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Friday, March 15, 2013

FW: Press Release


USDA Coalition of Minority Employees and Alabama NAACP "Stand for Justice" with Independent Black Farmers against USDA Discrimination and Corruption


Press Conference

Tuesday, March 19th 2013 at 10:00am

Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, AL 35203

Out-of-State Reporters can join by phone at 866-508-2264 Passcode: 2127510



Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (invited); Lawrence Lucas, President of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees; Bernard Simelton, President of the NAACP Alabama State Conference; Michael Stovall, Independent Black Farmer; Kevin Myles, NAACP Southeast Regional Director; Michael McCray, General Counsel for Federally Employed Women/Legal Education Fund (FEW/LEW); and others



The USDA Coalition of Minority Employees has received numerous complaints from Black Farmers and Minority Employees that they continue to be denied equal treatment by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  There are over 3,000 unprocessed Program and Employment Complainants at USDA since 1990s. Black farmers are still being denied equal access to farm loans. While this discrimination is well documented, the USDA has not settled thousands of claims and has breached signed settlement agreements,


Many believe that all Black farmer claims were settled with the Pigford Class lawsuits.  This is untrue. There are a group of Black farmers in Alabama and other states who were discriminated against when they applied for loans from the USDA.  These farmers filed separate claims from the Pigford group and some have received favorable judgments by USDA.  However, the USDA has reneged on the agreement they negotiated and, 10-15 years later, there is still no settlement with USDA.


The USDA Coalition of Minority Employees will join with the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP and their Southern Regional Office, Independent Black Farmers, Federally Employed Women/Legal Education Fund (FEW/LEF); and others to provide proof to the media and the public, that USDA has not lived up to its promise.



March 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Kelly Ingram Park Birmingham, AL 35203