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Extension Webinar Series Aims to Educate on Social Justice, Diversity and Inclusion

By: Deidra Craig and Angelica Gonzalez

There is no question that talks of racial justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion have been at the forefront of the national dialogue for quite some time now. How might we build on this shift in public consciousness to deepen the knowledge and skills of Extension professionals who work with youth and families across North Carolina?

The Awareness to Action webinar series is a collaboration between North Carolina State’s Department of Agricultural & Human Sciences, NC State Extension specialists and county agents, and NC A&T Extension professionals. This webinar series aims to 1) strengthen Extension staff’s knowledge and skills as they relate to racial justice specifically and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in general in order to 2) engage in action and sustainability planning that will enrich Extension programming and build stronger, more equitable communities across North Carolina. 

The first part of the Awareness to Action webinar series focused on centering diversity, equity, and inclusion within Extension.. Diversity refers to the practice of including and involving people from all backgrounds. These backgrounds include, but are not limited to, people of different ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientations, socioeconomic status, religions, physical attributes, and more. Equity refers to the quality of being fair and impartial. Inclusion refers to the practice of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for everyone, no matter what diverse background. In emphasizing the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion and taking actionable steps to work toward positive and sustainable change, the series sought to educate participants on ways to identify and eliminate practices that contribute to unjust practices.  In addition to the three sessions, participants gained access to a Moodle project space with additional resources and a platform to ask questions, build partnerships, and share experiences. Additional efforts to ensure the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion is sustained are forthcoming. 

By building awareness and moving toward engagement and action, Extension professionals can help create stronger, more equitable workplaces and communities across North Carolina. 

For questions and additional information about this webinar series and/or to access the webinar recordings, contact Dr. Maru Gonzalez,