NB_130_23_2 - NB 130-23-2 AGN - Agency’s Commitment to Advancing Equity and Support for Underserved Communities
NB 130-23-2 AGN - Agency’s Commitment to Advancing Equity and Support for Underserved Communities
National Bulletin: 130-23-2  
Date: November 9, 2022
Subject: AGN - Agency’s Commitment to Advancing Equity and Support for Underserved Communities

Purpose.   Highlight NRCS’ leadership and commitment to advancing equity and supporting underserved communities within the agency’s programs and services.  
Expiration Date.   September 30, 2023 

Executive Order 13985, “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government”, directs federal agencies to examine the services it provides and develop a plan for addressing:


(i) any barriers to full and equal participation in programs identified pursuant to section 5(a) of this order; and

(ii) any barriers to full and equal participation in agency procurement and contracting opportunities identified pursuant to section 5(b) of this order.


For purposes of the order: (a) The term "equity" means the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.


(b) The term "underserved communities" refers to populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, as exemplified by the list in the preceding definition of "equity."


Executive Order 13985 may be viewed at: https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/executive-order-13985-advancing-racial-equity-and-support-for-underserved-communities.



Historical systems, structures, programs, and policies that repeat patterns of exclusion continue to sustain inequities. For NRCS to achieve equity, the fundamental transformation of agency programs, culture, and outreach actions is necessary. As Chief of NRCS, I am committed to building organizational capacity for all agency functions and throughout the hierarchy for agency transformation in advancing Equity. Although it is vital for all NRCS top officials, managers, and supervisors, advancing equity takes place on the ground, at the local level, for us to create equity experts and staff. Our shared goal is to advance Equity by sustaining fairness of NRCS programs, services, and technical assistance within agency policies and practices.


To further demonstrate my commitment to advancing equity and equal opportunity for all, in October 2021, I officially announced the organizational unit NRCS Equity Division. Under the leadership of Vivian Dickson, NRCS Equity Division Director, the division is responsible for identifying the best methods, consistent with applicable law and provisions, to assist NRCS in advancing Equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability.


The purpose of the NRCS Equity Policy Statement and Equity Poster are to reaffirm and highlight the agency’s commitment equity, justice, and equal opportunity for all.


Requirements.  The attached NRCS Advancing Equity Policy Statement (attachment A) and the NRCS Equity Poster (attachment B) must be visibly posted in all NRCS offices for public view.


NRCS Equity Division via email to Samora Bennerman-Johnson, Equity Program Manager at samora.bennerman@usda.gov or Michael Carlo Altman, Equity  Data Analyst at michael.carlo@usda.gov.




Terry J. Cosby

Attachment A – NRCS Advancing Equity Policy Statement
Attachment B – NRCS Equity Poster 
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