunities For Farmers.” The two-day conference began with a Welcome from Dr. John Wesley Boyd, Jr., NBFA; an Opening Prayer by Reverend Lovely Moore; followed by a Greeting from Marc Morial, President CEO National Urban League. This very informative conference covered a range of topics and included information about Black Farmers Discrimination. Dr. John Boyd, Jr., NBFA and Kara Brewer Boyd, AAIF President gave remarks about the USDA Lawsuit and Settlement Updates. The presentations focused on providing information on Agricultural programs and techniques in the areas of farm credit and financing, networking, communications, skills, legal and social services, farm management teaching tools, international markets, and many more.

During the Awards Banquet, Dr. Boyd said that his purpose was to give people their flowers while they are still living—and to say thank you to the people who helped him… the first person that he could think of was Lawrence Lucas. And I was very honored and proud to accept the award on his behalf.

PHOTO CREDIT: TERENCE PENISTER
Dr. John Boyd, President of the National Association of Black Farmers (Left) and Attorney Michael McCray, Author / Speaker and host of the Whistleblowers Summit for Civil and Human Rights (Right)

Subscribe to The Morning Email.
Wake up to the day's most important news.

I began my presentation, “The soil is rich but the people are poor. I grew up in the Arkansas River Delta, one of the most impoverished areas in the country. And Pine Bluff—where I live—had the dubious distinction of being ranked the worst place to live in America—two years in a row. Even though my hometown was poor, I grew up middle class, because both my parents were educators and they valued order and integrity.

“I went on to law school (at Georgetown), got an MBA in Finance (from Howard) and earned my CPA. As a result I became a very rules-oriented person—who wanted to use my education in the world of Corporate Finance. But I got involved in national politics when my Governor (Bill Clinton) ran for President—and he won. As a result, I got an opportunity to use my education, not on Wall Street, but by working in Economic Development for the Clinton White House. The Federal Empowerment Zones Program was designed to revitalize poor, under-served and impoverished communities across America.

“I had landed my dream job. I worked for a high-profile White House Initiative during the day and I attended Georgetown Law at night. I had the opportunity to travel across the country rebuilding impoverished communities—just like my hometown. I was raised in the worst place to live in America and I had just been given the keys to the White House. But it never dawned on me that this golden opportunity could be so fleeting.

“I learned two important lessons inside the beltway that don’t make sense anywhere else. He will do anything for money is actually considered a compliment; and you can’t trust an honest man. My biggest fears were realized when I learned that the Mid-Delta Empowerment Zone Alliance (MDEZA) had received a $40 Million grant. MDEZA had one of the worst, if not the worst, grant applications USDA received—so this award was all about the politics. Eventually, the new Executive Director, Harold Lathon, came to USDA for help when he discovered theft, forgery, stolen checks and poor financial controls at MDEZA. He even requested an audit. It was my job to help him, because I was the Desk Officer assigned to Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. We reported the malfeasance to the Office of Inspector General and also to the President’s Initiative on Race. That’s how I became a Federal whistleblower… and an instant pariah at USDA.

“As a result, I became one of the leading public interest advocates for civil rights and whistleblower protections. Unfortunately, the good government community viewed whistleblowing as “public health and safety” concerns—and not about Title VII. I decided to approach whistleblowing as fundamental civil and human rights and Lawrence Lucas was the person I enlisted to help me do this—because Lawrence is one of the fiercest civil rights advocates that I know. While, Mr. Lucas is a fearless fighter for Civil Rights—he is afraid to fly... and he could not attend the conference in person. He asked me to convey his remarks to you.

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHELLE LUCAS
NBFA President’s Award Honoree Lawrence Lucas, President Emeritus of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees

“I will not accept this award for me—I will only accept this award on behalf of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees and the Black Farmers because I could / would not receive this recognition without them. And I want to thank Ron Cotton, Lesa Donley, Marcel Reid, and Michael McCray. I could not have won this award without you.

“Thank John Boyd who helped me begin my travel on the long road to justice… Thanks to John Boyd for supporting the rights of USDA employees, as well it has been said by Senator Grassley’s wife we were chosen to take on the Civil Rights struggle at USDA.

