Virginia Cooperative Extension's Commitment to Civil Rights

Statement from the VCE Director

“Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) values human diversity because it strengthens our system, our programs and our lives. In fact, it is our recognition of the power of diversity that drives us to reach out to diverse audiences across the state. Diversity is sought in the people that help us determine local and state needs; diversity is sought in the audiences to whom we deliver our programs; diversity is sought in our employees and our volunteers. So as our state becomes increasingly more diverse, we have a unique opportunity to shape a world where respect for diversity is commonplace.

Besides a moral and intellectual appreciation and desire for diversity, VCE also has a legal responsibility to offer equal access to educational programs and equal opportunity in employment for people without discrimination based on age, color, disability, gender, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. VCE adheres to federal and state statues, regulations, and Virginia Tech and Virginia State University policies regarding civil rights in our role as a cooperator with the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

Our Extension administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers are expected to ensure civil rights compliance and equal access to our programs. VCE willingly participates in Civil Rights Compliance reviews by USDA. VCE routinely offers civil rights and diversity training to its employees and Extension representatives are members of the College’s Diversity Council. The Diversity Council provides college-wide leadership for promoting diversity in all forms, providing guidance in the recruitment and retention of employees, and providing support for the inclusion of all people in educational programs and services in the College.

Web-based information on our civil rights responsibilities, policies and services are organized on this page for the general public and our employees. We invite your comments and ideas on how we can build on our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion.”

Sincerely,

Edwin Jones,
Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension,
Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Ray McKinnie,
1890 Extension Administrator
Interim Dean, School of Agriculture, Virginia State University