- Author: Elizabeth Moon
Welcome to the TOGETHER@WORK Blog. This is Elizabeth, UC ANR's director of workplace inclusion and belonging. In this new blog, we will celebrate our community; engage in deeper learning around issues of equity, diversity and inclusion; and communicate how UC ANR is moving towards aligning values, behaviors and policies to uplift practices of inclusion and belonging.
I am energized by the passion and collective dedication I have experienced connecting with ANR employees across the organization. Many have shared their personal stories, suggestions, and work being done/completed on issues encompassing equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging.
Attending the statewide conference, meeting with many of you – engaging in conversations of learning, laughter and moments of true connection – solidified my gratitude for joining the ANR community. During the conference, a good number of colleagues took up the call to respond to a long survey around the historical, current and future focus for work within my role.
Another group shared their artistic talents in visualizing inclusion and belonging at ANR. We are currently hosting a final survey for everyone to choose their top six entries to be highlighted on our upcoming Inclusion & Belonging website, as well as published as postcards for us to share within and outside ANR.
VOTE HERE BY JUNE 1: bit.ly/ANRPostcardContest2023
One theme that has been shared many times with me is the idea of connection and shared values of community. To learn more and gain expertise and recommendations, I have begun to travel to UCCE and REC sites to meet with staff and academics. This past week I traveled to the South Coast REC in Irvine and the Imperial County UCCE office in Holtville. What an honor to engage in these communities – learning more about the research and community work and seeing in person how deep relationships are built across California.
The colleagues I met with shared their top three moments of their experience in this past year. For example, Jose Vallejo (Community Education Specialist) shared the joy of returning to his elementary school and walking in and seeing his teachers and working alongside children in his old classroom and truly connecting with them through games and hands-on activities to teach more about healthy choices.
In this and other shared stories, what I heard was the commitment to create spaces for human flourishing. As I continue to meet with ANR colleagues throughout the state to revitalize and refresh our Living Principles of Community and gain a deeper understanding of how these continue to be operationalized within the work we do, I believe our mission to build out inclusive, diverse, equitable and culturally competent workplaces will continue to successfully grow and achieve success.
Interested in sharing ideas and challenges? Please visit the following feedback form: https://forms.gle/AWCinz3MYWGhzH5n9
Wish to discuss an issue directly with me, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, call 530-883-1174 (Ext 1612) or connect with me in-person.
Like California, Maine is providing Universal School Meals statewide for the 2022-2023 school year. The Nutrition Policy Institute is collaborating with a national research team to understand the opportunities and challenges of providing universal school meals during the federally-funded COVID-19 implementation of free school meals in Maine to inform continuation of universal school meals beyond the federally supported program. During spring of 2022, a total of 43 school food authorities (SFA) in Maine completed an online survey about the challenges and benefits of school food service during the COVID-19 federally funded universal meals program as well as their hopes and concerns about continuing to implement universal school meals. SFAs reported benefits of USM such as increased school meal participation, reductions in perceived stigma of eating school meals, and the new absence of unpaid meal charges. Notable challenges reported during the COVID-19 pandemic were related to resources such as time, personnel, and financial support to meet the increased number of student school meal participation. Rural schools reported greater challenges than urban schools. The study highlights the role of public policy at local, state, and federal levels to support schools as they work to promote nutrition equity in the lunchroom. Results were published online the the journal Nutrients as part of their special issue on School Meals and Children's Dietary Behaviour. The study was conducted by lead author Juliana Cohen and Deborah Olarte of the Center for Health Inclusion, Research and Practice, Christina Hecht, Ken Hecht, Monica Zuercher, Wendi Gosliner, and Lorrene Ritchie from the Nutrition Policy Institute, Michele Polacsek of the University of New England, Center for Excellence in Public Health, Margaret Read of Share Our Strength, No Kid Hungry, Anisha Patel of Stanford University Division of General Pediatrics, Marleke Schwartz of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, and Lindsey Turner of the College of Education, Boise State University. The study was funded by Share Our Strength and Full Plates Full Potential.
- Author: Katherine Lanca
- Editor: Danielle L. Lee
- Editor: Lorrene Ritchie
The American Public Health Association holds an Annual Meeting & Expo for public health professionals to engage, collaborate, and network with the overarching goal of advancing the nation's health. This year's meeting in Boston, November 6-9, 2022 will celebrate 150 Years of Creating the Healthiest Nation: Leading the Path Toward Equity. Nutrition Policy Institute researchers will share findings that bring nutrition equity to the forefront of federal programs, school nutrition, community health, health literacy, and the food retail environment. A list of the poster presentations and live oral presentations is found below.
Retail food environment:
What can we learn from California's investment in the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program?
Authors: Carolyn Chelius, Caroline Long, Taylor Baisey, Wendi Gosliner
Wednesday, November 9, 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.; oral presentation
Providing School Meals to All Students Free of Cost: Challenges and Benefits Reported by School District Foodservice Professionals to Inform California's Policy Implementation
Authors: Wendi Gosliner, Monica Zuercher, Juliana Cohen, Christina Hecht, Michele Polacsek, Kenneth Hecht, Lindsey Turner, Marlene Schwartz, Anisha Patel, Lorrene Ritchie
Monday, November 7, 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.; oral presentation
Impact of a teacher intervention to encourage students to eat school lunch
Authors: Hannah Thompson, Stephanie Machado, Kristine Madsen, Renata Cauchon-Robles, Marisa Neelon, Lorrene Ritchie
Monday, November 7, 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.; oral presentation
Evaluation identifies the most promising combinations of school-based Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) interventions for improving student fitness
Authors: Sridharshi Hewawitharana, Gail Woodward-Lopez, Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, Francesco Acciai, Hannah R. Thompson, Wendi Gosliner
Monday, November 7, 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.; oral presentation
Reductions in public health obesity prevention interventions due to COVID-19 disproportionately affect neighborhoods with pre-existing health inequities
Authors: Erin E Esaryk, Carolyn D Rider, Gail Woodward-Lopez
Tuesday, November 8, Session 8; 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.; poster presentation
A novel approach to measuring potential for health equity impact in community health interventions
Authors: Janice Kao, Gail Woodward-Lopez, Christina Becker, Carolyn Rider, Erin Esaryk, Evan Talmage
Tuesday, November 8, Session 7; 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.; poster presentation
Assessing changes associated with expanding the WIC Cash-Value Benefit for the purchase of fruits and vegetables among children age 1 to 5 years: a longitudinal study
Authors: Marisa Tsai, Christopher Anderson, Catherine Martinez, Martha Meza, Lauren Au, Lorrene Ritchie, Shannon Whaley
Tuesday, November 8, 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.; oral presentation
Impact of an arts-based public health literacy program delivered online to high school students during the COVID-19 pandemic
Authors: Hannah Thompson, Jackie Mendelson, Maya Zamek, Gabriel Cortez, Dean Schillinger
Wednesday, November 9, 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.; oral presentation
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
The 4-H Program Leaders Working Group has published a series of fact sheets titled “Thriving with an Equity Lens.” While the fact sheets are written for 4-H professionals, the information is applicable to all of UC ANR's work with communities.
“These fact sheets provide information and recommendations on how to foster a sense of belonging for marginalized youth, list staff competencies needed to engage a youth population, and offer recommendations for culturally adapting program evaluations,” said Fe Moncloa, 4-H youth development advisor for Santa Clara County.
“Programming with an equity lens necessitates having an understanding of these concepts at the same time: paying attention to multiple systems of oppression, knowing the past and present cultural histories of your target population and having the ability to shift practices on the spot.
“The information on these fact sheets will hopefully help you have a greater understanding of the cultural histories of diverse populations and support you to offer culturally responsive programs.”
The first fact sheet defines many terms used to talk about diversity, inclusion and equity.
The 11 fact sheets cover the following topics:
- Intro: Thriving Through an Equity Lens
- Immigrant and Refugee Youth
- LGBTQ+ Youth
- Youth Experiencing Homelessness
- Youth in Foster Care
- Youth with Disabilities
- Youth Living in Poverty
- Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing
- African American Youth
- Latinx Youth
- American Indian/Alaskan Native (First Nations) Youth
All of the “Thriving with an Equity Lens” fact sheets are posted at https://access-equity-belonging.extension.org/resources/fact-sheets.
Attracting and retaining highly qualified employees is a top priority for UC ANR. It's a critical part of our strategic plan and key to our ability to deliver the mission. It's been four years since we began our last Market Equity Adjustment Plan, which was completed this past year; in that time the labor market has continued to change due to factors like the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and systemic shifts in many labor markets. Those factors have increased pressures on household budgets for many of our employees; because of that UC ANR has recently conducted an updated analysis of market rates for our staff positions. I'm pleased to report today that, as part of UC ANR's overall compensation strategy, I have approved an accelerated two-year Market Equity Adjustment Plan for policy covered (non-represented) staff.
This program will ensure salaries of existing staff are better aligned with the labor market and is effective as of April 2022, although changes in payroll will first be seen in June 2022. Using UC Career Tracks, UC ANR Human Resources will be able to identify, review and address the salaries of policy covered staff members whose pay is not in the updated competitive zone targets. All policy covered staff are eligible to participate in this plan, regardless of their position's funding source.
To ensure that employees shift into appropriate market rates more quickly, our UC ANR program will be implemented over two years, rather than the four years we did previously. Please note: these equity adjustments are separate and distinct from any UC systemwide merit program approved later by President Drake.
UC ANR leadership is committed to the health and well-being of our employees. This Market Equity Adjustment program is designed to address salary issues; other work continues throughout the system to address program support, enhancements to business operations, communications and more. Additional information on program eligibility and payroll dates will be forthcoming. Questions and follow-up can be addressed to email@example.com.
As always, many thanks for the great work you do to serve our mission and the people of California. Best wishes and have a wonderful weekend!