Extension DEI Committee Meeting Minutes July 31, 2023

Extension DEI Committee Meeting
July 31, 2003 – Via Zoom

Attending: Tara Marble, Laura Wilson, Beth Hawkyard, Alisha Targonski, Scarlett Tudor, Ella Glatter, Stephanie Shea, Alicia Greenlaw, Izzy Ruffin, Karen Giles,

Facilitator: Tara Marble
Notes: Alisha Targonski

Per Hannah’s email: 

From our last meeting, again, here our are notes and here are a couple of follow ups:

  1. We did ask about pronouns on nametags and have a process for changing nametags to include preferred pronouns.
  2. Matt Thomas is working at creating a website for the work of this committee.

For this meeting, I had a couple of discussion items and hope that others may be discussed as well:

  1. I’m on the UMS DEI Committee and the representative from UMA shared their Heritage Month Calendar.  Is this something that we should try to incorporate in Extension?  I definitely think UMaine should do so, but I’m unsure where the leadership of the UMaine committee stands, etc.
  • If we are to build a DEI philosophy/lens for Extension, what does that look like if we’re successful? What does it look like for us? What does it look like for the state?
  • What is the mission?
    • Should we have a focus group to create this statement for Extension?
    • Maine Families has a DEI mission statement
    • Begin JamBoard re: mission statement, vision, goals for immediate, long-term, etc. etc.
  • Alisha T cleaning up current DEI Shared Drive – adding current members.
  • Encouraging members to add resources, etc. here
  • Review county/region specific audiences/considerations
  1. With that discussion–we had discussed during our first meeting about how DEI work is shared and prioritized:
  2. What does a DEI page look like on Plugged In?  What should be included?  How should it be organized?  (With a goal of “re-imagining” Plugged In this year, it would great to have recommendations for the Marketing and Communications Team).
  • Transparency with notes
  • Resources – IDI project could be a great place to start. They have a list of resources that we could use and collaborate with
  • Suggestion box – could be so that people could suggest a resource, but also a topic that we should address/talk about in our DEI meetings
  • Have the email available for sending suggestions, too
  • Offering resources in different languages- making our programs more accessible
    • Offering programs in different languages
  1. How could we begin to gather/develop organizational best practices for leading inclusive spaces?
  • Setting out group norms within our own meetings. Beth has plans to work with the Conference planning committee to do an all conference group norm to start the day. This is a good practice, collaborative.
  • Work with Civil Rights data. Easy ways to find audiences. Re: what schools have certain percentages of students on free and reduced lunch needs? Making it easier to find that data.
  1. Needs Assessment – Jason will have a draft of survey questions for our needs assessment next week–when we have them we will share them with you all for feedback. I would like your ideas on how to ensure everyone (all Mainers – those with Extension experience and those who have never heard of us) is informed of this opportunity to participate (the survey will be online).
  1. Since it will be online, what about those challenged with technology, if we have paper versions, where should they be available?
  • At Fairs, we have copies. QR codes.
  • Local businesses that: local farmer’s unions, tractor supplies,
  • Farmer’s markets, libraries, town offices (social media shares and in person)
  • Community organizations that we work with (KVCAP,
  • Resource Intensive: People go with surveys to a local hub with paper surveys (like a dump, community center). Would it be allowable at state government agencies like workforce development
  • If tech is an issue, someone’s role to take phone calls so they could take the survey. Mano a Mano and Cultivating community do phone translation for an application. Very targeted effort.
  • Accessibility piece of this: migrant farm workers that are Spanish speaking. It feels like the accessibility stops at the translation. The precedent is “we want to hear from you” but we’re not actually a bilingual organization, so even if we hear from the public, we don’t have the resources to continue ongoing service.


  • What languages will this be translated into?
  • Will it be at an appropriate/accessible reading level? (see www.plainlanguage.gov)
  • Who is delivering these surveys to the public?
  • Could there be an investment in building a bilingual staff force?
  1. How do we best share the availability of the online survey?
  2. Other items?
  3. Committee name?
  • DEI
    •  Does it create a knee-jerk reaction, performative, having to constantly explain an acronym
  • Inclusion committee
  • Extension for All
    • Done have to make the decision today, put it out to the whole group

What are our Main Goals (short, mid, long?) 

  • Long: sometime on our annual review, metric-adjacent, as a reminder to supervisors and everyone that these things are valued. We are putting intention and attention toward this.
  • Seeking out national training opportunities, connecting to national level for Professional development to bring us to common language- we don’t know what we don’t know- for this team. Making that as barrier free as possible (e.g. free for staff, if staff funds are not available)
  • Building resources of prof. Development for everybody in Extension- things that we know about, what does our staff team have to share? Part of our staff inventory- how do learn about things that we know nothing about? Ask people what they have done that they have found to be beneficial and how it helped you. In a resource bank- give synopsis. Once we have a resource bank, to actively put them out there to people so they are actively accessible. Who is doing things outside of the bubble we already know about?
  • Examining the internal culture of Extension: class, gender, race. Are we playing into our products being the sum of our worth? How we introduce ourselves (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5l9fLkd5g4) can break some of those molds.
    • Internal culture survey- can help with the direction of this group’s work. Bring all the voices to this table.
    • Could it happen at the November conference? 5 minute survey, table tents,
      • Alisha, Scarlett, Tara, Izzy, Karen, – September meet


  • Web portal: for staff, to explore, resources, policies,

Jamboard for sharing ideas and goals- continuing the conversation

  • Key concepts for our mission statement

Any additional thoughts?

  1. I have attached the Annual Report of the President’s DEI Committee for your information.