Michael McCray

 

 

 

Whistleblower Summit

Civil & Human Rights Conference

July 29-31, 2013


The ACORN 8 and Federally Employed Women-Legal Education Fund (FEW/LEF) will co-host this year’s Whistleblower SummitCivil & Human Rights Conference in Washington, DC. Over the last seven years members from the Make it Safe Coalition (MISC) have arranged an assembly of whistleblowers in Washington, DC each year for an annual conference originally known as Washington Whistleblower’s Week.

The MISC is as assortment of various public interest/advocacy groups including the Government Accountability Project, the International Association of Whistleblowers, the American Federation of Government Employees, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Project On Government Oversight, the No FEAR Coalition, Public Citizen, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Voices for Corporate Responsibility, and International Brotherhood of Teamsters; which focus on significant areas of public concern and individual rights, such as First Amendment, federal workforce, medical safety, national security, judicial reform, etc.

The public and all whistleblowers and their advocates, as well as the entire civil rights community are invited to participate. This conference theme is Whistleblowing Affects Everyone. From Black Farmers and USDA employees who report “pink slim” in our food supply, to NSA whistleblowers reporting domestic surveillance on the American people.—Whistleblowers Protect People. Gloria Minott, Public Affairs Director for WPFW will moderate this year’s event.

Over the past ten years members of the MISC have passed two laws: No FEAR and the WPEA, conducted congressional lobby days, provided CLE training, written Op-Eds, published magazines and books, hosted radio shows, provided mentoring and lawyer referrals, penned sign-on letters, submitted amicus briefs, written columns and law review articles, made television appearances, held protest rallies at the White House and on the National Mall; we’ve even “occupied” government agencies and hosted both national and regional conferences in:

 Washington, DC

New York, NY

Baltimore, MD

Atlanta, GA

Chicago, IL

Houston, TX

Los Angeles, CA

It is an impressive list of accomplishments when you consider all of the stigmatism and stress that individual whistleblowers face at the hands of the government and evil corporations. We don’t have to be “Best Friends Forever” to achieve impressive results. The purpose of the Whistleblower Summit is to celebrate the collective achievements of whistleblowers and our advocates. And I look forward to seeing each of you in Washington, DC later this month.

 Michael McCray

Listen To Michael McCray with Rob Kall on Bottom-Up Radio michael-mccray-06-aug_2013-20130817-547.mp3

 

RSVP on our Guest Book to register for the Whistleblower Summit--It's FREE to the Public.

 

 

Founded over 60 years ago to support Free Speech and First Amendment Rights, the Pacifica Foundation has fought for and vigorously defended these rights all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. A staunch supporter of unfettered free speech, the Pacifica National Board voted unanimously to support legislation that would protect Whistleblowers and Free Speech in 2010. Consequently, the Pacifica Radio Network was the first national media organization to formalize its support for Whistleblowers. Once again, as in previous years, the Pacifica Foundation will actively participate and support this years Whistleblower Summit in Washington, DC.

 

WB Summit / Conference Themes


  • Whistleblowing Affects Everyone
  • Whistleblowers Protect People
  • War on Whistleblowers and Journalists

 

Whistleblower and Civil Rights Groups convene a historic summit on Capitol Hill. ACORN 8, FEW/LEF, the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees and Coalition For Change (C4C) support an Office of Inspector General investigation of official misconduct and wrongdoing in administratively closing over 3,000 previously unprocessed claims at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and possible complicity by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. And we also support efforts to eliminate racially offensive language to Native Americans from usage within the federal government.

OIG Complaint (OIG_Complaint.pdf)

Victim’s Affidavit (MRM-OIG_Affidavit.pdf)

Native American Resolution (BIG-Resolution.pdf)

 

Schedule of Events 

 

Monday July 29, 2013

 

 

  9:00—9:30

Registration & Check-In

The Stewart E. Mott House

122 Maryland Avenue, NE

Washington, DC 20002

 

 

 

 9:30—10:30

Opening Plenary

 

Moderated by Gloria Minott, Director of Public Affairs WPFW

Welcome and introduction of the occasion. Whistleblower Summit participants will ask President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to promptly end the criminalization of Whistleblowers and Journalists. Followed by a symbolic “Empty Chair” honoring courageous whistleblowers who cannot be present due to retaliatory imprisonment, untimely death or increased prosecution under the Obama Administration.

