United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
April 22, 2010
SUBJECT: Mid South Area Diversity Policy Statement
TO: Mid South Area Employees
FROM: Edgar G. King
Area Director, Mid South Area
The Mid South Area (MSA) Office is committed to providing a workplace that is inclusive and reflects the Nation’s diversity. ARS Administrator, Dr. Edward Knipling, asked us to “…work with me [him] to create and maintain a competitive and qualified diverse workforce that promotes an all inclusive environment free from discrimination, harassment (sexual or nonsexual), and retaliation…”
I personally strongly believe “diversity is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.” Moreover, as Dr. Knipling has pointed out, “Diversity positively impacts each ARS employee…which enhances our ability to take full advantage of multicultural viewpoints, ideas, and backgrounds.”
I am proud of the fact that the MSA is the most diverse Area in ARS. Regardless, we must continue to build on this diversity by embracing, managing, and leveraging diversity through our employment decisions in attracting, promoting, training, and rewarding personnel.
The MSA Office sponsors the Workforce Diversity Committee, which is chaired by the MSA Office of Outreach, Diversity and Equal Opportunity Manager, Mr. Jimmy McAlpine. I encourage any of you having EEO issues and concerns to talk with him, as well as your supervisor. I support and encourage those of you with EEO issues to utilize the Cooperative Resolution Program as an alternative dispute resolution. It is in all our best interest to settle disputes at the earliest stage of conflict and resolve issues and concerns.
Please ensure that all MSA employees receive a copy of this memorandum and that it is prominently displayed in all Location Administrative Offices. My office number is 662-686-5265, and Mr. McAlpine’s office number is 662-686-3634. The ARS Office Outreach, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity’s number is 202-720-6161.