MISSION: To provide counsel and recommendations to the Director on civil rights for all clients and employees.
VISION: A diverse workforce that, by reflecting the face of the Caribbean Area, will provide equal opportunity and quality of service to all customers.
Civil Rights Committee
Advisor and Ethics Officer
Elizabeth Hernández, Human Resources Manager
Phone: 787-766-5206, Ext. 129; Fax: 787-766-5245
|Name / E-Mail, Program Title
|Manuel Matos, Chair
|Nilda González, Administrative Assistant to the Director
|Fernando Arroyo, Civil Rights Advisor/ Liaison, ASTC Field Operations
|Mario Rodríguez, Civil Rights Advisor
|Lydia Collazo, Federal Women's & GLBT Special Emphasis Program Manager
|Rafael Sierra, Hispanic Special Emphasis Program Manager
|Yadira Feliciano, American Indian/ Alaskan Special Emphasis Program Manager
|Asian/ Pacific Islander Special Emphasis Program Manager
|Michelle Catoni, Disability Special Emphasis Program Manager
||787-896-3565, x. 105
|Rudy G. O'Reilly, Jr., Black Special Emphasis Program Manager & Member at Large for USVI
||340-692-9662 x. 106
|Luis García, Veteran's Special Emphasis Program Manager & Member at Large for PR
||787-766-5206 x. 132
|Israel Vega, District Conservationist workforce representative
||787-894-1480, x. 111
|Vivian Vera, Soil Conservation Technician workforce representative
||787-743-2743, x. 109
|Julie Wright, Outreach Coordinator
||340-692-9662 x. 107
Caribbean Area Civil Rights Outreach
These documents require Adobe Acrobat.
- October 2014 is National Disability Awareness Month! - NEW!
- Caribbean Area Disability Special Emphasis Program Newsletter - October 2014 (PDF, KB) - NEW!
- September 15 - October 15, 2014 is National Hispanic Heritage Month! - NEW!
- Caribbean Area LGBT & FWPM FY2014 Accomplishments Report - September 2014 (PDF, 559 KB) - NEW!
- NRCS Commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - August 2014
- In Conversation With .. The Freedom Riders - August 2014 (PDF, 342 KB)
- Caribbean Area FWPM FY14 4th Quarter Flyer - August 2014 (PDF, 330 KB)
- June is National LGBT Pride Month Flyer - June 2014 (PDF, 277 KB)
- May 17th is International Day Against Homphobia Flyer - May 2014 (PDF, 227 KB)
- December 1st is World Aids Day! (PDF, 184 KB)
- June is LGBT Pride Month! - June 2013 (PDF, 389 KB)
- Federal Women's Program (FWPM) Flyer - April 2013 (PDF, 292 KB)
- Federal Women's Program (FWPM) Flyer - March 2013 (PDF, 249 KB)
- Women's History Month Poster - March 2013 (PDF, 530 KB)
- Caribbean Area Black History Month Celebration Flyer - February 2013 (PDF, 211 KB)
- 2013 Black History Month Poster (PDF, 1MB) - February 2013
- Disability Month Poster - October 2012 (PDF, 256 KB)
- LGBT/SEP 2nd Quarter Newsletter - March 2012 (PDF; 303 KB)
- FWPM/SEP December 2011 Newsletter - January 2012 (PDF; KB)
- NRCS Caribbean Area Salutes its Veterans - November 2011 (PDF; 570 KB)
- Caribbean Area Civil Rights FY 2011 Annual Newsletter - October 2011 (PDF; 895 KB)
- Caribbean Area Civil Rights Brochure - October 2011 (PDF; 297 KB)
- LGBT/SEP Newsletter - National Coming Out Day - October 2011 (PDF; 141 KB)
- FWPM Flyer - September 2011 (PDF; 264 KB)
- FWPM Flyer - August 2011 (PDF; 134 KB)
- LGBT/SEP 3rd Quarter Newsletter - June 2011 (PDF; 254 KB)
- Women of the Caribbean Area NRCS Poster - March 2011 (PDF; 183 KB)
- FWPM Flyer - February 2011 (PDF; 137 KB)
- LGBT/SEP 1st Quarter Newsletter - December 2010 (PDF; 196 KB)
Discrimination Complaint Process
Elizabeth Hernández - Human Resources Manager, Caribbean Area State Office, 787-766-5206 x. 129
If you believe you have been discriminated against because of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, age (if over 40), national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or reprisal for equal employment activities, in an employment matter or in the workplace, and wish to initiate an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint, you must contact your EEO counselor within 45 days of the alleged discriminatory action. Contact the USDA-NRCS Civil Rights Employment Division at 301-504-2181 for assignment of an EEO counselor or visit the NRCS Civil Rights Division EEO Complaint site for more information.
NRCS Civil Rights Employment Division
5601 Sunnyside Avenue
Mail Stop #5472
Belstville, MD 20705-5472
Sexual Harassment Contact (Training & Concerns)
- Elizabeth Hernández, Human Resources Manager, Caribbean Area State Office, 787-766-5206 x. 129
- Sexual Harassment Hotline: 1-888-FIGHT IT (1-888-344-4848)
For information, advice, or assistance, call this toll free number from any phone. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An NRCS staff member will respond during a 8-hour, workday. If a person is away from the desk, or if you call outside work hours, or on a weekend, an answering machine - one solely dedicated to this hotline which remains in a private, locked office - will tape whatever information you care to disclose.
Employee Assistance Program
Confidential, professional counseling is available at no cost to NRCS employees, provided by The Sand Creek Group, Ltd., Stillwater, MN. They can help you deal with difficult problems (relationship issues, separation or divorce concerns, alcohol or other chemical abuse, concerns about your job, loss and grief, financial crisis, parent/child difficulties, and many other personal problems.
- Phone: 1-888-243-5744 or
- TDD # 1-800-627-3529
As part of continued efforts to close the chapter on allegations that discrimination occurred at USDA in past decades, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Assistant Attorney General Tony West have established a process to resolve the claims of Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who assert that they were discriminated against when seeking USDA farm loans. The program will provide up to $50,000 for each Hispanic or woman farmer who can show that USDA denied them a loan or loan servicing for discriminatory reasons for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000. Individuals interested in participating in the claims process may register to receive a claims package, or may obtain more information, by visiting www.farmerclaims.gov. Completed Claims must be submitted by May 1, 2013.
- USDA-NRCS Civil Rights Program
- U.S. Commission on Civil Rights - Mission, Publications, Calendar, Directory, Information on filing a complaint, News releases.
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - About the EEOC, Facts about Employment Discrimination, Filing a Charge, Enforcement and Litigation, Technical Assistance Program, Related sites.
- Office of the U.S. Attorney General, Civil Rights Division - Mission, Special Issues, Speeches, Selected Cases and Briefs, Newsletter, Directory.
USDA Equal Opportunity Statement
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Elizabeth Hernández, Human Resources Manager, 787-766-5206, x. 129