 

  • Matthew Fogg, Federally Employed Women—Legal Education Fund
  • Marcel Reid, Pacifica Whistleblower Liaison
  • Tom Devine, Government Accountability Project (GAP)
  • Lawrence Lucas, USDA Coalition of Minority Employees
  • Tanya Ward Jordan, Coalition for Change (C4C)
  • Michael McCray, ACORN 8
  • Stephen Kohn, National Whistleblower Center (NWC)
  • Evelynn Brown, Whistlewatch/Brown Center for Public Policy

 

 

10:30—11:30

Fighting the War on Whistleblowers

And Journalists

 

Moderated by Gloria Minott, Director of Public Affairs WPFW

The Obama Administration has criminally prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other Administration in history. The prosecution of whistleblowers became so routine that Eric Holder’s Justice Department has even named Associated Press journalists as co-conspirators. This panel will discuss the policy implications of this.

 

  • John Fund, Wall Street Journal (formerly)
  • Dan Roberts, The Guardian Newspaper (invited)
  • Abby Martin, RT America (Host of “Breaking The Set.”)
  • Marcel Reid, Pacifica Whistleblower Liaison

 

 

11:30—12:30

Publishing & New Media Panel Discussion

 

Moderated by Gloria Minott, Director of Public Affairs WPFW

Tapping the Power of Media “How can we use the power of story, and new technology to promote social justice?  Independent publishing and using public radio for community organizing and activism. Strategies for effectively utilizing Social Media, Public Radio and Non-traditional Publishing and Broadcast Outlets. Also Internet Blogging and “Bottoms Up” strategies for social change.

 

  • Rob Kall, OpEd News
  • Arlene Englehardt, Pacifica Executive Director (former)
  • Michael McCray, American Banner Books
  • Cathy Harris, The Cathy Harris Show
  • James Holzrichter, Holzrichter Consulting
  • Mike Volpe, Investigative Journalist (Freelance)

 

 

  12:30—1:30

National Whistleblower Appreciation Day Lunch

 

In honor and support of National Whistleblower Appreciation Day—Stand Up and Speak Up; Government Accountability Project and the National Whistleblower Center will sponsor a boxed lunch on the patio of the Mott House.

  • Tom Devine, Government Accountability Project
  • Dave Colapinto, National Whistleblower Center

 

We will also present the prestigious Pillar Human Rights Award for community activisms and journalism.

  • Rob Kall, OpEd News (New Media) and Host of Bottom-Up
  • Ambrose Lane (Journalist) Author and Host of We Ourselves

 

Art by Michele Foster Lucas will conduct a “Silent Auction” with proceeds donated to cover costs associated with the conference. Michele Foster Lucas is a seasoned African-American Pastelist, working in charcoal pastels, watercolor, acrylics and mixed medium.

  • Art by Michele Foster Lucas

 

 

   1:30—2:30

WPEA the next frontier

 

Tom Devine, Government Accountability Project –A panel discussions on strategy following the historic passage of the WPEA for implementing this new important whistleblower legislation.

 

Next steps / strategies for implementing WPEA

Decriminalization of whistleblowers under WPEA

 

 

 

 

In addition, a representative of the Office of Special Counsel will be available to discuss OSC’s implementation of the WPEA and discuss how OSC protects whistleblowers.”

 

  • Jason Zuckerman, Office of Special Counsel
  • Angela Canterbury, Project On Government Oversight

 

 

 

   2:30—4:00

Blowing the Whistle on the Military; Unleashing No FEAR; and Other Strategies to Change the Culture to Support Whistleblowing

 

Evelynn Brown, Whistlewatch/Brown Center for Public Policy – will conduct this event to discuss the deplorable state of affairs for American Veterans, including sexual assault and abuse.  In part I, a panel of experts will provide an overall synopsis of issues related to military whistleblowing.

 

Mandy Smithburger, Legislative Assistant for Representative Jackie Speier, will brief everyone on her House amendment to strengthen the Military Whistleblower Protection Act. Tom Devine, Government Accountability Project will brief everyone on parallel Senate efforts and recruit members of our community to join the campaign.