“And some people who have not survived this long—I accept this on behalf of those who are not with us tonight such as: George Hilderbrath, Donald Berger… Lupe Garcia and so many others—and my wonderful supportive wife Michelle Lucas. In closing, I recited Lawrence Lucas’ favorite poem… about the long road to justice.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

 


Fwd: Fw: Fw: Fwd: Fwd: Huffington Post: Lucas Receive NBFA Award, John Boyd, 30 Nov 2017, Michael McCray




From: tcb713@msn.com
To:
Sent: 12/9/2017 1:54:41 PM Eastern Standard Time
Subject: Fw: Fw: Fwd: Fwd: Huffington Post: Lucas Receive NBFA Award, John Boyd, 30 Nov 2017, Michael McCray

This is Mallory Baker's (our classmate) sister. 




From: Anita B Adams <anitabakeradams@gmail.com>
Sent: Saturday, December 9, 2017 2:00 PM
To: Trudy Boyd
Subject: Re: Fw: Fwd: Fwd: Huffington Post: Lucas Receive NBFA Award, John Boyd, 30 Nov 2017, Michael McCray

Thanks Trudy for sharing -- this is very important! My kudos and blessings to Lawrence for the honor bestowed upon him.  Simply fantastic!  Please share with him my congratulations.  Thanks      Another "RISE" from the mighty Spingarn -- that great school just producing success stories.


Anita "Jackie" Baker Adams
301.336.0558 (preferred) - 301.655.9384 (no messages accepted)

On Sat, Dec 9, 2017 at 7:49 AM, Trudy Boyd <tcb713@msn.com> wrote:

Thanks Lucas - sharing with others.




From: Lawrence Lucas <lawrlcl@aol.com>
Sent: Friday, December 1, 2017 6:14 PM
To: becreative3@verizon.com; becreative51@verizon.net; tcb713@msn.com
Cc: lawrlcl@aol.com
Subject: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Huffington Post: Lucas Receive NBFA Award, John Boyd, 30 Nov 2017, Michael McCray




    •  
    •  
    •  


PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL MCCRAY
National Black Farmers Association Welcome Banner

HATTIESBURG, MS—Earlier, this month I had the pleasure of attending the 27th Annual National Black Farmers Association Conference hosted in partnership with the Association of American Indian Farmers (AAIF) and National Women Farmers Association (NWFA). It is an interactive two day program giving you practical knowledge and techniques to enhance your skills and networking, and financial resource capabilities for small, limited resource and socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and landowners. I drove to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to receive the President’s Award for Civil Rights on behalf of my good friend Lawrence Lucas.

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL MCCRAY
National Black Farmers Awards Banquet

I arrived just in time for the 27th Annual NBFA Awards Banquet. It was a long drive down the winding country roads to Hattiesburg, MS—Dinner was served with the special entertainment. Dr. John Boyd introduced the award telling a very moving story about how Lawrence Lucas mentored him about fighting for Civil Rights against USDA. Dr. John Boyd is perhaps most famous for bringing two mules (liberty & justice) to the National Mall in front of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protest the poor treatment of Black Farmers.

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL MCCRAY
National Black Farmers Awards Presentation

The theme for the conference was “Growing Opportunities For Farmers.” The two-day conference began with a Welcome from Dr. John Wesley Boyd, Jr., NBFA; an Opening Prayer by Reverend Lovely Moore; followed by a Greeting from Marc Morial, President CEO National Urban League. This very informative conference covered a range of topics and included information about Black Farmers Discrimination. Dr. John Boyd, Jr., NBFA and Kara Brewer Boyd, AAIF President gave remarks about the USDA Lawsuit and Settlement Updates. The presentations focused on providing information on Agricultural programs and techniques in the areas of farm credit and financing, networking, communications, skills, legal and social services, farm management teaching tools, international markets, and many more.

During the Awards Banquet, Dr. Boyd said that his purpose was to give people their flowers while they are still living—and to say thank you to the people who helped him… the first person that he could think of was Lawrence Lucas. And I was very honored and proud to accept the award on his behalf.

PHOTO CREDIT: TERENCE PENISTER
Dr. John Boyd, President of the National Association of Black Farmers (Left) and Attorney Michael McCray, Author / Speaker and host of the Whistleblowers Summit for Civil and Human Rights (Right)

Subscribe to The Morning Email.
Wake up to the day's most important news.

