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Whistleblower Summit, Panel, and Documentary

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Media Advisory

USDA Coalition of Minority Employees

Justice for Black Farmers Group

July 27, 2021

The 9th Annual Whistleblower Summit and Film Festival begins July 25 and ends August 1, 2021. Speeches, panel discussions, and films have been organized by Michael McCray and Marcel Reid, co-organizers. The Summit web page is here: Click Here The ACORN 8 and the Society of Professional Journalists (DC Chapter) are hosting this year's Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival. The theme this year is "Salute to the 50th Anniversary of the Pentagon Papers and Rise of Investigative Journalism." The event will include a keynote presentation by Daniel Ellsberg among others.

A wide array of panel discussions will begin on Sunday, July 25. The topics include global whistleblowing, student debt, immigration justice, and many more. The list of panel discussions can be found here: Click Here. These events are free of charge, but registration is required

The USDA Coalition of Minority Employees, an organization that has been in existence since 1994, has played significant roles in addressing discrimination across the USDA including the Forestry Service and the Farm Service Administration. The Coalition's website is found here: http://agcoalition.org. We are featured in this year's Summit and Film Festival.

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Members of the Coalition will present a panel on Thursday, July 29, at 10:00am EST. The panel is entitled, "Systemic Discrimination at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA Coalition of Minority Employees)" and will feature Lawrence Lucas, President Emeritus, USDA Coalition of Minority Employees, as panel moderator; Tracy Lloyd McCurty, Founder and CEO of Black Belt Justice Center and Acres of Ancestry; Lesa Donnelly, Vice-President of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees; Lloyd Wright, Black farmer and former Director, USDA Office of Civil Rights (OCR); and Waymon Hinson, independent research, author, and film co-producer. Secretary Tom Vilsack and other USDA officials have received significant push-back along with the OCR and Farm Service Administration (FSA). Investigative reporting reveals numerous injustices and failures by him and the OCR. The panelists will present disturbing information which presses the need for systemic change within the Department, or as it is labeled, "THE LAST PLANTATION," in order to eliminate racism, sexual abuse, retaliation, and other abuses against minority farmers, especially Black farmers, and employees. The panel website is here: Click Here

In conjunction with the panel addressing systemic discrimination at USDA, the Film Festival will screen "I'm Just a Layman in Pursuit of Justice: Black Farmers Fight USDA," an award-winning film co-produced by Shoun Hill and Waymon Hinson. The film chronicles 9 Black farmers and families who prevailed against the USDA in the late 1990s as they tell their stories in their own words. The film is located here: Click Here It premiers on July 27 at 1:00 pm EST, and is available for 72 hours thereafter.

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Waymon Hinson holds the Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi and is licensed as a psychologist and marriage and family therapist. His work history includes 26 years with three universities including Abilene Christian University and 8 years with (more...)
 
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