 

  • Mandy Smithberger on behalf of Rep. "Jackie" Speier (D-CA)
  • Tom Devine, Government Accountability Project

 

Ms. Brown will also lead a panel discussion on Unleashing the No FEAR Act to fulfill its purpose and focus on the failure of HHS and other agencies to file No FEAR Act Section 203 annual reports to Congress and others.  The panel will discuss ideas to require compliance with the No FEAR Act.

 

Dave Colapinto, National Whistleblower Center—will share other strategies for changing the culture to value the important contributions of whistleblowers including why we need a National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.   

 

  • Evelynn Brown, Whistlewatch/Brown Center for Public Policy
  • Gary Edwards, CEO of Ethos International

 

Discussion will focus on ideas to advance the acceptance of whistleblowing in government and the private sector, as well the perceptions within the media and the general public. The panel will also discuss strategies and trends in organizational ethics, including how efforts to create and manage an ethical culture in the corporate setting can be applied in the government and private sector to improve the culture of ethics.

 

 

    4:00—5:00

USDA: Culture of Corruption

 

Lawrence Lucas, USDA Coalition – The USDA Coalition of Minority Employees is requesting Secretary Vilsack to speedily and properly address the decade long racism, sexism, sexual assaults, bullying, racial epithet (hangman's nooses, use of the "N" word, the justifying of a monkey doll award to Black employees), reprisals, intimidation, hostile work environment. Also violence in the federal workplace. Including allegations of sexual harassment and abuse at the USDA Forest Service.

 

  • Lesa Donnelly, USDA Forest Service
  • Michael Stovall, Independent Black Farmer –or–
  • Ferrell Oden, Independent Black Farmer
  • Jonel Wagoner, USDA Forest Service
  • Beverly Burkett, USDA Farm Service Administration
  • Melisa Sheaver, Native American Farmer 

 

 

    6:00—8:30

Welcome Reception

Fourth and A Street

330 A Street, SE

Washington DC 20003

Sponsored by National Whistleblower Center and

Whistlewatch/Brown Center for Public Policy

Schedule of Events

 

 

 

 

Tuesday July 30, 2013

 

 

   9:00—11:00

 

Press Conference

The National Press Club

529 14th Street, NW

 Washington, DC 20045

 

Panel I—will discuss the important role that whistleblower’s play for society. Topics include decriminalization of whistleblowers and Julian Assange (Wikileaks founder), Edward Snowden (NSA whistleblower), etc. Also highlight efforts to bring whistleblower stories to the big screen—preview of “The Fifth Estate.”

 

  • Amanda Farrand, Participant Media
  • Michael McCray, Host of “The Fifth Estate” on Pacifica Radio
  • Stephen Kohn, National Whistleblower Center
  • Tom Devine, Government Accountability Project

 

Panel II—WB Summit participants will issue the following research/reports:

  1. EEOC Opportunities Rebuttal by Coalition for Change
  2. No FEAR Research Report on federal discrimination by Whistlewatch / Brown Center for Public Policy
  3. Black Farmer independent research study by USDA Coalition
  4. Resolution to stop the use of racially inflammatory and/or derogatory terms referring to Native Americans by FEW/LEF
  5. OIG investigation on fabricating evidence and backdating FADs OFO Appeals to deny discrimination claims and appeal rights.

 

  • Evelynn Brown, Whistlewatch / Brown Center for Public Policy
  • Tanya Ward Jordan, Coalition for Change (C4C)
  • Matt Fogg, Federally Employed Women-Legal Education Fund
  • Lawrence Lucas, USDA Coalition of Minority Employees

 

 

    1:30—3:00

Pillar Award Presentation

United States Capitol

Capitol Visitor Center CVC-266

Washington, DC 20515

 

Presentation by Marcel Reid, Pacifica Whistleblower Liaison

The Pillar Award given at the U.S. Capitol Building. An annual awards presentations for notable First Amendments, Civil Rights and Human Rights champions.  

 

 

The Honorable Marcia Fudge (D-OH)

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

 

Civil & Human Rights Panel 

United States Capitol

Capitol Visitor Center CVC-266

Washington, DC 20515

 

Moderated by Gloria Minott, Director of Public Affairs WPFWwill conduct a panel discussion concerning the validity of the recent EEOC Report on Discrimination in the Federal Government and present the EEOC Opportunity Report. USDA Coalition will present his independent research on the Black Farmers and discrimination at USDA.

