Non-discrimination statement and disability resources
You may also file a complaint of discrimination with the USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th, and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202.720.5964 (voice and TDD).
June 5, 2020
Dear Extension Staff, Volunteers, Clients, and Community Members,
I am writing to express my sadness over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police just over a week ago. The fact that this incident was not isolated has rightly inspired thousands of people across the country to engage in peaceful protests and it is heartening to see that these protests have already brought about change. I am hopeful that there will be justice for the Floyd family, that attention will be given to systematic racism in our institutions, and that this incident can bring about positive lasting change.
The killing of George Floyd, the isolation caused by the pandemic, and the unrest in our country has all caused sadness and stress. While we are often paralyzed with “what can I do that will make a difference?” when encountering these seemingly insurmountable issues. I realized that any change starts individually and then, collectively, can work towards a greater good. With that, I will be hosting a book club discussion of “How to be Anti-racist” by Ibram X. Kendi with Extension staff so we can start having honest conversations and think about how we can make a difference. I’d also like to share some resources that staff, volunteers, and clients may find helpful for yourselves, your family, in your work and life. This google doc has been circulating on social media, and looking it over- it’s comprehensive. There are books, articles, shows, podcasts. It also includes resources for teaching children to be anti-racist.
Extension has strong ties in communities across Maine and one way that we all can continue to be a positive force is to fully embody the principles of diversity, equity, respect, and inclusion in all of our programs, in our work and lives. This is not new; this is who we are as an organization. I thank you for all of the ways that you carry out these principles every day.
With utmost respect,
Dean, UMaine Extension