Posts Tagged: Equity
VP Glenda Humiston has appointed 11 ANR people to an initial two-year term as founding members of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Council for UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. This appointment is effective retroactively from Nov. 1, 2020, through Oct. 31, 2022.
In a Jan. 29 ANR Update, Humiston wrote:
I am convening this advisory council to support DEI efforts that UC ANR staff and academics have undertaken to improve working environments within UC ANR, as well as to improve quality of life for marginalized populations living in the state of California. Diversity is one of our core values and developing an equitable and inclusive society is one of our public values. This Council is a commitment by UC ANR leadership to take division-wide action on the existence and impact of longstanding discrimination within our Division, as well as in our efforts throughout the state.
I am asking the founding members to recommend a formal charter to document the objectives, organization and functions of the council. While the initial appointment for all founding members is two years, the intent is for members to have staggered appointments to allow for turnover and continuity. I ask that the Council work to develop the Charter and an agenda for an initial meeting with myself, AVP Powers and AVP Tran by June 30, 2021.
Council members include
- Elaine Lander
- Esther Mosase
- Fadzayi Mashiri
- Gail Feenstra
- Katherine Soule
- Keith Nathaniel
- Laura Snell
- LeChé McGill
- Mohammed Yagmour
- Ricardo Vela
- Ron Walker
Welcome to ANR's 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge!
Sept. 14–Oct. 5, 2020 ucanr.edu/21days
ANR employees, along with other UC locations and thousands of other people across the US and beyond, are committing to deepening understanding of, and willingness to confront, racism for 21 consecutive days.
Diversity scholar Eddie Moore, Jr. created the 21-Day Challenge to encourage a deeper understanding of race, privilege, supremacy, power and oppression. Why 21 days? Some say it takes 21 days to create a habit. The intention of this initiative is to support ANR employees in developing “effective social justice habits” to effect meaningful change.
People at Food Solutions New England Sustainability Institute (FSNE) were inspired by his work and the work of Debby Irving and Marguerite Pennick-Parks to adapt the 21-Day Habit-Building Challenge to their food system network. FSNE has been organizing and hosting the Challenge every year since 2015.
ANR has adapted FSNE's February 2020 21-Day Equity Challenge titled “Beyond Words: to Action and Resiliency” to make it easy for employees to independently dive into their own examination of the program or to create a cohort of ANR employees with whom to share the experience.
Through a look at the food system challenge developed by FSNE, we will distinguish that racism is expressed through institutions, cultures and behaviors instead of personal character defects. Uncovering inequities and injustices will assist each of us in broadening our understanding and compassion and grow our engagement towards anti-racism and toward the experiences of Black Americans.
In examining the Black experience, we will consider our own personal layers of privilege and those of all marginalized people, keeping in mind marginalized colleagues, clientele, community members or maybe even family members. Marginalized people include and are not limited to age, class, ability, immigration status, race, sexuality, spirituality, gender, gender expression, ethnicity, culture, gender expression and identity and generation.
Most importantly the challenge will help us discover the many ways we can individually and collectively promote a more just and equitable food system for all. It will also prompt us on ways we can work as individuals, with others at ANR, with marginalized clientele, within our communities and families to dismantle these systems everywhere.
The 21-Day Challenge takes place Sept. 14, 2020, through Oct. 5, 2020.
You and a group of 6 to 8 ANR colleagues with whom you'd like to explore and learn with.
- Reach out to a group of ANR colleagues and form a cohort of 6-8 participants.
- Create a set of Group Agreements (example) that foster a secure space for discussion.
- Refer to the assignments listed below and consider how often you will meet (ex., once/week) via phone or Zoom to discuss what you learned, or whether you will share thoughts via some type of chat system such as Slack or Microsoft Teams.
You do not need to complete every single reading and every single assignment to reap benefits. Do what you can.
As mentioned above, the activities of ANR's Challenge are based on FSNE's February 2020 21-Day Equity Challenge titled “Beyond Words: to Action and Resiliency. We are entering this examination of inequities in the food system to:
Prework - Getting prepared
The post at this link provides suggested “pre-work” to prepare you before you start your journey. Think of it as stretching before a jog or a softball match. Note – you will not receive daily email prompts as suggested in the post. You and your cohort will work through the listed activities independently.
2020 Racial Equity Challenge Launch Webinar (57:45)
Feel free to view the recorded webinar that took place at the start of the March 2020 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge.
Day 1 – Monday, Sept. 14 Racial Identity Formation
Understanding the process of racial identity development is important for self-awareness, relationship-building, and work for equity. We are, all of us, wonderful mashups of identities, and experiences. Refer to the post at this link to reflect specifically on where you are in the different stages of racial identity development.
Day 2 – Tuesday, Sept. 15 Racial Socialization
Socialization is a process we all undergo – it is how we develop values, habits and attitudes and learn to function in the world. Understanding the process of socialization can help us understand how we came to where we are in our views of race and racism in the food (and other related) systems and what we are willing and “able” to do to work for justice.
Day 3 – Wednesday, Sept. 16 Indigenous Food Ways
In her book Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change, Penobscot lawyer, activist and teacher Sherri Mitchell (Weh'na Ha'mu Kwasset) writes, “One of the most important things we can do for ourselves, our children and the future of the planet is to decolonize our minds and ways of life.”
Day 4 – Thursday, Sept. 17 Food and Farm Workers
The very foundation of our food system in the United States is grounded in slavery. This started with the system of plantation slavery in the Southeast, moved into indentured servitude and share cropping and has continued over time with “agricultural exceptionalism,” which has left farmworkers out of labor protections over time.
Day 5 – Friday, Sept. 18 Whiteness and Anti Blackness
Gita Gulati-Partee and Maggie Potapchuk, in an article titled “Paying Attention to White Culture and Privilege: A Missing Link to Advancing Racial Equity,” write “Processes aimed at racial equity change can overlook the privileged side of inequity.” Work for racial justice in our food and other systems must include naming and de-centering whiteness, white privilege, and white superiority/supremacy, which racism is designed to protect and uphold.
Day 6 – Saturday, Sept. 19 Catch -Up and Reflections
While reflecting on the first week's prompts, we invite you to take some time to get quiet and reflect. Is there anything that you see differently based on your participation so far? What images come to mind? How does this impact how you think about your life, work, volunteerism, studies in food systems or your relationship to food? