Extension DEI Committee Meeting Minutes September 25, 2023

Extension DEI Committee Meeting
September 25, 2023 – Via Zoom

Attending: Alisha T., Laura W., Hannah C., Tara M., Lucy W., Rebecca L., Steph S., Andrew H., Karen G., Ella G.,Trisha S.

Facilitator: Alisha and Lucy

  1. Welcome and check in
  2.  Group norms
  • Ok to be “raggedy”; things don’t have to be perfectly worded
  • Watch out for acronyms
  • We are accepted and forgiving
  • Our work is to better ourselves and Extension
  • This work is important; sometimes we may not know how to approach things
  • Assume good intentions
  • Open to feedback
  • Trying to be aware of balancing “space” – listening and sharing
  • Vegas Rules: what is said here, stays here… what is learned here can be shared but without personal stories of other (let us speak for ourselves!)
  • Others?
  1. Check in on ongoing work/small groups/upcoming needs (Internal Culture Survey– Tara)

Extension for All Collaborative Staff Survey Sub-Committee – Staff perception survey draft sent out via e-mail week of Sept 18th (see link above)

  1. Updates from Hannah
    1. UMaine DEI Committee/task force: about a year ago UMaine System climate survey, response rate wasn’t great, Hannah will link the boilerplate survey- might be useful for how to ask or adapt questions
    2. Last Monday (9/18) Town Hall- Pres. Ferrini-Mundy announced interim DEI coordinator position to the leadership cabinet. System DEI committee hasn’t met over the summer, Beth will be Liaison until the DEI position filled
    3. ELT met and schedule a special org. Zoom week of Oct 16/Oct 23 to announce .5 DEI person and other organizational changes. Prior to all org meeting to have discussions.
  2. Resourceful Consulting  (Beth) will be joining us who are leading the Oct 26 training on campus Beth will be sending out some pre meeting information  –  send her e-mail to get on the list beth.hawkyard@maine.edu

Background: two years ago SARE Grant with MOFGA, UMCE sub grantee and MOFGA recommended an Resourceful Consulting (Hamilton & Maureen – in New Orleans). Fits and Starts – and now we’re trying to finish this work).

Hannah – will share (e-mail out) timeline & any docs from previous work with SARE Grant

Discussion Q’s (to get pre-meeting info for incoming trainers from Resourceful Consulting):

Our primary goals in joining the Committee’s meeting are:

  1. To get input from them to help determine training priorities and needs

Broad reach training

– not just those who “self select”

– addressing the current internal training/ understanding/ exposure gap

– create a baseline

  • “Internal mission” – trust, respect, communication, support
  • 12 people signed up for all of Extension (7%)
  • SMARTIE Goal: That could be a good group goal: increase the percentage of staff who participate in training (Becca)
  • – language of invite “limited space” may have deterred some people from participating
  1. To better understand and assess who’s on the committee and where it is in process
  2. To meet folks and begin to build relationship as a foundation for training and their work to follow
  3. Group Name: From the jamboard and the googleform, there is not a clear winner (it’s a tie). Would we like to propose a vote as a point of order?
    1. Extension for All Collaborative – our new name!!! (won the vote in meeting!)
    2. Extension for All Collective
    3. Extension for All Committee
  4. October/November/December upcoming meeting goal topics, lifted directly from the survey… How do folks feel about this path?

Lucille Wess– Roberts Rules

  1. – Establish a Name (!) by the September meeting,
  2.  – Mission Statement: Discuss and finalize by the October meeting,
  3. – Send an introductory e-mail out to all UMaine Extension to “introduce” ourselves and our work — can we do pics & blurbs (people need to begin to know who we are and why our work is important to everyone in Extension and all of the people we do/ could/ will serve in Maine!)
  4.  – Meaningfully Participate (not sure yet what this looks like) in the November All Extension — Meetings and support DEI as an essential “thread” in the fabric of UMaine Extension
  5. – Create thoughtful, equitable, and inclusive By-laws/ operations procedures by November-December Meetings,
  6. – Establish Officers (vote!) or Leadership Cohort for the upcoming year by November-December Meetings
  7.  – Establish Committees (Tech, Marketing/ Communications, I can’t remember which committee has already been established, etc.) November-December Meetings
    1. Review survey, aggregate and share Internal Culture Survey results with Extension, share recommendations. Build longer term plan from identified needs
  8. Budget recommendations- Meet before October meeting- need to be able to build into the statewide Extension budget- Present at the October meeting
    1. Short-term sub: Beth, Lucy, Rebecca to initiate the conversation on training cost.
    2. Build in training money, leadership compensation/professional development funds? (not using the word stipend) may be renewed on an annual basis
  9. For future discussion: Mission Statements:
    1. The (insert name here) endeavors to engage and empower the diverse voices of Maine and advance UMaine Extension to be more equitable, accessible, and a place where all belong.
    2. Empowering UMaine Extension employees to celebrate the diversity of Mainers through equitable, accessible, engaging programs and transparent policies
    3. Bringing together diverse voices within UMaine Extension to advocate for equity, accessibility, and inclusivity, and to cultivate a truly welcoming environment for all.
    4. A collaborative effort to engage and empower the diverse voices of Maine in advancing the call to make UMaine Extension more equitable, accessible, and a place where all belong.
  10. Next Meeting: October 25 11am-12:30pm
    1. Agenda:
    2. Facilitator:
    3. Notetaker:
    4. Check in conversations: In your role and work what are systemic issues you are seeing in Maine either in your work or in your professional world? What structural barriers are you seeing in your work? Having an open needs discussion
    5. Future meeting Dates: Third Monday starting in 2024? Alisha will check on the dates.
  11. Subcommittee: All Org Conference activity: Voicing concerns- anonymously record those concerns, papers on every table, suggestion box- Karen

Of note: To marry the inward and outward mission of DEI- from the University of Maryland Extension: As a statewide non-formal education system, the University of Maryland Extension is committed to embedding our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect (DEIR) goals, practices, and behaviors as key principles in our operational structure, communication delivery, and outreach mechanisms to meet the needs of Marylanders. UME’s purpose is to provide leading and exceptional applied research and educational programming to all individuals and adopt our College of Agriculture and Natural Resources roadmap to change the lives of our community, faculty, staff, and stakeholders – one learner at a time.