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National Extension Response Resources Site to Include Resources for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

eXtension has updated with a collection of resources related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This is just the start, if you have other similar resources to share, we invite you to submit them to

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the eXtension Foundation launched to create a national resource site for Cooperative Extension professionals. The purpose of this site was and still is to help Extension professionals work collaboratively in a virtual world, and to share federal and institutional responses and resources to COVID-19. Additionally, a section was included on dealing with disasters and epidemics, highlighting information from the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN). Since March, 2020, nearly 200 contributions were made to this site from the Cooperative Extension System. The eXtension Foundation will continue to maintain and update this site with contributions made from across the system.

In recent weeks, another opportunity for this site has become apparent. Our mission is to serve the U.S. Cooperative Extension System by partnering to make a greater collective impact and promote accessibility to all in communities across the nation.  We are committed to fostering inclusive work where diversity is welcomed, encouraged, and leveraged for growth, new knowledge, and community vitality.

Fellowships Information

Perspectives: Avoiding Stereotypes in Program Evaluation

Julie Huetteman, Ph.D., is the Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at Purdue Extension. She is serving as the National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP) eXtension Fellow for 2017.

As the 2017 eXtension NAEPSDP Fellow for Program Evaluation, I have been on a journey to expand my awareness and understanding relating to inclusion, and to look at evaluation from this perspective, since participating in the Diversity and Inclusion Corps in Cincinnati.

Quality versus Quantity

I often ponder the busy-ness of those working in Extension. We wear a lot of hats and have many roles, but in providing education to our county or state residents, we want to be sure we are doing the best we can. To help us think about the quality of programming, not just the quantity, I share these thoughts that put stakeholders first.

Another thoughtful and thought-provoking reading recommendation from my colleague, Dr. Pamala Morris, Assistant Dean/Director of Multicultural Programs at the College of Agriculture at Purdue University, led me to Whistling Vivaldi by Claude M. Steele.

This book on “how stereotypes affect us and what we can do” is based on our human perception of identity. It shares the ways in which stereotyping defines groups and characteristics, how pervasive it is, and how it can influence performance. When individuals experience identity threat from associated restrictive characteristics, their performance is negatively affected. Stereotype threats occur from many perspectives and affect how people perform in education settings, as well as personal and professional situations.

What can we do?

In an education setting, researchers share a two-part explanation:

  • Self-affirmation or sense of competence and worth.
  • Accomplished challenges may create a mindset to interrupt negative restrictions of stereotypes.

For example, think of the message that women are not as good as men in math or science, and the resulting performance by women in STEM. Programming that affirms abilities in science — in combination with instruction and challenging STEM opportunities for accomplishment — can help in addressing the gap in performance associated with the stereotype.

Applying these concepts to our Extension setting, we can be deliberate in efforts to maintain keener awareness of our communities, to explore how we might affirm our stakeholders’ senses of self, and provide quality instruction and challenges to encourage achievement in learning.

This awareness can help direct our program evaluation activities to address the participants’ experience and perspective, not our own as program deliverers. Consider asking stakeholders about their experiences, comforts, barriers, challenges, benefits, values, and accomplishments from participating in programs. Here is where we find the quality in our work!

Thanks again to Pamala Morris for sharing and recommending this book on the human situation we live and face every day.

For More Information

You can contact Julie at

Steele, C.M. (2010). Whistling Vivaldi. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.


Diversity & Inclusion Fellowships Information

Perspectives: Overcoming Bias in Program Evaluation

Julie Huetteman, Ph.D., is the Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at Purdue Extension. She is serving as the National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP) eXtension Fellow for 2017.

My eXtension NAEPSDP Fellowship for Program Evaluation 2017 started with the Diversity and Inclusion Corps in Cincinnati. I have been exploring related resources, opportunities, and associations ever since. Here I share thoughts and reflections more so than a set of instructions. We need space and time to ponder our human experience and learn about other perspectives to incorporate those thoughts as we plan, develop, deliver and report on our Extension work.

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald is one book recommended to me by Dr. Pamala Morris, Assistant Dean/Director of the Office of Multicultural Programs in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University. The book is about research on our human minds that looks at how our biases develop toward race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion and so on. The researchers share their Implicit Association Test (IAT), which measures how the brain associates people and groups with traits and values. This automatic preference that develops pervades even when egalitarian beliefs are expressed.

A lot of self-reflection about perceptions and openness to others resulted for me. Completing sample tests and activities had me assessing my views, thoughts, and actions about and toward others. This created time and space to think and reflect on our society and our human relations across the personal and professional, local and regional, and global.

We can apply these reflections to program evaluation efforts.

