The Department of Agriculture’s civil rights record is among the worst in the federal government. Black farmers have lost hundreds of billions in land and income since 1910 in large part due to federal policies—implemented by USDA—designed to drive them out of business. Despite sporadic attempts to reform the department’s civil rights process, farmers, advocates, and reporters have continued to document widespread discrimination within the department in recent years. After Congress created a debt cancellation program for Black farmers in response to USDA’s discriminatory lending practices, opposition groups brought the program to a halt through litigation. Our panelists will examine USDA’s civil rights record, share their experiences in the fight for debt cancellation, and analyze the legal issues at stake, many of which will have important repercussions for public policy in the coming decades.
Moderator: Safiya Charles, Reporting Fellow, The Counter
Lawrence Lucas, President Emeritus, USDA Coalition of Minority Employees
Tracy Lloyd McCurty, Executive Director, Black Belt Justice Center
Keisha Stokes-Hough, HLS ’09, Senior Supervising Attorney, Southern Poverty Law Center
Online webinar; register at link provided.
Sponsored by: HLS Food Law & Policy Clinic and the Mississippi Delta Project