Cc-5: diversity and multiculturalism

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A commitment by all staff members toward building competencies around issues related to diversity and multiculturalism is paramount to Extension’s excellence, relevancy, survival and success. Extension educators, who recognize, understand and appreciate differences and the impact of differences can incorporate effective strategies, processes and relational approaches into planning, developing and delivering educational programs with a broad and inclusive audience. Through an ongoing process of self-awareness, self-assessment and continued education, Extension educators should work toward becoming more culturally competent which is defined as the ability of staff members to work effectively, respectfully and authentically across differences.

A.Continues to learn about diversity in people, for example:

  1. Reads, attends learning opportunities, or cultivates relationships to learn about diversity in people

  2. Is sensitive to the unique and diverse needs of different cultural groups in their community(ies)

  3. Is able to access and interpret local demographic data

  4. Is open to learning about one’s own cultural background in a broad sense including race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other differences

B.Involves people who are diverse, for example:

  1. Involves diverse partners in the design, implementation and evaluation of educational programs

  2. Uses program materials and educational strategies appropriate for the needs of diverse audiences

  3. Develops appropriate marketing strategies to ensure participation of diverse and underserved audiences

  4. Disseminates information through a wide variety of local networks

  5. Recruits diverse audiences

  6. Selects members of committees and groups to reflect the diversity of the community

  7. Actively promotes inclusiveness in programming and program participation

  8. Develops diverse networks with individuals and agencies

  9. Intentionally markets the ability to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities and other diverse groups

C.Promotes multicultural understanding, for example:

  1. Organizes and offers programs that are reflective of laws and policies that support diversity and pluralism.

  2. Develops and sustains partnerships with multicultural groups.

  3. Promotes multiple world views and prospective in programs.

  4. Applies multi-cultural learning at the personal, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural levels.

  5. Brings together diverse groups to facilitate the resolution of differences

  6. Is comfortable engaging in complex discussions related to differences

  7. Understands privilege and the opportunities and barriers it may present when working within and across differences

D. Follows Civil Rights/Affirmative Action Policies and Procedures

  1. Is aware of civil rights compliance obligations

  2. Follows appropriate civil rights/affirmative action policies and procedures

  3. Cooperates in defining and meeting annual goals established in the Civil Rights Review System, Institute work team or individual plans of work

  4. Annually reviews and analyzes program participation data and proactively addresses outreach opportunities that may exist


  1. Participate in the two-day Multicultural Self-Awareness Workshop and develop a personal plan for working toward cultural competency utilizing MSU Extension and other diversity resources.

  2. Commit to a yearly (at minimum) learning opportunity related to the cultures and critical issues of diverse groups within a U.S. context that helps to foster awareness or cultural competency within your role and responsibilities.

  3. Learn about the realities of your clientele across race, gender, class, sexual orientation, disabilities and other differences.

  4. Identify diverse communities within your county and cooperatively assess community needs and how you might program with these constituents.

  5. Create opportunities to develop, nurture and sustain relationships and partnerships with individuals and groups that are diverse across race, gender, sexual orientation, class, disabilities or other differences.

  6. Participate in the development of an Institute work team plan for incorporating diversity in all aspects of programming and outreach.

  7. Operationalize a program planning/implementation process that incorporates and prioritizes diverse constituents and their needs.

  8. Transform your office outreach, engagement, program planning and implementation processes to more authentically involve staff, clientele and partners of difference (based on race, age, gender, class, sexual orientation, disabilities and other differences).

  9. Learn about and apply diversity, multiculturalism or equity research based frameworks to move your planning, reporting and programming toward cultural competency



Cox, Taylor. Creating the Multicultural Organization.

Cox, Taylor. Developing Competency to Manage Diversity.

Howard, G. We Can't Teach What We Don't Know.

Johnson, Allan. Privilege, Power and Difference.

Goodman, Diane. Promoting Diversity and Social Justice: Educating People from Privileged Groups.

Adams, Blumfield, Castañeda, (eds.). Readings for Diversity and Social Justice.

Hackman, Peters. Zuñiga

Berzon, Betty. Setting Them Straight. 1996.