I began my presentation, “The soil is rich but the people are poor. I grew up in the Arkansas River Delta, one of the most impoverished areas in the country. And Pine Bluff—where I live—had the dubious distinction of being ranked the worst place to live in America—two years in a row. Even though my hometown was poor, I grew up middle class, because both my parents were educators and they valued order and integrity.

“I went on to law school (at Georgetown), got an MBA in Finance (from Howard) and earned my CPA. As a result I became a very rules-oriented person—who wanted to use my education in the world of Corporate Finance. But I got involved in national politics when my Governor (Bill Clinton) ran for President—and he won. As a result, I got an opportunity to use my education, not on Wall Street, but by working in Economic Development for the Clinton White House. The Federal Empowerment Zones Program was designed to revitalize poor, under-served and impoverished communities across America.

“I had landed my dream job. I worked for a high-profile White House Initiative during the day and I attended Georgetown Law at night. I had the opportunity to travel across the country rebuilding impoverished communities—just like my hometown. I was raised in the worst place to live in America and I had just been given the keys to the White House. But it never dawned on me that this golden opportunity could be so fleeting.

“I learned two important lessons inside the beltway that don’t make sense anywhere else. He will do anything for money is actually considered a compliment; and you can’t trust an honest man. My biggest fears were realized when I learned that the Mid-Delta Empowerment Zone Alliance (MDEZA) had received a $40 Million grant. MDEZA had one of the worst, if not the worst, grant applications USDA received—so this award was all about the politics. Eventually, the new Executive Director, Harold Lathon, came to USDA for help when he discovered theft, forgery, stolen checks and poor financial controls at MDEZA. He even requested an audit. It was my job to help him, because I was the Desk Officer assigned to Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. We reported the malfeasance to the Office of Inspector General and also to the President’s Initiative on Race. That’s how I became a Federal whistleblower… and an instant pariah at USDA.

“As a result, I became one of the leading public interest advocates for civil rights and whistleblower protections. Unfortunately, the good government community viewed whistleblowing as “public health and safety” concerns—and not about Title VII. I decided to approach whistleblowing as fundamental civil and human rights and Lawrence Lucas was the person I enlisted to help me do this—because Lawrence is one of the fiercest civil rights advocates that I know. While, Mr. Lucas is a fearless fighter for Civil Rights—he is afraid to fly... and he could not attend the conference in person. He asked me to convey his remarks to you.

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHELLE LUCAS
NBFA President’s Award Honoree Lawrence Lucas, President Emeritus of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees

“I will not accept this award for me—I will only accept this award on behalf of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees and the Black Farmers because I could / would not receive this recognition without them. And I want to thank Ron Cotton, Lesa Donley, Marcel Reid, and Michael McCray. I could not have won this award without you.

“Thank John Boyd who helped me begin my travel on the long road to justice… Thanks to John Boyd for supporting the rights of USDA employees, as well it has been said by Senator Grassley’s wife we were chosen to take on the Civil Rights struggle at USDA.

“And some people who have not survived this long—I accept this on behalf of those who are not with us tonight such as: George Hilderbrath, Donald Berger… Lupe Garcia and so many others—and my wonderful supportive wife Michelle Lucas. In closing, I recited Lawrence Lucas’ favorite poem… about the long road to justice.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

 


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Re: Check out US Forest Service Finds 34 Cases Of Sexual Ha | The Daily Caller



On December 8, 2017, at 9:46 PM, Lawrence Lucas <lawrlcl@aol.com> wrote:






2 december 2017
good morning mr.  brandt:
i find it necessary to share with you personally & senator grassley office that Black farmers & suffering usda employees keep asking me why senator grassley office & he personally, has abandon us.  this includes the many women whistlblowers that have been sexually & physically abused, including rape, in the usda forest service. their suffering was made clear in the recent  below update story, written by michael volpe, published in the daily caller,  on november 20, 2017.