 

  • Tanya Ward Jordan, Coalition for Change (C4C)
  • Matthew Fogg, FEW/LEF
  • Lesa Donnelly, USDA Forest Service
  • Michael McCray, ACORN 8
  • Olusina Adebayo, University of the District of Columbia
  • Daniel Epstein, Cause of Action Foundation (invited)

 

 

     3:00—4:00

Domestic Surveillance and NSA Whistleblowing  

United States Capitol

Capitol Visitor Center CVC-266

Washington, DC 20515

 

Moderated by Gloria Minott, Director of Public Affairs WPFW

A panel discussion hosted by the Government Accountability Project (GAP) and the National Lawyer’s Guild (NLG) to defend Americans’ freedom of privacy from blanket government surveillance, and to share the ugly abuses of power retaliating against those patriots who defend our freedom from its most severe threat – attacks by our own government. There are many public policy lessons to be learned from the eyewitness accounts of pioneer domestic surveillance whistleblowers on the origins and full scope of government domestic surveillance, as well as the intimidation and prosecution they and associated journalists have endured. 

 

  • Summer Reese, Pacifica Executive Director
  • Marcel Reid, Pacifica Whistleblower Liaison
  • Dan Roberts, The Guardian Newspaper (invited)
  • Abi Hassen, National Lawyers Guild
  • Tom Devine, Government Accountability Project
  • Babak Pasdar, Telecom Whistleblower
  • William “Bill” Binney, NSA Whistleblower

 

     6:00—8:30

Whistleblower Book Signing

Busboys & Poets (5th & K. Street)

1025 5th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20001

 

The conference includes a historic panel discussion with distinguished authors of whistleblower books who will be present to autograph and discuss their books, followed by a film screening of “The War On Whistleblowers” an important documentary. Book exhibits will be set up and available for viewing during conference.

 

  • Tom Devine—The Corporate Whistleblower’s Survival Guide
  • Stephen Kohn—The Whistleblower’s Handbook
  • James Holzrichter—A Just Cause
  • Michael McCray—ACORN 8: Race, Power & Politics
  • Marsha Coleman-Adebayo—No FEAR
  • Jesselyn Radack—Traitor
  • Mike Volpe—The Definitive Dossier on PTSD in Whistleblowers
  • Don Soeken—Don’t Kill The Whistleblower

 

Book-TV (C-SPAN2) has been invited.

 

   8:30—10:00

Whistleblower Film Screening

 

In-house film screening War on Whistleblowers highlights four cases where whistleblowers noticed government wrong-doing and took to the media to expose the fraud and abuse. It exposes the surprisingly worsening reality for whistleblowers and the press. The film includes interviews with award-winning journalists David Carr, Lucy Dalgish, Glenn Greenwald, Seymour Hersh, Michael Isikoff, Bill Keller, Eric Lipton, Jane Mayer, Dana Priest, Tom Vanden Brook and Sharon Weinberger.

 

The screening will conclude with a brief Q&A session with featured whistleblower participants:

 

  • Tom Devine—Government Accountability Project (GAP)
  • James Holzrichter—Tax Payer’s Against Fraud (TAF)

 


Schedule of Events

 

 

 

Wednesday July 31, 2013

 

 

10:00—12:00

Advocacy Day: Actions and Demonstrations

U.S. Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Avenue SW

Washington, DC 20250

 

USDA Culture of Corruption

 

Demonstration on the National Mall at the Martin Luther King Memorial.  The Coalition will ask President Obama to promptly intervene and bring this long history of widespread discrimination to an end. We want USDA top officials held “accountable,” and the USDA Office of Civil Rights —administration and process— put into "receivership."

 

 

     1:00—3:00

Advocacy Day: Actions and Demonstrations

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20530

 

War on Whistleblowers and Journalists

 

Demonstration in front of the Justice Department. Coalition for Change will ask President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to promptly end the criminalization of Whistleblowers and Journalists. DoJ improperly targeted Associated Press reporters.

 

 

     6:00—8:00

Whistleblower Solidarity Dinner

The Channel Inn Hotel

700 Water Street, SW

Washington, DC 20001

 

This semi-formal dinner is the capstone event of the conference to promote solidarity within the public interest community.