During the celebration of Juneteenth, we have a particularly opportune time for reflection, dialogue, and planning regarding who we want to be as a community as it relates to valuing and affirming every person. OSU Extension will continue to do the hard work of recognizing our many strengths, while being courageous and dedicated to identifying, evaluating, and addressing areas where we have failed, either in our mission to serve all of the members of our community or to one another. I encourage each of us to take some time to truly reflect where we have some work to do, personally, and as an organization.
The messages from President Drake, Provost McPheron, Dean Kress, and me are part of a unified commitment to addressing racial injustice and inequities within our organization and our communities; and they can be shared with our stakeholders as such. OSU Extension will not always be putting out a separate or duplicate message. We will also not be working on addressing racial injustice in a vacuum. We have many partners on campus who are already coming together for achieving change. We are meeting regularly with and collaborating with the Ohio State Office of Institutional Equity. We also have reached out to the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity; and we, of course, have an existing partner in the CFAES Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. It is a common message of unity and community; and we are working together as a team to share in valuing and respecting every person, especially those who have been disenfranchised, disrespected, or excluded.
As an example, Dean Kress has just shared a copy of the CFAES Principles of Community that we in OSU Extension, as part of the CFAES community, will adopt and practice.
CFAES Principles of Community (Dean Kress):The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University is committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the state of Ohio, the nation, and the world. Learning from the experiences that shape our college, we acknowledge those aspects of our legacy that reflect bias and exclusion. Therefore, we adopt and practice the following principles as fundamental to our ongoing efforts to increase access and inclusion, and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members:
- We affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person and strive to maintain a climate for work and learning based on mutual respect and understanding.
- We affirm the right of each person to express thoughts and opinions freely. We encourage open expression within a climate of civility, sensitivity, and mutual respect.
- We affirm the value of human diversity because it enriches our lives and the university. We acknowledge and respect our differences while affirming our common humanity.
- We reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. We take individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination; and for increasing our own understanding of these issues through education, training, and interaction with others.
- We pledge our collective commitment to these principles in the spirit of the CFAES mission of We Sustain Life.
Father's Day: Additionally, Happy Father’s Day to all of our OSU Extension Dads! We appreciate all you do for your families and in raising the next generation. Please get some well-deserved rest and relaxation.