US Forest Service Finds 34 Cases Of Sexual Ha | The Daily Caller
all our attempts to meet with senator grassley over the past years have gone on deaf ears....sorry to say.
please share with senator grassley & his wonderful wife her comment/quote in the below Black farmer story, published in the huffington post, 30 november 2017.
the coalition again, request a meeting with senator grassley to discuss these matters of continued widespread discrimination at the us department of agriculture, "the last plantation".
respectfully,
lawrence lucas, president emeritus
usda coalition of minority employees
856/ 910-2399

Subject: Lucas Receive Black Farmer Award, Michael McCray, Huffington Post, 30 Nov 2017

Black Farmers And Their Long Road To Justice

11/30/2017 10:25 am ET
PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL MCCRAY
National Black Farmers Association Welcome Banner

HATTIESBURG, MS—Earlier, this month I had the pleasure of attending the 27th Annual National Black Farmers Association Conference hosted in partnership with the Association of American Indian Farmers (AAIF) and National Women Farmers Association (NWFA). It is an interactive two day program giving you practical knowledge and techniques to enhance your skills and networking, and financial resource capabilities for small, limited resource and socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and landowners. I drove to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to receive the President’s Award for Civil Rights on behalf of my good friend Lawrence Lucas.

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL MCCRAY
National Black Farmers Awards Banquet

I arrived just in time for the 27th Annual NBFA Awards Banquet. It was a long drive down the winding country roads to Hattiesburg, MS—Dinner was served with the special entertainment. Dr. John Boyd introduced the award telling a very moving story about how Lawrence Lucas mentored him about fighting for Civil Rights against USDA. Dr. John Boyd is perhaps most famous for bringing two mules (liberty & justice) to the National Mall in front of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protest the poor treatment of Black Farmers.

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL MCCRAY
National Black Farmers Awards Presentation

The theme for the conference was “Growing Opportunities For Farmers.” The two-day conference began with a Welcome from Dr. John Wesley Boyd, Jr., NBFA; an Opening Prayer by Reverend Lovely Moore; followed by a Greeting from Marc Morial, President CEO National Urban League. This very informative conference covered a range of topics and included information about Black Farmers Discrimination. Dr. John Boyd, Jr., NBFA and Kara Brewer Boyd, AAIF President gave remarks about the USDA Lawsuit and Settlement Updates. The presentations focused on providing information on Agricultural programs and techniques in the areas of farm credit and financing, networking, communications, skills, legal and social services, farm management teaching tools, international markets, and many more.

During the Awards Banquet, Dr. Boyd said that his purpose was to give people their flowers while they are still living—and to say thank you to the people who helped him… the first person that he could think of was Lawrence Lucas. And I was very honored and proud to accept the award on his behalf.

PHOTO CREDIT: TERENCE PENISTER
Dr. John Boyd, President of the National Association of Black Farmers (Left) and Attorney Michael McCray, Author / Speaker and host of the Whistleblowers Summit for Civil and Human Rights (Right)

Subscribe to The Morning Email.
Wake up to the day's most important news.

I began my presentation, “The soil is rich but the people are poor. I grew up in the Arkansas River Delta, one of the most impoverished areas in the country. And Pine Bluff—where I live—had the dubious distinction of being ranked the worst place to live in America—two years in a row. Even though my hometown was poor, I grew up middle class, because both my parents were educators and they valued order and integrity.

“I went on to law school (at Georgetown), got an MBA in Finance (from Howard) and earned my CPA. As a result I became a very rules-oriented person—who wanted to use my education in the world of Corporate Finance. But I got involved in national politics when my Governor (Bill Clinton) ran for President—and he won. As a result, I got an opportunity to use my education, not on Wall Street, but by working in Economic Development for the Clinton White House. The Federal Empowerment Zones Program was designed to revitalize poor, under-served and impoverished communities across America.

“I had landed my dream job. I worked for a high-profile White House Initiative during the day and I attended Georgetown Law at night. I had the opportunity to travel across the country rebuilding impoverished communities—just like my hometown. I was raised in the worst place to live in America and I had just been given the keys to the White House. But it never dawned on me that this golden opportunity could be so fleeting.

“I learned two important lessons inside the beltway that don’t make sense anywhere else. He will do anything for money is actually considered a compliment; and you can’t trust an honest man. My biggest fears were realized when I learned that the Mid-Delta Empowerment Zone Alliance (MDEZA) had received a $40 Million grant. MDEZA had one of the worst, if not the worst, grant applications USDA received—so this award was all about the politics. Eventually, the new Executive Director, Harold Lathon, came to USDA for help when he discovered theft, forgery, stolen checks and poor financial controls at MDEZA. He even requested an audit. It was my job to help him, because I was the Desk Officer assigned to Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. We reported the malfeasance to the Office of Inspector General and also to the President’s Initiative on Race. That’s how I became a Federal whistleblower… and an instant pariah at USDA.

