Urban Programs Resource Network

About Extension

Diversity

Inherent in the land-grant mission of the University of Illinois Extension is an emphasis on diversity. Diversity is defined as differences among people in age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual, orientation, spiritual practice, and other differences. It is a logical outgrowth of the continuing demographic changes occurring in American society, which the multicultural nature of Illinois reflects. Extension acknowledges individual diversity as the foundation for our nation's wealth. Whether that difference arises from race, ethnicity, gender, physical or mental abilities, Extension values the uniqueness that it brings to Illinois and recognizes that opportunities for educational, social and economic advancement come when people view the world differently. In an effort to promote diversity within Extension, the organization encourages mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork, and productivity among all employees and volunteers.

In keeping with the land-grant mission of University of Illinois, Extension's emphasis on diversity further strengthens our historical commitment to serving all Illinois residents. Our land-grant mission and geographical location give the University in a unique opportunity to be one of the most diverse institutions in the United States. Extension utilizes the positive aspects of diversity to create effective educational programs that empower individuals to contribute to the social, political, and economic life of the state and nation.

Extension considers promoting diversity among its workforce, audiences, and programs to be a high priority and has developed a systemwide advocacy program to encourage each county to increase its programming outreach.

In order to meet the needs of the workforce in the year 2000 and beyond, Extension seeks innovative ways to encourage various audiences to use its services and to promote diversity.

  • Extension develops effective educational curriculum and programs to reach diverse audiences;

  • Extension encourages appreciation and understanding among staff for the richness that diversity brings to the organization;

  • Extension uses existing communication technology effectively, and develops new technology to improve communication and outreach to diverse audiences;

  • Extension provides staff development experiences in diversity that nurture interest and confidence in working with diverse audiences;

  • Extension develops relationships with disparate audiences and organizations in order to provide easy access to information and Extension programs as well as expert assistance on careers and opportunities in Extension;

  • Extension Offers programs to train community leaders in techniques that are effective in working with diverse audiences; and

  • Extension is developing an effective marketing package to attract diverse audiences and personnel.

Extension's emphasis on diversity focuses the organization's resources on the design of dynamic, innovative, and unique educational programs that address the needs, concerns and opportunities of the state's population.