Virginia Cooperative Extension's Commitment to Civil Rights

Statement from VCE Leadership

“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, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.  

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,

Mike Gutter
Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension
Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Robert Corley, III
1890 Extension Administrator
Interim Dean, College of Agriculture, Virginia State University

 

Equal Opportunity

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is the civil rights guarantee for persons with disabilities in the United States. It provides protection from discrimination for individuals on the basis of disability.

The ADA extends civil rights protections for people with disabilities to employment in the public and private sectors, transportation, public accommodations, services provided by state and local government, and telecommunication services.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is committed to a policy of non-discrimination in employment and education and complies with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities.

 

Occasionally, we are asked questions about why we collect information related to gender, age, race, and ethnicity on forms and from program participants. Some people wonder if it is required that they disclose such information. Others ask how it will be used.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is committed to diversity and to ensuring equal opportunity for those wishing to benefit from our programs and services. In order to monitor the effectiveness of our civil rights and affirmative action efforts, we collect or invite participants in our programs to voluntarily disclose, their gender, age, race, and ethnicity.

Neither the information gathered or provided, nor the decision not to voluntarily provide it, will be used to determine eligibility for Extension programs and services or the benefits available though participation.

The cumulative demographic information is used solely for the purpose of determining compliance with federal civil rights law. By providing this information, you will assist us in assuring that VCE programs are administered in a nondiscriminatory manner.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law.

If you feel you have been denied access to services or programs on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, you may take the following actions to notify VCE or USDA of your complaint:

·  The individual providing the program, if you feel comfortable doing so

·  The Extension District Director or other supervisor if not in an Extension  
    district

·  The VCE Associate Director of Field Operations and Administration or VCE
    Associate Director of Strategy and Administration

·  The Virginia Tech Human Resources Office for Equity and Accessibility

·  United States Department of Agriculture via:

Mail
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Director, Center for Civil Rights Enforcement
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-9410

Fax: (202) 690-7442

email: program.intake@usda.gov

For specific information about what to include in in a complaint letter, visit: https://www.usda.gov/oascr/filing-program-discrimination-complaint-usda-customer

Contact

For employment discrimination questions, concerns, or complaints:

Stephanie Brown
Director, Human Resources
105B Hutcheson Hall (0437)
250 Drillfield Drive, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-7271
brown2sl@vt.edu

For program discrimination and accessibility questions, concerns, or complaints:

VCE State Office
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
115 Hutcheson Hall (0437)
250 Drillfield Drive, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-5299
martinn@vt.edu

To file a program discrimination complaint with the USDA, write to:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Director, Center for Civil Rights Enforcement
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-9410

Fax:  (202) 690-7442

Email:  program.intake@usda.gov

Web information