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Indiana NRCS Recognizes the Start of Pride Month 2023
Indiana Ag Connection - 06/08/2023

In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar. Violent protests erupted in the nearby streets for the next six days. One year later, on the first anniversary of the raid, the first gay pride march was held in NYC and cities throughout the country.

Fifty-four years later, that one day event has spread to encompass the entire month of June, during which Pride Month is annually celebrated. The Indiana Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) is observing this important heritage month by honoring the work that has been accomplished and all that must still be done to promote inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) employees, landowners and farmers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken great strides to foster and inclusive workplace and promote acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. It was one of the first federal agencies to add sexual orientation to its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Civil Rights’ Policy Statements, doing so in 1993, five years before the federal government’s nondiscrimination policy.

“NRCS is committed to helping any and all people help their land. ,” said David Doctorian, acting state conservationist for NRCS in Indiana. “Under the leadership of the Biden Harris administration, NRCS is committed to hiring a diverse workforce and ensuring we are equitably providing conservation assistance to all.”

USDA has continued to be at the forefront of LBGTQ inclusivity in the federal workplace. In 2009, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, in his first stint leading the agency, expanded the special emphasis programs to include LGBTQ+ and officially recognized June as PRIDE month. In 2011, he added gender identity and expression to USDA’s Civil Rights Policy. These milestones are steps to ensure that USDA is a welcoming workplace for all of us to help people help the land.

The theme for this year’s Pride Month, as selected by Equality USDA, is “Changing the Landscape,” and highlight’s USDA’s commitment to continuing to be a leader in promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion and rights.


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