Upcoming Events


Department of Labor Agency Forum at 2017 BIG National Training Institute



Tuesday, August 22, 2017


9 AM - 12 PM


Harrah's Waterfront Conference Center

Harrah's Resort Atlantic City

Location: Avalon 4 & 5

777 Harrah's Boulevard

Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401


Ms. Kristin McNally

Director of DOL Office of Employee Engagement


"Making Every Moment Count"





Recent Events



BIG-DOL Representation at 2017 BIG National Delegates Assembly


Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) was well represented at the BIG National Delegates Assembly held on Sunday, August 20, 2017 at the Harrah's Waterfront Conference Center in the Harrah's Resort of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The BIG National Delegates Assembly serves as the operating arm of the organization, where delegates from chapters throughout the country conduct crucial organizational business once a year, including the election of National officers, voting on BIG National Constitutional amendments and resolutions, and handling other business. The following eight (8) BIG-DOL delegates are to be commended for contributing to the decision-making of the organization while representing the interests of the chapter: Christopher Brown; Lisa Hawkins; Nathaniel Howard; Dr. Jimmie Jackson; Robin Matthews; Dr. Sidney Samuel; Sheila Stevens; and Charles Young.






BIG-DOL Participation in 2017 DOL Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day


On Thursday, April 27, 2017, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) participated in a DOL Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day session held in the Great Hall of the Frances Perkins Building. From 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., DOL affinity groups engaged the youth attendees, ranging in ages from 9 to 16, in a variety of activities to inform them about their groups. BIG-DOL conducted two activities which the youth enjoyed: completing the "BIG - Did You Know" (fill in the blanks) exercise and writing uplifting notes to the seniors of the Downtown Cluster's Geriatric Day Care Center (DCGDCC) - the adopted senior citizens center of the chapter. Participants in these activities even received prizes! Rachelle Coleman, who coordinated BIG-DOL's participation in the event, and Stella Godbolt promoted the goals and objectives of BIG as well as shared the accomplishments of the chapter, including its community service at the DCGDCC and its scholarships provided to deserving high school students. These two women and the youth truly had a great time connecting. BIG-DOL commends these ladies for ensuring the chapter's successful participation in another DOL program!



2017 BLS Women's History Month Events - Kudos to BIG-DOL Members


Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) members contributed to the success of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Women's History Month (WHM) events held during March 2017. BIG-DOL President Robin Matthews and Second Vice President Lisa Hawkins served as members of the BLS WHM planning committee. These two women helped to execute the WHM promotional event on March 1st; the keynote speaker program on March 8th; the business and labor leaders' panel discussion on March 15th; movie showings on March 22nd and March 23rd; the communication workshop on March 28th; and a book discussion on March 30th. Lisa Hawkins coordinated the room setup for the events. Ms. Matthews and Ms. Hawkins operated the chapter's popcorn machine at the promotional event and movie showings, providing tasty popcorn to attendees. Chapter member Ursula Oliver served as the moderator of the panel discussion. Christopher Brown, BIG-DOL Recording Secretary and photographer, rendered his photography services at two of the events. BIG-DOL member Dr. Ladel Lewis was the well-received presenter of the communication workshop "Speak Those Things: Effective Communication for Every Situation." Indeed, these members are to be commended for making a "BIG" impact for Women's History Month!






BIG-DOL Participation in BLS OCWC Information Session on DOL Affinity Groups


On March 8, 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Office of Compensation and Working Conditions (OCWC) held an information session at BLS to bring awareness to OCWC staff on the importance of DOL affinity groups and the work they do. Representatives from many of the affinity groups provided presentations. Among these presenters was Tom Burke, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) Communication and Public Relations Committee Chairperson and an OCWC employee, who highlighted the mission of BIG as well as the history, programs, and activities of the chapter. Dr. Sidney Samuel, OCWC employee and BIG-DOL First Vice President, coordinated the event as well as served as the host. Kudos to these gentlemen for their promotion of DOL affinity groups and BIG-DOL!






