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NRCS New York Black Emphasis Program


The Black Emphasis Program Manager (BEPM) assists the State Conservationist with matters affecting Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Titles VI and VII) for Black employee’s/employment and program participation, (see below). The BEPM also 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.

Civil Rights

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Titles VI and VII) requires all programs and employment practices to be administered without regard to race, color, sex, national origin and religion. Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the Federal sector. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has made great strides over the past years in the areas of equal employment and program outreach.

What are Civil Rights?

It is the law of the land. It is the right that all people are protected from discrimination in employment regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or mental or physical disability.

Civil Rights and EEO Equal opportunity is the law of the land that applies to employment activities in both the Federal and private sectors. It is fair to say that EEO and civil rights began with the Constitution and Bill of Rights; however, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights did not mention employment discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had the greatest impact on employment by providing protection and enforcement under the law against discrimination.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal for any employer to deny anyone a job because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Title VII also prohibited discrimination in firing, promoting, training, salary, and all other privileges of employment. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC was given the responsibility to investigate EEO complaints and to attempt to resolve those complaints through conciliation and mediation.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that no person in the United States shall, on the "grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

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 Fact Sheet

Calendar of Events

Month Activity
January - Third Monday of the month Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
February Black History Month


USDA 1890 National Scholars Program
USDA 1890 National Scholars Program

The National Scholars Program is a major effort of the USDA and the nineteen 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions, to award scholarships to students to attend one of the nineteen 1890 Institutions in any field of study in agriculture, food, natural resource sciences or other related disciplines. USDA 1890 National Scholars Program


General Manual - Black Emphasis Program (230, Part 403, Subpart D)
History Channel's Black History Month
Photos From The U.S. Civil Right Movement
U.S. Census Bureau
USA Jobs


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.

National Urban League
Black Women’s Network
National NRCS Civil Rights Website


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

Tammy Willis, Black Emphasis Program Manager
Telephone: 315-477-6503
E-Mail: Tammy Willis