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Civil Rights

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Standing Advisory, Non-Voting Committee Members

Deputy Civil Rights Officer Sheldon Hightower 615-277-2531
Civil Rights Liaison Officer Grace Lutz 615-277-2534
Outreach Coordinator Vacant --
Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator Justin Howard 423-447-2532

Voting Committee Members

Position Member Phone Term
Chairperson Trevor Hunt 615-989-3566 2015 - 2018
Vice Chairperson Jenny Adkins 931-528-6472, x113 2015 - 2018
Secretary Dustin Graham 731-855-0023, x118 2017 - 2020
Member Jeff Kestner 865-671-3830, x107 2016 - 2019
Member Laura Persinger 615-277-2597 2017 - 2020
Member Chris Zimmer 615-648-8702 2018 - 2021
Member Dexter Howard 731-599-3153 2018 - 2021

Special Emphasis Program Managers (SEPM)

SEPM Member Phone Term
Federal Women's  MacKenzie Painter 931-684-1441 2017 - 2019
American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) Carolyn Bartee 731-410-4809 2017 - 2019
Asian American/ Pacific Islander (AA/PI) Vacant -- 2018 - 2020
Black  Devon Cunningham 423-651-3007 2019 - 2021
Hispanic Kiara Flores Rios 731-410-4823 2018 - 2020
Disability  Greg Quillen 423-753-2192 2018 - 2020
Veterans  Richard Hanson 931-473-6539 2018 - 2020
Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender   Lori Pittman 615-648-8693 2018 - 2020

Non-Voting Associate Members

Position Member Phone Term
Associate Member Leslie Honicker   2019 - 2022
Associate member Melissa Oliver   2019 - 2022


Non- Discrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs).  Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.  

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.