I am asking this because I am on a team that is putting together a digital media campaign about our efforts to reach new and under-served communities, our engagement with diversity, and how we've overcome barriers. To do this, I want to engage everyone in 4-H and beyond to help us tell our diversity and inclusion story.
We are thrilled to have this grant-funded opportunity; to share a diverse narrative of our work in youth development and we can do so by engaging staff, volunteers, youth, and partners! One of the reasons for sharing a diverse narrative is to overcome the opposite kind -- the "single story" that lumps many people into one, or many cultures into one.
The writer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Life is about the journey, not the destination". In youth development we are often reminded of this. We often find ourselves caught up in the end goal, but what matters most in what we do is HOW we get to that desired outcome. When youth and adults come together in our programs, what makes a difference in the end are the relationships that are developed; what youth and adults learn from and about each other; and the skills that youth develop while working on projects, activities, and events that relate to their interests and passions. A journey-like metaphor is even more appropriate when we strive to work in diverse and inclusive programming environments.
When you think about your own journey:
- What are things you think are worth sharing with others?
- What themes, ideas, or strategies would you share in a short video segment that others could watch and learn from?
- What barriers have you overcome, and how?
-- Josey Landrieu, assistant Extension professor, program evaluation
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