The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is committed to welcoming diversity and inclusion. Alabama Extension is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. It is our policy to provide equal employment opportunities for all individuals without regard to race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Our commitment to diversity assures our educational programs and employment opportunities are welcoming to all.
We recognize the mutual benefits gained when we cultivate a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming community where the unique contributions, talents, and skills of our faculty, staff, and stakeholders are acknowledged, valued, respected, and rewarded.
Full Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, and American Sign Language) should contact the Alabama Cooperative Extension System Human Resources Department at (334) 844-5531 or the State of Alabama Governor’s Office on Disability (GOOD) at (888) 879-3582 or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. To file a program discrimination complaint, a complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be obtained online at www.usda.gov/oascr/how-to-file-a-program-discrimination-complaint, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632- 9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by: U.S. Department of Agriculture | Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights | 1400 Independence Avenue, SW | Washington, D.C. 20250- 9410 | Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Short Nondiscrimination Statement
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) is an equal opportunity educator, employer, and provider. If you need a reasonable accommodation or language access services, contact ACES Human Resources at email@example.com or (334) 844-5531
Civil Rights Laws, Regulations, and Policies
- USDA Policies on Civil Rights
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 USC 2000d.
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 19 USC 794.
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 USC 12101 et. seq.
- Age Discrimination Act of 1975, 42 USC 601 et. seq.
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 et. seq.
- Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, P.L. 100-259, as amended by Civil Rights
- Restoration Act of 1991, P.L. 102-166
- USDA DR 4330-02, Nondiscrimination in Programs and Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance from USDA
- Department of Justice LEP Executive Order 13166
- Nondiscrimination Executive Order 13160
- Pregnancy Discrimination
Alabama A&M University Civil Rights and Diversity Regulations and Policies
- Procedure 6.8: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Procedure 6.10: Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy
- Procedure 6.11: Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures
Auburn University Civil Rights and Diversity Regulations and Policies
- Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
- Policy Regarding Prohibited Harassment of faculty, staff, and students
- Auburn University Policies Pertaining to the Workplace
Affirmative Action FAQs
What is affirmative action?
Affirmative action is defined as “the use of policies, legislation, programs, and procedures to improve the educational or employment opportunities of members of certain demographic groups (such as minority groups, women, and older people) as a remedy to the effects of long-standing discrimination against such groups” by Merriam Webster. Affirmative action programs began following the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Does Alabama Extension participate in affirmative action?
Alabama Extension is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and is committed to ensuring that its programs and employment opportunities are available to all without regard to race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other classification protected by applicable law. This commitment includes involving people in needs assessment and the implementation of these programs.
Do county offices contribute to affirmative action?
Every Alabama Extension office is required to develop and implement an affirmative action plan. The plan serves as a guide for actions in program implementation and ensuring equal access to programming opportunities. The plan is based on the principle of ensuring balanced participation in the system’s planning structure, program delivery actions, and, ultimately, in program participation. County Extension coordinators are required to provide an annual report describing affirmative action efforts and successes.
Where is the affirmative action plan?
The plan is included in each county’s active civil rights file. The civil rights file should contain the following:
- A copy or a summary of pertinent laws and Alabama Extension and university policies
- The current county affirmative action plan
- A file of the documented efforts labeled All Reasonable Efforts
- Any other documentation of civil rights information such as meeting minutes where civil rights items were discussed, list of complaints, and copies of civil rights information sent to staff
What is included in the affirmative action plan?
Each plan has three main sections: situational statement, affirmative action goals, and specific strategies for accomplishing the goals. The situation statement includes county demographics, special target audiences, languages spoken in the county, and information about the diversity of staff and volunteers (e.g., bilingual speakers, composition of advisory groups and programming committees, a list of groups and organizations that help reach targeted audiences). The affirmative action goals are proactive actions planned to ensure broad participation by county residents. Action strategies should be as specific as possible and should include those efforts the county staff intends to initiate during the program year.
What are affirmative action procedures?
Affirmative action procedures are those actions that encourage participation from underrepresented groups. These actions will be a normal part of day-to-day program planning and delivery. While staff may adapt procedures to fit their needs, all staff must do the following:
- Ensure that advisory councils and grassroots plan-of-work meetings are representative of all segments of the population of the community or county
- Seek assistance of underrepresented groups in helping to increase their involvement
- Select meeting places and times which encourage, rather than inhibit, participation from underrepresented groups
- Announce meetings, activities, events, etc. in a manner that reaches all segments of the population
What are all reasonable efforts?
All reasonable efforts consist of a series of approaches that are required of Extension staff to solicit participation of the underrepresented group. These are used in addition to affirmative action procedures and are required when programs do not meet balanced participation requirements. Some situations that call for all reasonable efforts include the following:
- Extension sponsored or assisted groups that do not reflect the racial composition of the target community
- Advisory or decision-making groups that do not reflect the composition of the potential audience
- Program participation in which certain groups are consistently underrepresented
Written records of letters, phone calls, and visits will be used as documentation that all reasonable efforts are being implemented. A file of the documented efforts labeled All Reasonable Efforts will be kept in the office. The steps in all reasonable efforts must be repeated and documented until balanced participation is met and maintained.
How is affirmative action compliance documented?
The following records are required in each county to document affirmative action compliance:
- Membership of councils with race, ethnicity, and gender designated
- Program participation by race, ethnicity, and gender
- Meeting rosters for public trainings and activities
- Summary contact data from Alabama Extension
- Evidence that all mailings and news releases contain the nondiscrimination statement
- Dated and signed statements from Extension-sponsored groups acknowledging the leader’s understanding that their membership is open to all (can be done as a group or individually)
- Nondiscriminatory membership statement is present in all bylaws
- Evidence that newsletters include the procedure for filing a complaint at least annually
- Copy of mailing lists with race, ethnicity, and gender designated
I’m not a county Extension coordinator. Do I have a role in implementing affirmative action?
Yes. If you are an agent (regional, county, urban, or rural), an agent assistant, or educator, your role is to make every effort to ensure that you have balanced participation throughout the program cycle, including planning, delivery, and program participation). You must maintain files listing your program advisory and planning committees, volunteer lists, and program participant sign-in sheets.
If you work with volunteers, you are responsible for ensuring that they understand that discrimination is not allowed. If you are an administrative support assistant, your role is to help ensure that the office is an open and inviting place for everyone. You are also responsible for helping maintain the civil rights file by adding copies of mailings, news releases, and other pertinent information as it is received. No matter what position you hold in the organization, you should conduct work, clubs, committees, and programs without regard to race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
What if someone believes they’ve been discriminated against?
Any employee who believes they have been discriminated against may seek resolution through a variety of paths. Discrimination may be reported to the supervisor.
For questions, concerns, or complaints about Alabama A&M University, Auburn University, or Alabama Extension policies or practices related to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action, contact Lisa Spencer at Alabama A&M University, Kelley G. Taylor at Auburn University, or Chris McClendon at Alabama Extension.
For questions, concerns, or complaints about Alabama Extension policies or practices related to discrimination or accessibility to programs and services, contact Chris McClendon.
Alternatively, the USDA Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, through the Office of Adjudication, investigates and resolves complaints of discrimination in programs operated or assisted by USDA, including Cooperative Extension programs. To file a program discrimination complaint, write a letter and address it to the following:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Director, Office of Adjudication
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-9410
For specific information about what to include in your complaint letter, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.