  1. Make sure we make time to reflect on our own hidden biases.
  2. Make opportunities to include our clients/participants in our activities. Invite the perceptions, thoughts, and direction of our stakeholders from the beginning, and throughout, as we work to plan, develop, deliver, and report program activities and evaluation approaches.

The ultimate result is that the opportunities made available are of value and benefit to stakeholders. Given the busy-ness of our jobs, these steps can be easy to overlook, but they are incredibly worthwhile.

I would like to send a special thank you to Pam, for sharing this resource with me at this moment in our society and for a time of reflection on our human interactions.

Julie Huetteman, Ph.D., Coordinator, Extension Strategic Initiatives, Purdue Extension

Banaji, M.R. & Greenwald, A.G. (2016). Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. New York, NY: Bantam Books.



i-Three Issue Corps: Farming the City: Utica

Diverse individuals growing self-sufficient communities

Can farming in a city get communities to self-sufficiency? No, but it is the place to start. This blog post is to share a journey and a belief that when we are responsible for providing food to share with community members it brings that community, as well as individuals, a level of satisfaction.

When individuals from diverse backgrounds, diverse cultures, and diverse communities are satisfied, how does it affect the health and well-being of those communities? Community well-being includes the social, economic, environmental, cultural, and political conditions of individuals to fulfill their potential.

Contributors to a project of bringing farming to Utica are community-based and interested in community gardening and share a similar vision: that if we provide the education, support, and have community  commitment to farm in the city, it will provide the first steps for community members’ satisfaction and well-being.

Utica is one of two cities located in central New York in Oneida County. Our county is rich and diverse in agriculture.  According to a demographic report from Headwaters Economic Profile System ( ), Utica’s population was 61,628 in 2015. The population demographic is:  Whites, 59.8%, African Americans, 14.7%, Asian Americans, 9.9%, and Hispanics or Latinos,11.4% with the balance made up of refugees.  The largest groups ever resettled to Utica include Bosnian, Burmese, individuals from the former Soviet Union, and Vietnamese

One refugee said,  “There is this kind of depression.  Everyone was dreaming to come to the U.S.A., but they were not happy. The people were put in apartments, missing activity, community. They were bored. They were homesick for traditional food, grown by hand, and many of the residents live at or below the poverty level.”

Utica has 32.2% of its population below the poverty line. Poverty is an important indicator of economic well-being. Individuals with limited income may have different values and attitudes as they related to their communities.

Fundamentally, community gardening is a shared endeavor providing opportunities for members to improve their environments and/or produce fruit and vegetables for food.  Community gardens have potential to improve nutritional status, increase physical activity, play a role in reducing stress and promote better mental health all while contributing to an enhanced quality of life for those involved.

Our project’s mission is to contribute to the evidence base that first-hand gardening activities play a role in increased level of satisfaction both in individuals, as well as in their community.

Our next blog post will define the participants, define our partners and the types of quantitative and qualitative studies we will be conducting.  


Diversity & Inclusion Issue Corps Designathon Planned for February

diversity and inclusion corps logoMore than 40 project teams, representing 28 institutions from all five Cooperative Extension System (CES) regions, focused on a variety of diversity and inclusion issues will meet in Cincinnati, OH February 14-15, 2017, to participate in an eXtension Designathon. Proposed Corps projects include topics such as cultural competency in youth, community health hubs and diversity, food insecurity, civic engagement, racial equity training for CES, health equity and much more.

The Designathon is a high-energy workshop that guides participants with innovative project ideas addressing local issues through the creation of concept maps for their projects, supported by one-on-one mentoring from expert key informants.  The process helps teams develop and articulate an issue response strategy focused on local, regional, or statewide impact.

Key informants are currently being recruited for the Designathon. Key informants mentor the teams in areas such as evaluation, networking, technology, social media, marketing, and much more. Past Designathon participants frequently relate that access to key informants is one of the most beneficial aspects of the workshop. If you have expertise that would be beneficial to the Corps and would like to be considered as a potential key informant, contact Luann Phillips

The event will be held as a pre-conference workshop in conjunction with the annual Tri-State Diversity Conference.

The Diversity & Inclusion Corps organizing committee includes: Pamala Morris & Shalyse Iseminger, Purdue University, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Community of Practice;  Natasha Saunders, University of Kentucky, Office of Diversity; Brent Elrod, USDA/NIFA; John Phillips, AIHEC/FALCON; Terrence Wolfork, Fort Valley State University, 1890 Institutions; June Mead, Cornell University, CYFAR; Renee Pardello, University of Minnesota, Internationalizing Extension Community of Practice; and  Rachel Welborn, Southern Rural Development Center, Leader, ECOP Rapid Response Team for Civil Discourse.
For more information on the Diversity & Inclusion Issue Corps contact LuAnn Phillips