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Civil Rights | Meeting or Exceeding in the Civil Rights Arena

Meeting or Exceeding in the Civil Rights Arena

There is no set answer on how to exceed in the civil rights (CR) element of a performance work plan (PWP). Supervisors monitor performance and evaluate whether that element has been exceeded. Usually a single action, unless it has a significant impact, is not enough to justify a higher rating. It will generally take a series of extra accomplishments, or a consistent “above and beyond” effort before a supervisor can confidently justify a higher rating. Ensure the “fully successful” requirements outlined in the PWP are accomplished and continue to seek out additional opportunities. Make sure to document accomplishments.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has the expectation that employees will offer NRCS services to all individuals on an equal basis without discrimination.

Below are suggested activities for success in the PWP CR element:

  • Identify new minority and limited resource cooperators and act on it. Arrange to speak about the programs NRCS has to offer.
  • Identify and work with community-based organizations and act on it.
  • Participate in different ethnic organizations (i.e., The National Association of Blacks in Government [BIG]; Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists [MAES]). Membership is not enough. Be involved!
  • Speak at professional society meetings concerning equal opportunity (EO).
  • Organize programs for national awareness month observances. Make presentations.
  • Participate in a women’s conference. Help organize it. Make presentations.
  • Give EO/CR presentations at field office (FO), area office (AO), state office (SO), or “team” meetings. This cannot be part of your normal job. You should be working above and beyond your normal expected duties.
  • Document recruitment efforts for the local district board. Encourage the district board and resource conservation and development (RC&D) councils to achieve a balance of all ethnic groups that reflects the local community.
  • Make an EO/Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) video.
  • Bring in a speaker on an EEO/CR/EO topic. Let them speak about diversity in the workplace or what barriers our programs have in serving their group.
  • Propose suggestions to the Civil Rights Advisory Committee (CRAC).
  • Share a success story at a CRAC meeting that could be published on the CRAC Web page or otherwise distributed statewide.
  • Nominate deserving people and organizations for NRCS CR awards.
  • Each year there are multiple special emphasis months and activities hosted throughout USDA. Organize or attend an event in your office during this period (or any other time) that highlights a specific group.
  • Serve as an informal mentor for a new and/or current employee.
  • Be a part of the recruitment process by looking out for qualified candidates for NRCS job opportunities and referring them to the human resources specialist. Share vacancy and recruitment announcements and NRCS literature with the general public, especially those interested in NRCS job opportunities.
  • Participate in youth activities involving targeted groups to enhance the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)/Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) recruitment.
  • Attend and participate in a Kansas CRAC meeting with supervisory approval.
  • Prepare or staff a display at a targeted group meeting or event.
  • Lead a discussion on how your office can better work with an underserved group by removing barriers to their participation.
  • Identify underserved groups and develop an outreach plan. Talk to these groups or individuals and find out what their conservation needs are and if changes are needed in our programs to meet those needs. Remember that an underserved group may not be an identified minority. They may be persons who raise specialty crops, have limited access to resources, or just be a group or community that hasn’t participated with NRCS in the past.
  • Apply for a position on the CRAC or for a Special Emphasis Program Manager position.
  • Submit articles to the Public Affairs Specialist on an EEO/CR subject. Maybe you have an outstanding project that just happens to have been done by a limited resource farmer or rancher.