“As a result, I became one of the leading public interest advocates for civil rights and whistleblower protections. Unfortunately, the good government community viewed whistleblowing as “public health and safety” concerns—and not about Title VII. I decided to approach whistleblowing as fundamental civil and human rights and Lawrence Lucas was the person I enlisted to help me do this—because Lawrence is one of the fiercest civil rights advocates that I know. While, Mr. Lucas is a fearless fighter for Civil Rights—he is afraid to fly... and he could not attend the conference in person. He asked me to convey his remarks to you.

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHELLE LUCAS
NBFA President’s Award Honoree Lawrence Lucas, President Emeritus of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees

“I will not accept this award for me—I will only accept this award on behalf of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees and the Black Farmers because I could / would not receive this recognition without them. And I want to thank Ron Cotton, Lesa Donley, Marcel Reid, and Michael McCray. I could not have won this award without you.

“Thank John Boyd who helped me begin my travel on the long road to justice… Thanks to John Boyd for supporting the rights of USDA employees, as well it has been said by Senator Grassley’s wife we were chosen to take on the Civil Rights struggle at USDA.

“And some people who have not survived this long—I accept this on behalf of those who are not with us tonight such as: George Hilderbrath, Donald Berger… Lupe Garcia and so many others—and my wonderful supportive wife Michelle Lucas. In closing, I recited Lawrence Lucas’ favorite poem… about the long road to justice.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

 


