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Black Emphasis Program

Lewis Nichols
Black Emphasis Program Manager
USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service
211 N. Appleton, Belvidere, Illinois 61008
Ph: 815.544.2677 ext. 3
E-Mail: Lewis Nichols


The Black Emphasis Program Manager (BEPM) assists the State Conservationist and others on matters affecting the employment, and advancement of Black employees, and serves as the principal liaison between the National BEPM and the Black employees in the state. In addition, the BEPM assists the organization in improving program delivery to its customers.

Objectives of the Black Emphasis Program:

  • To ensure that Equal Employment Opportunity is provided for African-Americans in recruitment, training, promotion, and upward mobility.
  • To initiate and conduct programs to increase representation of minorities and other under-represented groups through special outreach efforts.
  • To reduce employment/program complaints and findings of discrimination.
  • To improve the program composition or workforce profile to reflect the population served.
  • To utilize the knowledge and skills of all qualified individuals to include participation on boards, committees, and task groups.
  • To provide an effective channel of communication to management regarding minority concerns and issues.
  • To improve outreach efforts to under-served individuals and communities.
Black Emphasis Program Factsheet

Calendar of Events

Black History Month



National Organization of Professional Black NRCS Employees (NOPBNRCSE) - "The Organization" is to enhance the awareness of and improve the level of education and professional development of Black employees within NRCS and to increase the participation of Blacks in agriculture, natural resources, and related fields. Membership in The Organization is open to all employees.

NOPBNRCSE Illinois Chapter

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - The principle objective of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of the United States.

National Urban League, Inc. - for contact, program and service information nationwide.

The Enlightener - Newsletter of the NAACP Rockford, Illinois, Chapter.

Black Women’s Network


Alabama A&M University
Alcorn State University
Morehouse College
Southern University - Baton Rouge
Spelman College
Tennessee State University
Tuskegee University
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff