Oregon State University is committed to nurturing climates of compassion and inclusivity for all learners, visitors and employees. We envision collaborative community environments that engage civility and embrace diversity.
A message from Anita Azarenko, Vice Provost for Extension and Engagement and Director of OSU Extension
June 12, 2020
Dear OSU Extension Community,
Together, we grieve for and with families across our state and nation who have lost loved ones at the hands of others and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which we know is disproportionally affecting people of color.
Together, we are struggling with the knowledge that our society has failed—time and time again—to act in ways that honor the value, dignity and wisdom that each person contributes to this world.
Recently, the OSU President reaffirmed the university’s commitment to inclusivity, safety and opportunity and called on all of us to continue to participate in dialogue, leadership and understanding as we seek to alter the direction of society.
The OSU Extension community stands behind that commitment. We stand and act against actions that continue to perpetuate systemic racism and maintain other societal inequities.
As an Extension service, it is core to our mission to serve everyone to help Oregon thrive.
We have work to do.
Our data show that our workforce, volunteer, advisory committee and participant demographics are not at parity with Oregon’s population. And that we still have barriers to overcome to help each and every Oregonian access and feel safe and welcome in our programs and activities.
I call on each member of our Extension community to learn, engage and act. And in so doing, to lead in a way that we listen authentically to those whose lived experiences and identities are different than our own—especially our colleagues and members of our community who are Black, Indigenous or people of color.
Educating oneself is a good place to start. Wherever you are on your personal learning journey related to concepts of diversity, equity and inclusion, I urge you to take a next step. We will continue to support and make available learning opportunities for our employees, volunteers and participants.
We will continue to share with you the university and Extension’s plans, actions and outcomes toward achieving inclusive excellence and to help dismantle systemic racism.
I look forward to hearing your own ideas, questions and commitments. Let’s talk often about what positive and lasting change looks like—and what we need to learn and understand for that to happen. We will expand opportunities for you to share your thoughts and ideas. And most of all we will act to ensure that everyone in our Extension community and across Oregon is welcome, safe and valued.
We are a community of learners, educators and conveners. Together, we can—and must—act for change.
Anita Nina Azarenko
Vice Provost for Extension and Engagement, Director of the Extension Service, Interim
OSU Extension's Commitments and Actions
The OSU Extension Service is committed to equal access and opportunity, and to ensuring all reasonable effort is made to deliver and to provide access to Extension programs and services for all individuals.
OSU employees participate in professional development opportunities, such as OSU’s Search Advocate Program, Social Justice Education Initiative workshops or OSU Extension's Diversity Champions program. These activities generate conversations and reflection around the complex issues of equity and inclusion.
As a land grant institution, we have the power to impact every single person that we come in contact with.
To realize this vision, we must gather and invest in resources that ensure inclusive action at all levels and ensure that people from all walks of life have the opportunity to transform the world through their unique talents, ideas and voices. Our goal is to ensure that these voices are not just heard but embraced.