Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension

Please join us for an outstanding year in review of how our Extension community quickly adapted to an urgent need for local food security, youth and parenting support, and community assistance state-wide. We will share new developments for 2021 and beyond that address our evolving commitment to deliver evidence-based information and services to our public stakeholders. The societal need for reliable and factual information and services is more relevant than ever as we face growing concerns in the delivery and interpretation of false and misleading information in social media. We invite our colleagues without formal Extension appointments to support our efforts in the education, training, and servicing that extends our university commitment of ‘any person, any study’ beyond the campus to communities across the state.   

4th Annual CALS Extension Town Hall Meeting Agenda  

The official program is 1hr 10 minutes. There is a supplemental discussion (35 min) following the conclusion of the meeting. 

  1. Introduction from Executive Director Chris Watkins (15 min): Brief year in review to highlight the special role of Extension during the pandemic year and an overview of new developments for 2021 and beyond, including the importance of CALS-CCE’s role in diversity, equity, and inclusion within food systems, public health, climate resilience, sustainable energy, environmental protection, natural resources, and community-wide STEM education. 
  2. Extension vision comments from Dean Benjamin Houlton (5 min)  
  3. Summary from seminar speakers Anu Rangarajan, Eduardo Gonzalez, and Judson Reid representing the three sessions (30 min)  
  4. Q&A for seminar series speakers and theme of DEI in Extension (15 min) 
  5. Closing comments from Director Watkins (5 min) 
  6. Supplemental program: Break-out discussion on diversity & inclusion (35 min) 

We have a discussion session following the Town Hall Meeting to encourage networking. We have five sets of themes for the break out sessions. 

1.      Organizational Leadership: What are possible barriers to the adoption of diversity, equity and inclusion policies, strategies, or programs in your office? This discussion focuses on leadership and the importance of understanding diversity and inclusion in the context of capacity building in your organization. How do you begin the internal work to build an anti-racist organization? 

Moderator: Eduardo González, Jr. 

 2.      Metrics of DEI impact: How do we measure our ability to reach diverse communities in Extension? 

This is an informal discussion of metrics- how do we know that we’re reaching potentially under-represented stakeholders? How do we track our reach in diverse communities? How do we know if we’re providing information in ways that are accessible and inclusive to all? Come with ideas and questions! 

Moderators: Anna Katharine Mansfield and Cynthia James 

 3.      Public engagement in welcoming diversity: How do we engage with stakeholders on the importance of including diversity in our programs? 

This session will be an informal discussion of the challenges extension professionals face when dealing with diverse, or not terribly diverse, audiences.  What skills do you need to further stakeholder understanding of DEI issues?  Have you successful strategies that you can share?  What further can/should CALS do to help with this topic? 

Moderators: Laura McDermott and Susan Hoskins 

 4.      Diverse representation: How do we build diverse representation into our programs?                                             

Think of this as a “how to make progress” discussion. Let’s acknowledge where our programs are now and focus on strategies that have already increased the diversity of representation in your programs.  And let’s discuss strategies you’ve heard or thought about that you believe could increase diverse participation in your programs.  

Moderator: David Kay 

 5.      Center for Extension Innovation: Is there a need for a “Center for Extension Innovation” that supports professional development in evidence-based information delivery and stakeholder engagement?  

We will discuss examples of new tools and approaches available for enhancing stakeholder engagement that take into account diverse and underrepresented communities. What skills do we need to use these tools and approaches effectively? 

Moderator: Jenny Kao-Kniffin 

Date & Time

April 15, 2021
10:00 am - 11:30 am

More information about this event.

Contact Information

Jenny Kao-Kniffin

  • jtk57 [at]


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