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2005 Kansas Civil Rights Achievement Award

Kansas Civil Rights Achievement Award - 2005 Recipients

Kim Lary and Bruce Yonke

Bruce Yonke has a very active outreach program to the Native American community in Jackson County, Kansas. Over the years, he has developed a close relationship with the Prairie Band Potawatomie Tribe and has contributed greatly to their efforts to address natural resource concerns on tribally-owned and tribal trust properties.

He has been instrumental in several significant projects on the reservation, including a stream bank stabilization demonstration project and assistance in developing an irrigated fruit orchard.

Bruce serves as an advisor on the Tribe's Natural Resources Council and has helped the Tribe create a process to develop a conservation plan on all newly purchased properties resulting from Casino profits.

In working with the Tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, he was also primarily responsible for developing the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) special Tribal allocation that has resulted in nearly $200,000 in EQIP funds targeted specifically at Native American-owned and operated land in the last two years.

Gary Parks

Gary Parks is completing his 3rd year as the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AA/PI) Special Emphasis Program Manager (SEPM) in Kansas. In this short time he has made significant contributions to the program in Kansas and nationally. Gary has revitalized the program with his energy and enthusiasm while presenting enlightening and educational information to all administrative areas throughout our state. Gary has established an outstanding rapport with members of the Asian Pacific Islander Organization (APIO) and his professionalism, knowledge, and caring attitude has earned him much respect.

The most ambitious project he completed was lobbying for and bringing to Kansas the 2005 APIO Training Conference. He spent untold hours of his personal time organizing and managing the numerous items and events required for such an ambitious undertaking. Kansas was placed in the spotlight during this experience and due to Gary's never-ending attention to detail, and commitment to excellence, the state provided an outstanding event.

Gary's leadership, encouragement, and vision for not only the AA/PI, but the civil rights program in general, provided the catalyst for the advancement of the civil rights program in Kansas. Gary's numerous achievements as an SEPM and in the civil rights arena have been nothing short of inspiring.

Yi Kum

Yi Kum serves as the designer and editor of the Asian Pacific Islander Organization (APIO) Web page. She has been working on the Web page since late November 2004 and has spent approximately 80 hours designing, developing, and updating the Web site. More than 95 percent of these 80 hours have been hours spent at home from her personal computer.

Yi's volunteer efforts were a valuable asset to the APIO as the organization prepared for the 2005 APIO Training Conference which was held in Wichita, Kansas, August 8-12, 2005. Over 100 members and Special Emphasis Program Managers used the site for registration and current conference information. In addition, all other NRCS employees and the general public now have the opportunity to learn more about the APIO, it's membership, and the Asian American/Pacific Islander cultural heritage through this Web site.

Yi has done an exceptional job in developing the APIO Web page. Her commitment has resulted in delivering information to all of NRCS; whereby promoting diversity in our workforce and increasing the outreach to our customers.