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USDA Rural Development Civil Rights


Our Mission is to ensure that Rural Development programs are guided by principles of national leadership and education, expert, knowledgeable civil rights advice, sound civil rights policy, and efficient, impartial investigations, in support of our agency’s overall mission to help improve the quality of life in rural America through housing, business, infrastructure, and utilities.

We provide civil rights training, technical assistance and program support to USDA staff and communities throughout America in support of this effort.

Civil Rights Policy Statement

USDA's Civil Rights Policy Statement is issued by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.  To file an EEO complaint, visit our online Equal Opportunity eFile Module. For questions on issues or how to file a complaint you may contact the Rural Development Civil Rights staff or call them at 1-800-787-8821 .

You may also direct fair housing complaints to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For more information call 1-800-669-9777 or visit HUD's webpage at www.hud.gov.

Training Materials

Important Documents

Civil Rights Staff

Director of Civil Rights

Sharease Paylor portrait Dr. Sharese C. Paylor serves Rural Development as the Director of Civil Rights and has responsibility and oversight of Rural Development's nationwide civil rights programs and employee engagement/development. Before serving as the Director, Dr. Paylor served as the Program Compliance Branch Chief for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development-Civil Rights. Prior to that, Dr. Paylor was a Senior Equal Opportunity Specialist with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Sharese has been committed to equal rights of all people and will continue to do so.

Limited English Proficiency Information

LEP persons are individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.  LEP statues and authorities prohibit exclusion from participation in, denial of benefits of, and discrimination under federally assisted and/or conducted programs on the ground of race, color, or national origin.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin covers program access for LEP persons.  These protections are pursuant to Executive Order 13166 entitled, “Improving Access to Services by Persons with Limited English Proficiency” and further affirmed in the USDA Departmental Regulation 4330-005, “Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Persons with Limited English Proficiency in Programs and Activities Conducted by USDA” and the RD LEP Plan.

It is RD policy to provide equal opportunity in all programs, services, and activities to LEP persons.  The Department of Justice’s LEP Guidance provides agencies with a framework to assess agencies’ LEP services.  To assist RD in complying with all applicable LEP laws, regulations, rules, and policies, you may view the following documents: