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Civil Rights

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.
Deputy EEO Official EEO Liaison Officer
Luis Cruz-Arroyo, NRCS Caribbean Area Director  
Phone: 787-281-4836 Phone:
Fax: 855-415-2512 Fax: 855-415-2513
E-mail: E-mail:

Civil Rights Committee

Name / E-Mail, Program Title Telephone Fax
Michelle Catoni, Chair 787-896-3565 x105 855-412-2514
Esperanza Avilés, Vice Chair 787-831-3464 x103 855-415-2510
Mabel Vega, Secretary 787-837-4450 x107 855-415-2524
Julie Wright, Asian/ Pacific Islander Special Emphasis Program Manager & Outreach Liaison 340-692-9662 x107 855-415-2508
Yadira Feliciano, American Indian/ Alaskan Special Emphasis Program Manager 787-831-3416 x104 855-415-2510
Jovane Román, Black Special Emphasis Program Manager 787-831-3416 x102 855-415-2510
Linette Rosado, Federal Women's Special Emphasis Program Manager 787-817-2473 x115 855-415-2506
José Rodríguez, Hispanic Special Emphasis Program Manager 787-743-2743 x109 855-415-2507
José Victor Jiménez, LGBT Special Emphasis Program Manager 787-766-5132 855-415-2513  
Vacant, Disability Special Emphasis Program Manager    
Celso Ramos-Caraballo, Veteran's Special Emphasis Program Manager 787-831-3416 x120 855-415-2510
Luis Cruz-Arroyo, DEOO 787-281-4836 | 787-405-7368 855-415-2512
Silmarie Padrón, Civil Rights Liaison, ASTC Management & Strategy 787-766-5063 | 787-370-2703 855-415-2513
Lydia E. Collazo, Civil Rights Advisor, past Chair 787-766-5840 855-415-2513
Frank Velázquez, Civil Rights Liaison, ASTC Field Operations 787-766-5064 | 787-249-5874 855-415-2513

Caribbean Area Civil Rights Outreach

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Employment Information

Discrimination Complaint Process

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)

  • 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

Related Links


  • Michelle Catoni, Civil Rights Advisory Committee Chair, 787-896-3565, x. 105
  • Disability Emphasis Program Manager, for special accommodations.