order non hybrid seeds LandRightsNFarming: FW: Coalition Delegation Meeting, Secretary Vilsack & Top Staff, October 4, ...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

FW: Coalition Delegation Meeting, Secretary Vilsack & Top Staff, October 4, ...

March 28, 2013
Please read all the information below, especially, about the recent press conference in Birmingham Alabama, 19 March 2013.
Below: The USDA Coalition of Minority Employees delegation (Black farmers and USDA employees), met with Secretary Tom Vilsack and top staff, October 4, 2011. USDA listened and did little to correct the real problem. Additionally, truth, transparency and accountability remains a serious problem at USDA, as well. After many request, Secretary Vilsack has refused to have a follow up meeting to discuss resolution of our many issues & concerns. 
Lawrence Lucas, President   
USDA Coalition of Minority Employees


October 5, 2011

Network for Women's Equality (Net-WE.com)




WASHINGTON, DC - A group of women from as far away as California came to "Filibuster for Justice," taking place outside the Department of Agriculture. The women joined the "USDA Coalition of Minority Employees & Minority Farmers" to demonstrate while awaiting a positive response from Obama-appointed USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. For two years, Vilsack refused to meet with the group to discuss serious civil rights issues and concerns. The group asked that he meet with them to address the "racism, sexism, sexual assaults, bullying, racial epithet (hangman's nooses, use of the "N" word, the justification of a monkey doll), reprisals, intimidation, and hostile work environment."

In an Open Letter to President Obama, Lesa Donnelly, VP of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees wrote, "...Secretary Vilsack seems to care little that women have been financially ruined, put in the hospital due to workplace violence, have been hospitalized for emotional breakdowns, are in fear for their lives, and have become suicidal." She asked the President for his help in order to stop the abuse, further stating, "The situation in Region 5 is so dire that we women were compelled to establish our own crisis intervention group. ...Last month I had a suicide call from a Hispanic woman. Today (September 29, 2011), I had a suicide call from a Native American woman. ...Last week, a Native American firefighter was going to quit her job because male firefighters wrote "whore" on the wall of her fire station. It was the last straw. This is the same woman I spoke of in my last letter who was sexually harassed, physically assaulted and forced to urinate in front of the men." The open letter continued stating that Tribal leaders throughout California were becoming increasingly concerned about treatment of our Native American women in the USDA Forest Service.


U.S. Department of Agriculture


USDA is an old agency having been formed in 1862 and given Cabinet status in 1889, with about 100,000 employees and $132 billion to spend. The Department is responsible for developing and executing government policy on farming, agriculture and food. When President Lincoln established the independent agency, he called it the "people's department." Can you imagine what Lincoln would think about his department today, when over a decade later, women, Black farmers and other minorities, such as Native Americans, are seeking justice from abuse.

Based on its early beginning and history, it would be expected that, formed by and for the "Good Ole' Boys," they would continue to support their own and have less diversity than the smaller, much younger Federal departments and agencies. Based on USDA statistics (2007), women in USDA constitute about 44% of the permanent workforce, Blacks 11%, Hispanics 6%, Asian/Pacific Islanders 2.4%, Veterans 12%, and Disabled 7%. Employees aged 50 years and over account for 46% of the permanent workforce and 81% of the Senior Executive Service (SES). Women and minorities are represented at lower rates than their participation in the supervisory and SES ranks. For example, women represent 44% of the workforce, but only 28% are supervisors and 24% are SES; there are no Native Americans in the SES out of their 2.4% representation. The diversity of the workforce is of serious concern because it represents the nation's changes socially, racially, ethnically and economically. The previously all-white male bastions are losing men to retirement, with women, minorities and people with disabilities clamoring for their places. The leadership and who controls the decision-making then determines policies and practices. Issues confronting our leaders, managers and supervisors in today's climate need to be dealt with in a more progressive manner. Their issues, differences, existence, needs and concerns have to be addressed head on or there will be significant costs, personal and professional, associated with complainants, whistle blowers, and grievants. Stalling, threatening, retaliating against, and ignoring them will not make them go away.

discrimination still against Black farmers & usda employees
see a host of stories covering the most recent, alabama naacp, independent farmers & the usda coalition of minority employees press conference held march 19, 2013, in birmingham alabama. while washington folks inside the beltway have been silent. the naacp organization in alabama has not.