2 december 2017 good morning mr.  brandt: i find it necessary to share with you personally & senator grassley office that Black farmers & suffering usda employees keep asking me why senator grassley office & he personally, has abandon us.  this includes the many women whistlblowers that have been sexually & physically abused, including rape, in the usda forest service. their suffering was made clear in the recent  below update story, written by michael volpe, published in the daily caller,  on november 20, 2017. US Forest Service Finds 34 Cases Of Sexual Ha | The Daily Caller all our attempts to meet with senator grassley over the past years have gone on deaf ears....sorry to say. please share with senator grassley & his wonderful wife her comment/quote in the below Black farmer story, published in the huffington post, 30 november 2017. the coalition again, request a meeting with senator grassley to discuss these matters of continued widespread discrimination at the us department of agriculture, "the last plantation". respectfully, lawrence lucas, president emeritus usda coalition of minority employees 856/ 910-2399 Subject: Lucas Receive Black Farmer Award, Michael McCray, Huffington Post, 30 Nov 2017 Michael McCray, Esq., CPA (inactive), Contributor Author / Speaker and Public Interest Advocate Black Farmers And Their Long Road To Justice 11/30/2017 10:25 am ET         PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL MCCRAY National Black Farmers Association Welcome Banner HATTIESBURG, MS—Earlier, this month I had the pleasure of attending the 27th Annual National Black Farmers Association Conference hosted in partnership with the Association of American Indian Farmers (AAIF) and National Women Farmers Association (NWFA). It is an interactive two day program giving you practical knowledge and techniques to enhance your skills and networking, and financial resource capabilities for small, limited resource and socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers and landowners. I drove to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to receive the President’s Award for Civil Rights on behalf of my good friend Lawrence Lucas. PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL MCCRAY National Black Farmers Awards Banquet I arrived just in time for the 27th Annual NBFA Awards Banquet. It was a long drive down the winding country roads to Hattiesburg, MS—Dinner was served with the special entertainment. Dr. John Boyd introduced the award telling a very moving story about how Lawrence Lucas mentored him about fighting for Civil Rights against USDA. Dr. John Boyd is perhaps most famous for bringing two mules (liberty & justice) to the National Mall in front of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protest the poor treatment of Black Farmers. PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL MCCRAY National Black Farmers Awards Presentation The theme for the conference was “Growing Opportunities For Farmers.” The two-day conference began with a Welcome from Dr. John Wesley Boyd, Jr., NBFA; an Opening Prayer by Reverend Lovely Moore; followed by a Greeting from Marc Morial, President CEO National Urban League. This very informative conference covered a range of topics and included information about Black Farmers Discrimination. Dr. John Boyd, Jr., NBFA and Kara Brewer Boyd, AAIF President gave remarks about the USDA Lawsuit and Settlement Updates. The presentations focused on providing information on Agricultural programs and techniques in the areas of farm credit and financing, networking, communications, skills, legal and social services, farm management teaching tools, international markets, and many more. During the Awards Banquet, Dr. Boyd said that his purpose was to give people their flowers while they are still living—and to say thank you to the people who helped him… the first person that he could think of was Lawrence Lucas. And I was very honored and proud to accept the award on his behalf. PHOTO CREDIT: TERENCE PENISTER Dr. John Boyd, President of the National Association of Black Farmers (Left) and Attorney Michael McCray, Author / Speaker and host of the Whistleblowers Summit for Civil and Human Rights (Right) Subscribe to The Morning Email. Wake up to the day's most important news. I began my presentation, “The soil is rich but the people are poor. I grew up in the Arkansas River Delta, one of the most impoverished areas in the country. And Pine Bluff—where I live—had the dubious distinction of being ranked the worst place to live in America—two years in a row. Even though my hometown was poor, I grew up middle class, because both my parents were educators and they valued order and integrity. “I went on to law school (at Georgetown), got an MBA in Finance (from Howard) and earned my CPA. As a result I became a very rules-oriented person—who wanted to use my education in the world of Corporate Finance. But I got involved in national politics when my Governor (Bill Clinton) ran for President—and he won. As a result, I got an opportunity to use my education, not on Wall Street, but by working in Economic Development for the Clinton White House. The Federal Empowerment Zones Program was designed to revitalize poor, under-served and impoverished communities across America. “I had landed my dream job. I worked for a high-profile White House Initiative during the day and I attended Georgetown Law at night. I had the opportunity to travel across the country rebuilding impoverished communities—just like my hometown. I was raised in the worst place to live in America and I had just been given the keys to the White House. But it never dawned on me that this golden opportunity could be so fleeting. “I learned two important lessons inside the beltway that don’t make sense anywhere else. He will do anything for money is actually considered a compliment; and you can’t trust an honest man. My biggest fears were realized when I learned that the Mid-Delta Empowerment Zone Alliance (MDEZA) had received a $40 Million grant. MDEZA had one of the worst, if not the worst, grant applications USDA received—so this award was all about the politics. Eventually, the new Executive Director, Harold Lathon, came to USDA for help when he discovered theft, forgery, stolen checks and poor financial controls at MDEZA. He even requested an audit. It was my job to help him, because I was the Desk Officer assigned to Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. We reported the malfeasance to the Office of Inspector General and also to the President’s Initiative on Race. That’s how I became a Federal whistleblower… and an instant pariah at USDA. “As a result, I became one of the leading public interest advocates for civil rights and whistleblower protections. Unfortunately, the good government community viewed whistleblowing as “public health and safety” concerns—and not about Title VII. I decided to approach whistleblowing as fundamental civil and human rights and Lawrence Lucas was the person I enlisted to help me do this—because Lawrence is one of the fiercest civil rights advocates that I know. While, Mr. Lucas is a fearless fighter for Civil Rights—he is afraid to fly... and he could not attend the conference in person. He asked me to convey his remarks to you. PHOTO CREDIT: MICHELLE LUCAS NBFA President’s Award Honoree Lawrence Lucas, President Emeritus of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees “I will not accept this award for me—I will only accept this award on behalf of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees and the Black Farmers because I could / would not receive this recognition without them. And I want to thank Ron Cotton, Lesa Donley, Marcel Reid, and Michael McCray. I could not have won this award without you. “Thank John Boyd who helped me begin my travel on the long road to justice… Thanks to John Boyd for supporting the rights of USDA employees, as well it has been said by Senator Grassley’s wife we were chosen to take on the Civil Rights struggle at USDA. “And some people who have not survived this long—I accept this on behalf of those who are not with us tonight such as: George Hilderbrath, Donald Berger… Lupe Garcia and so many others—and my wonderful supportive wife Michelle Lucas. In closing, I recited Lawrence Lucas’ favorite poem… about the long road to justice. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.     by Taboola Sponsored Links You May Like 12 Awesome Gadgets Perfect For Xmas (Under $60)Lifed