BIG-DOL African American History Month Program


Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) presented a program on February 8, 2017 at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in recognition of African American History Month (AAHM). BIG-DOL member Marina Akers-Epps welcomed attendees and introduced the guest speaker. The guest speaker was Dr. Mary E. Dilworth, a nationally recognized education expert and Chair of the District of Columbia Higher Education Licensure Commission. Dr. Dilworth spoke on the 2017 National AAHM theme "Crisis in Black Education." She highlighted some issues with school curricula for today's young generation, minority student and teacher representation at the different type of schools, school safety, and limited access to educational opportunities and funding resources. Furthermore, she advocated the following goals: "establish a qualified racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse teaching force in all communities that represents the nation's population; revisit current programs and policies with a keen understanding of this generation's career interests and preferences; establish clear and universal standards and guidelines for what constitutes teacher diversity and cultural competence; and provide necessary resources and support to advance these goals." After a question and answer (Q & A) period, Dr. Sidney Samuel, BIG-DOL First Vice President, presented Dr. Dilworth with a plaque of appreciation and a token from the chapter as well as rendered closing remarks. BIG-DOL commends the BIG-DOL AAHM planning committee, chaired by Catherine Hackett, for the success of this informative event.








BIG-DOL Holiday Gift Stockings for Senior Citizens Project


On Wednesday, December 14, 2016, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) provided sixty (60) fully-stuffed holiday gift stockings to the seniors and staff of the Downtown Cluster's Geriatric Day Care Center (DCGDCC) - the adopted senior citizens center of the chapter. Each of the stockings contained a variety of toiletries (lotion, soap, shampoos and conditioners, pocket tissues, hand sanitizer, etc.) and snacks. BIG-DOL members Dr. Sidney Samuel, Lisa Hawkins, and Veronica Shipman distributed the stockings to the seniors at the DCGDCC while expressing season greetings. The seniors truly appreciated BIG-DOL's demonstrations of thoughtfulness and holiday kindness! BIG-DOL thanks Lisa Hawkins for coordinating the project, chapter members and supporters who generously donated toiletries and/or stuffed the stockings, and the members who presented the stockings.






BIG-DOL Annual Thanksgiving Basket Food Drive


Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) provided twenty (20) bountiful Thanksgiving baskets to needy families in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area on Monday, November 21, 2016. Each basket included a turkey, other meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, butter, cheese, pasta, canned goods, dessert items, and other food items.


Food items in the baskets were collected and purchased during the chapter's food drive conducted from November 8th to November 21st. Nonperishable items were contributed by Department of Labor employees and others who placed items in the chapter's collection boxes positioned in the Frances Perkins Building and Postal Square Building. Monetary donations from BIG-DOL members and supporters also supported the drive. Moreover, a BIG-DOL member generously donated the turkeys and sweet potatoes. Items contributed by the chapter included food packages purchased from the SHARE Food Network as well as food purchased by BIG-DOL Thanksgiving Basket Food Drive committee members. Indeed, the food drive was a collaborative effort in the spirit of giving!


BIG-DOL commends Dr. Sidney Samuel and Robin Matthews, chairperson and co-chairperson of the drive, respectively, and their committee for the successful implementation of this community service project. BIG-DOL thanks all who contributed to the food drive's success, ensuring that the project, whose genesis dates back to November 1984, continued to bless others for the Thanksgiving holiday!






BIG-DOL Members Supported Capital Breast Care Center's Breakfast Benefit


On the invitation of chapter member Shirley Ashton and her granddaughter Alleyah Miner (a 2012 BIG-DOL Scholarship Program award recipient), seven (7) members of the Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) attended the Capital Breast Care Center's (CBCC) 9th Annual Gift of Life Breakfast Benefit held on Friday, October 14, 2016, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. The CBCC provides culturally sensitive breast cancer screening services and health and wellness education, guided by evidence-based practices, to all women in the Washington, DC area, regardless of their ability to pay. Shirley's daughter and Alleyah's mother - the late Tovoia Miner - was as an ardent advocate and champion for the CBCC. Shirley and Alleyah have continued her advocacy and thus served as table captains at the benefit. Alleyah had the honor of rendering the "call to action" segment during the program. BIG-DOL members who attended the event made financial contributions to the organization, furthering their support of the CBCC!