Kendall, Frances. Understanding White Privilege, 2012

Kivel, Paul. Uprooting Racism. 1995.

Olsson, Jona. Detour Spotting for White Anti-Racists.

Pharr, Suzzane. Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism. 1997.

Schauber, Ann. Working with Differences within Communities. 2002.

Tatum, Beverly. Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?

Videos and DVD’s

Race: The Power of an Illusion (DVD)

Moving Toward Diversity (Video)

Ojibwe: Waasa Unaabidaa (We look in all directions). (A series of six videos)

Making Whiteness Visible (DVD)

Cracking the Code: The System of Racial Inequality (DVD)


National eXtension Diversity Website The national eXtension diversity website provides information on numerous diversity issues related to the work of Extension employees across the nation. Resources are available related to organizational change, employment, reaching diverse audiences, curriculum development and promising practices.

The Institute for Democratic Renewal. This institute provides two very useful guides, The Community Builders Toolkit and Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building, for individuals working in community settings where inclusion and equity are important outcomes.

Racial Equity Learning Modules

The project is inspired by the World Trust film project “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity“and seeks to bridge the gap between inspiration and democratic action that supports racial equity.  Whether you are an educator or trainer, we hope these resources will help you support others to drop preconceptions of what is possible, and to dream of and reach for a world in which all are respected, valued and able to thrive. These modules are designed to facilitate deep learning and change. The Understanding the System of Racial Inequity module is designed to provide a starting point for those new to ideas about fairness and equity. We recommend looking through all the modules and choosing those appropriate for your audience/students/participants.

Applied Research Center. The Applied Research Center is a leading research lab where academics and activists forge tools to spark social progress and measure the results. The Web site contains articles, essays, resources and tools for youth, educators and decision makers. The site also includes information about the ERASE: Expose Racism & Advance School Excellence effort.

Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network. The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is working to ensure safe and effective schools for all students. GLSEN envisions a future in which every child learns to respect and accept all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. The Web site includes resources for students and educators.

Gay-Straight Alliance Network. The Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA) empowers youth activists to fight homophobia. The GSA Network is a youth-led organization that connects school-based Gay-Straight Alliances to each other and to community resources. Programs focus on ending isolation, developing leaders and making schools safer.

Partners Against Hate. Partners Against Hate offers promising education and counteraction strategies for young people and a wide range of community-based educators and professionals who interact with youth, including parents, law enforcement officials, teachers and community/business leaders. The site includes several excellent free downloadable resources for youth and adults.

Race: The Power of an Illusion. Race: The Power of an Illusion is a powerful and informative three-part documentary about race in society, science and history produced by California Newsreel. This Web site contains articles, essays and interview excerpts as well as ordering information to obtain copies of the videos. The Web site also includes teaching tips, online quizzes and more.

Rethinking Schools. Rethinking Schools was developed by classroom teachers with an emphasis on social justice and equity. Rethinking Schools believes that classrooms can be places of hope where students and teachers gain glimpses of a just and caring society. The site contains articles, newsletters, web resources and more.

Teaching Tolerance. Teaching Tolerance is a principal online destination for people interested in dismantling bigotry and creating communities that value diversity. The site includes resources for students, parents, teachers and younger children. Teaching Tolerance promotes and supports anti-bias activism in every venue of American life.

Understanding Prejudice. Understanding Prejudice is a Web site for students, teachers and others interested in the causes and consequences of prejudice. The site includes more than 2,000 links to resources, researchers and social justice organizations. The interactive site also includes numerous exercises, inventories and demonstrations to help people understand prejudice related to race, gender, sexual orientation and other areas of human difference.

Articles and Journal Entries
Batts, Valerie. “Modern Racism: New Melody for the Same Old Tune”

Cullinan, Chris. “Vision, Privilege and the Limits of Tolerance”

Jona. “Historical Moments in U.S. Oppression” – Jona Olsson

Kendall, Francie. “Understanding White Privilege”

Kendall, Francie. “How to be an Ally if you are a Person with Privilege”

Lamar, Jake. “The Trouble with You People”

McIntosh, Peggy. “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”

Thompson, Cooper. “Can A White Heterosexual Man Understand Oppression”

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