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Civil Rights Brochure

Arkansas Civil Rights Advisory Committee

Civil rights is an integral part of all USDA conservation programs in Arkansas.

It is NRCS’ policy to uphold a system of personnel management that ensures high standards of honesty, integrity, impartiality and conduct. Employees make civil rights a conscious part of daily business by taking a proactive approach to diversity and valuing its strength.

The Arkansas Civil Rights Advisory Committee is an advisory body to the state conservationist. It assists management in ensuring civil rights and equal opportunity, employment and program delivery -- as outlined in the Arkansas Civil Rights Business Plan -- are achieved throughout the state in:

  • Title VI - Information and services reach underserved communities, farmers and social/ cultural groups.

  • Title VII - Recruitment, career opportunities, fair treatment and promotion of a diverse population of employees in government.

Outreach

Outreach in Arkansas is a high priority. The Arkansas Conservation Partnership strengthens NRCS’ communication and networking with diverse state and local audiences and enhances participation in USDA programs through long-term strategies to reach underserved communities, farmers and social/cultural groups.

Program Goals and Objectives

  • Assist management in achieving and improving career opportunities and ensuring employees are treated fairly.

  • Ensure information and services reach underserved communities, farmers and social/cultural groups.

  • Eliminate barriers and discriminatory attitudes that hinder applicants and employees from moving into certain occupations or high level positions.

  • Identify problems and solutions in recruitment and retention of women and minorities in the federal work force.

  • Identify and work toward elimination of sexual harassment and violence in the workplace.

Committee Support

  • The committee provides direct support to the state conservationist. Members:

  • Provide feedback on EO and CR program performance; identify areas of weakness and recommend action for improvement.

  • Identify emerging areas needing special attention by the state conservationist.

  • Recommend policies, practices and procedures as they affect EO, special emphasis programs, delivery of services and equal employment opportunities.

  • Assist with field office CR reviews.

  • Identify and assist with training to employees in Title VI and Title VII.

  • Promote nomination of individuals.

  • Support statewide outreach efforts.

  • Recruit from colleges and universities with students from under represented groups.

Special Emphasis Programs

The Federal Women’s Program manager evaluates activities and promotes programs addressing the specific needs of women. An annual women’s program is open to all employees.

The Black Emphasis Program manager represents Arkansas at state, regional and national meetings focusing on African American issues.

The Multicultural Emphasis Program manager ensures the needs and concerns of Asian Pacific Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and persons with disabilities are considered in NRCS.

Contact human resources at (501) 301-3136 for current program managers.

Special Observance Months

  • January -- Martin Luther King’s Birthday

  • February -- Black History Month

  • March -- Women’s History Month

  • May -- Asian Pacific American

  • September -- Hispanic Heritage

  • October -- Disability Awareness

  • November -- American Indian Heritage

Why Emphasize Diversity?

An organization which values diversity and encourages and recognizes the contributions of all employees is a healthier, more productive organization.

All employees would be free to focus on their jobs without worry that race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status, or any other characteristics which have no bearing on job performance, will influence career opportunities or opportunities to make contributions to the organization.

Diversity contributes to the organization’s problem solving and responsiveness by increasing the variety of viewpoints and perspectives to meet new challenges. Everyone gains strength through unity.

Valuing and recognizing diversity enables an organization to benefit from the different perspectives and contributions that each employee brings to the workplace and to maintain competitiveness in a global environment.

Agency resources can be more focused on business issues and work environment improvements and less on processing employee complaints (e.g., grievances and equal opportunity complaints).

How Can the Civil Rights Committee Work for You?

  • Get to know the Civil Rights Advisory Committee members and develop a working relationship with them.

  • Attend meetings sponsored by the committee and Special Emphasis Program Managers.

  • Discuss ideas and proposals on improving employment opportunities and working conditions with committee members.

Who Serves on the Committee?

Currently, the committee has 10 general members and three Special Emphasis Program Managers. Each general member is selected to serve a three-year term. NRCS management is represented on the committee by an advisor. Any permanent NRCS employee is eligible to serve on the committee.

Special Emphasis Program Mangers serve a three- to five-year term. Individuals who are interested in serving on the committee may respond when an announcement is issued. The state conservationist fills any vacant position.

Accomplishments

  • Arkansas Civil Rights Advisory Committee brochure.

  • Arkansas Civil Rights Advisory Committee Web page.

  • Annual Arkansas Civil Rights Business Plan.

  • Black History Month observance.

  • Recruiting at schools and universities.

  • Special Emphasis Program activities.

  • Women’s History Month observance.

Last Modified: 03/28/2011