BIG-DOL "High Tea & Poetry Jam" Benefitted the Chapter's Scholarship Program


Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) held a well-attended "High Tea & Poetry Jam" on Saturday, October 8, 2016, at the East County Community Recreation Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. As a fundraiser for the chapter's Scholarship Program as well as to promote an appreciation of poetry, the event showcased the talents of five "poets" and provided attendees with an opportunity to fellowship, while sipping tea and partaking of delicious refreshments. Robin Matthews, BIG-DOL President, served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Sheila Stevens, BIG-DOL Scholarship Program Committee member, rendered the blessing of the food. Committee member Katrina Holloway, accompanied by her assistants, catered the event and provided the beautiful and elegant decorations. Disc jockey Michael Smith, Jr. provided background music as attendees conversed and satisfied their taste buds. The poets featured on the program and/or who participated via an "open mike" segment included: Emily Frazier; Dr. Ladel Lewis; Sheila Chambers; Imani Miner; and Bernetta Simmons. Furthermore, a "best hat" contest was held during the program; the winner, Fay Carter, won a nice teapot set. Decorated jars of candies were given as door prizes to ten lucky attendees. Cheryl Sims, BIG-DOL Scholarship Program Committee Chairperson, acknowledged the excellent planning of her committee and thanked all who contributed to the success of the event. Indeed, the event was an exquisite affair which provided the chapter with additional funds to provide scholarships to deserving high school students!







On Wednesday, October 5, 2016, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) sponsored an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) seminar at the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the Federal sector complaint process. The presenter of the seminar was Ms. Sandra Adams, an Equal Employment Specialist and a full-time EEO Counselor at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); she is also the President of the EEOC BIG Chapter. Ms. Adams provided an overview of topics, such as EEOC laws, the informal and formal complaint processes, EEO counseling, rights and responsibilities of complainants, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and important timeframes. Kudos are extended to the following chapter members for their coordination of this informative training: Michelle Mills, Esq., BIG-DOL AE/EEO Committee Chairperson; Rachelle Coleman, Co-Chair of the committee; Robin Matthews, BIG-DOL President, and Lisa Hawkins, BIG-DOL Second Vice President.






DOL Day 2016 ~~ Doing it "BIG"


On Friday, September 16, 2016, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL) participated in the DOL Day/Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Kick-Off Rally held on the DOL Frances Perkins Building (FPB) Rooftop from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Department traditionally holds DOL Day each September as a way for employees to celebrate the positive contributions they make to America's workers and the mission of the Department. This year, the combination of DOL Day and the CFC Rally afforded employees opportunities to visit the exhibits of DOL agencies and employee associations/affinity groups, participate in the organizations' games and activities, sample a variety of foods, and learn more about the CFC as well as support it through proceeds raised from the event.

As an employee association/affinity group, BIG-DOL hosted a table at the event where chapter members provided BIG literature and conversed with attendees about the goals, objectives, and activities of the National Organization and the chapter. BIG-DOL also sponsored a raffle to win a complimentary photo session and package provided by the chapter's very own photographer, Christopher Brown of CB Photography. Several attendees stopped by the table and participated in the raffle, including Christopher Lu, DOL Deputy Secretary, and Bill Wiatrowski, Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The winner of the raffle drawing was Holland Gormley from the DOL Women's Bureau.

BIG-DOL thanks the following chapter members who served at the chapter table and ensured the success of the chapter's participation at this DOL event: Christopher Brown (coordinator of the chapter's participation); Robin Matthews; and Nathaniel Howard.





"The Loudest Duck" Diversity and Inclusion Training


On Thursday, September 15, 2016, Blacks In Government Department of Labor Chapter (BIG-DOL), the DOL Asian Pacific American Council, Pride at DOL, and the International Association of Workforce Professionals - DC Chapter co-sponsored training titled "The Loudest Duck: Moving Beyond Diversity While Embracing Differences to Achieve Success at Work". The training, held at the DOL Frances Perkins Building, was presented by Laura Liswood, an internationally known expert on diversity and inclusion, and was based on her book of the same title. Ms. Liswood offered an alternate view of a multicultural workplace through the use of practical stories and cultural anecdotes. She also detailed why unconscious cultural differences often should be made conscious and why this awareness should be embraced and harnessed to create an increasingly diverse workforce. Kudos to the four DOL affinity groups for collaborating to provide this well-received and informative training!