May 15, 2018 Meeting Recap

View the meeting slides here: Diversity Champions 5.15.18

Diversity Champions:

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Ballard Hall or by Zoom for our May monthly session! If you could not attend, this blog post provides a short recap. I am available for any questions you may have and also encourage you to connect with other Diversity Champions to help you process the reading and to expand your awareness of the different racial experiences of your friends and colleagues. Remember, this space is a personal, as well as organizational, growth opportunity for all of us. The best indicator of how inclusive Extension is lives in each one of us.

Welcome & Introductions:
We were delighted to have Rodrigo Ruiz Corona, 4-H/Juntos Outreach Coordinator for Clackamas County Extension, joining us for this session. Rodrigo has been participating as often as possible in our Diversity Champion conversations and is always excited to be in vibrant and challenging spaces. His background is in History and Sociology, however, his true passion lies in appreciating the ways in which we are all similar, different and unique, as well as placing the natural world at the center of learning and teaching in his work. This passion led Rodrigo to work for the Center for Diversity and the Environment facilitating Equity, Diversity and Inclusion trainings for individuals and organizations in the environmental field. Currently, he leads experiential youth development programs for immigrant families. An immigrant himself, he has always been interested in the ever-changing demographic landscape in the United States, the crafting of identity and the meanings associated with different waves of immigration over time in this continent. We were very lucky and honored to hear from Rodrigo about his unique experiences.

Homework Activity review
After our last session, we asked you to journal on the following topic: From 1 – 100%, how much of my life is impacted by my race?

  • We talked about our insights as a group and encourage you to find another Diversity Champion to share your experience with. Talking through this activity with others is a great introduction to this month’s reading, especially Chapter 7: Engaging Multiple Racial Perspectives. Each of us were brought into this world where the social construct of race was already in place, therefore we have different experiences navigating it.
  • Compass check: Which quadrant(s) did you find yourself in while journaling on the topic above?

Chapters 6 & 7

Our conversation focused on Keeping the Spotlight on Race and Agreeing to Engage Multiple Racial Perspectives. Both conditions are essential when engaging in productive conversations that advance our understanding and bring us closer as a community.

  • Our reading helped us understand the pervasive way that the social construct of race has seeped into our psyche and therefore our daily lives. We looked at examples from the media that use the construct of whiteness as the standard and the aspiration. They portray people of color with a negative connotation. View the meeting slide link at the top of this post to see these examples (taken from google images).
  • Next time you are reading a magazine or watching television, try to use your racial consciousness to identify the hidden messages in which whiteness is socialized.
  • In our session, we heard from people online and in the room about their unique racial experiences. This is always what is at the core of the conversation and makes our hour together fly by. Food for the soul.

See you on June 19 for our next meeting!
Homework/Reading: Please read Chapters 8 & 9 before our next meeting.

Upcoming Sessions:
June 19: Review Chapters 8 & 9  (C.C.A.R.)
July 17:   Review Chapters 10 & 11  (C.C.A.R.)
August 21: Review Chapters 12 & 13  (C.C.A.R.)
September 18: Mentorship training with Jeff Sherman
October 16: Intercultural Communication Module
November: 2018/19 Diversity Champion registration open
December: Extension annual conference (Social Justice Initiative and Search Advocate trainings most likely available)

Please stay tuned for details about the upcoming sessions. You each are developing a very keen awareness that will definitely  manifest itself in the work and programs of our division.

Thank you again,

Ana Lu