What is Coming Together for Racial Understanding?
Unique Value Statement: Coming Together for Racial Understanding is a dialogue-to-change process for communities seeking new pathways for working together across racial/ethnic lines that seek to foster understanding and build trust in order to make informed collective action for meaningful change, unlike required DEI training alone which seldom seeks to develop trusting relationships among participants.
2022 Face-to-Face Cohort
2021 Virtual Cohort
2019 Face-to-Face Cohort
2018 Face-to-Face Cohort
Research Publications and Briefs
In late 2016, the Extension Committee on Operations and Policy (ECOP) charged a small team of Cooperative Extension Service (CES) and non-Land Grant University professionals (referred to as a Rapid Response Team) to examine the current capacity of CES to respond to the need for dialogue to promote racial understanding and healing, and to provide recommendations to build CES capacity in this area. Following the April 2017 report to ECOP, the Rapid Response Team explored training options for civil dialogue on race relations to meet the need to expand capacity. Recently, a team of 23 professionals both within and outside the Land Grant University system have identified, organized, and refined a training process designed to prepare teams in participating states to serve as trainers within their own states.
The first step in building capacity for this work within CES will be to host a train-the-trainer event in which teams of 3 individuals from among the nation’s LGU Cooperative Extension Services will be invited to participate in a five-day intensive training workshop. The workshop will prepare these participants to return home to their own states and prepare a larger cadre of CES personnel to lead dialogues. Then this larger state CES team will begin working within the communities they serve to facilitate dialogues on race relations at the local level. The result will be a stronger capacity within CES to assist with difficult conversations around race. This capacity will also assist with other challenging topics that might arise in their day-to-day duties. Communities will benefit by having a well-trusted entity embedded within their communities to help navigate these challenging waters. Also, each community will follow up the conversations by developing a plan for doable actions that can help improve the racial climate within their respective places.