1. Coalition founded May 5, 1994, to eradicate discrimination USDA wide
2. Requested formation of a "Blue Ribbon Task Force"
3. Secretary Mike Espy establishes, "Blue Ribbon Task Force"
4. Led organization's historic going away party for Mike Espy, Patio Whitten Building
5. "Day of Solidarity," 500 employees stood in prayer and seven minutes of silence in support of Civil Rights, Affirmative Action, Fairness and Equality, mall side USDA Whitten Building.
6. Press Conference "Widespread Discrimination at USDA National Press Club, Washington, DC.
7. Demanded that USDA conduct an Open Forum
8. Open Forum was held in the Spring 1996-Day after the Press Conference
9. Leader in developing the "Alliance of Employee Organizations" in USDA
10. Served on the Blue Ribbon Task Force that put together the "Now Deep 6 Report." This report was the "Brain Child" for the now famous Civil Rights Action Team Report. (CRAT)
11. The Coalition along with the force of John Boyd, Jr., President, National Farmers Association precipitated the creation of the Civil Rights Action Team and its historic documentation of USDA discriminatory civil rights policies and its consistent violations of Title VI and Title VII. Ensured the participation of employees around the country--resulting in listening sessions being conducted at various locations around the country to address customer complaints regarding equality of service.
Campaigned for a USDA diverse workforce (first Asian American career SES employee)
Demanded the removal of Jack Ward Thomas, Chief, Forest Service for poor human/civil rights leadership.
Requested Secretary Glickman reverse the decision that removed employee organization participation from attending USDA Civil Rights Leaders Council meetings. Secretary Glickman granted this request.
Presidential Speaking Engagements
Speaker at the National Black Farmers Association Demonstration/Rally in front of USDA Headquarters on Independence Ave., Washington, DC - April 1997
Speaker and participant in Black Farmer Demonstrations in front of the White House, December 1996 and September 1997.
Lawrence C. Lucas, President testified before Congressman Maxine Waters, Congressional Black Caucus Hearing "USDA's Discrimination against Black Farmers."
President Lucas testifies before the "Government Performance and Oversight Committee"on employee discrimination at USDA and government wide.
Lawrence C. Lucas testified before the House Agriculture Committee about discrimination against employees and farmers.
Testimony, "Equal Opportunity Summit-Blacks in Government," Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, Employee Discrimination at USDA and government wide.
Speaker at press conference, "Discrimination in the Federal Government," sponsored by Congressman Albert Wynn and Elijah Cummings, Washington, DC, Capitol Grounds, June 1997
"USDA Listening Session", Washington, DC
Speaker at "AFSCME Protest:" against RIF's in Rural Housing Programs at USDA-front of Whitten Building, Washington, DC, June 12, 1997
Speaker Participant - Protest- "Department of Interior-Black Employees Against Race Discrimination," May 1997.
Headed panel on "Employment Discrimination at the Department of Agriculture," "NAACP Summit on Race," University of Maryland - January 1998.
Speaker "National Council of Negro Women's Conference" - "Coalition and Partnership Building Workshop, "Civil Rights in USDA" Chantilly, VA 1997.
Speaking engagements in Portland, Oregon; Mossula, Montana; Atlanta, Georgia; and others to numerous to delineate.
Keynote Luncheon Speaker, "African American History Month," Susquehanna Maryland Chapter of Blacks in Government, Aberdeen, Maryland on February 26, 1998.
Speaker, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), African American History Month Program, North Atlantic Area, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, PA. February 18, 1998.
Beginning in December 1997, Coalition president and John Boyd, Jr., President, NBFA, attended meetings with Assistant and Under Secretaries, their staff of special assistants/advisors, administrators, directors and civil rights persons regarding a wide-range of employee and farmer complaints. This effort was endorsed by Secretary Glickman. Employee discussions consisted of the following: resolution of class actions, speedy resolution of individual complaints, rectifying the backlog of employee complaints, implementation of "ZERO TOLERANCE," penalties for those found guilty of discrimination, a proactive approach to solving a wide-range of civil rights issues in the CRAT, CRIT and OIG recommendations...to include fair awards, training and promotions. These meeting are continuing.
Speaker at Rally in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, sponsored by the National Black Farmers Associations, March 18, 1998.
Speaker, "Coalition Building and Partnerships, Employment and Program Discrimination," Virginia Technical University, March 24, 1998.
President Lucas invited to conduct a half-day interactive workshop for top managements, employees and civil rights officials, ARS, Eastern Regional Research Canter, Wyndmoor, PA on March 26, 1998.
Demanded USDA civil rights accountability from politically appointed employees, career managers, and employees at all levels.
Demanded that managers be frequently evaluated, rated, tracked and held accountable for his/her EEO accomplishments/lack of accomplishments.
Required speedy processing and mediation of employee and customer complaints Conducted a forum entitled, "Civil Rights-Bridge to the 21st Century, in conjunction with "Blacks in Government National Conference," Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC
Continued to question the role of the USDA Office of General Counsel and Department of Justice government attorneys interfering with the fair and speedy processing of EEO settlements.
Supports Coalition Presidents and members around the country, while under fire by management for supporting civil rights changes in USDA.
Led and won the battle to abolish the Forest Service Surplus List and continue to fight for fair and equitable settlements for all those damaged
Stopped the Forest Service from using its Office of Law Enforcement Investigations against employees
First employee organization to demand that Farm Service Agency officials both political/career be removed due to widespread discriminatory practices against employees/farmers of the country, especially egregious against Black farmers.
Partnered with National Black Farmer Association to become "The Cornerstone" for creating and demanding the new evolutionary civil rights environment at USDA.
Demanded that speedy and fair complaint processing for employees/customers be implemented to reduce the continuing complaint backlog.
Demanded removal of civil rights directors that head offices that are dysfunctional, implement personal agendas and mistreat employees.
Demanded that the USDA administrative process be open to farmers seeking speedy resolution of their complaints, while supporting farmers choosing to simultaneously join a class action mediation process before Judge Paul Friedman. Lucas is concurrently demanding the swift processing of employee complaints.
Signed Memorandum of Understanding between USDA Forest Service (FS), National Black Farmers Association,(NBFA) and Lawrence C. Lucas, President, "The Coalition" a partnership to improve information and technical assistance to the under-served farmers/landowners. Coalition Presidents and representatives will continue to be involved in the implementation of this historic agreement.
The Coalition is responsible for resolving complaints by employees and farmers leading to settlements amounting to millions of dollars. In some cases, money was not the issue; but improved work environment, awards and training. Lucas has been involved in resolving some of the most high profile employee cases around the country.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.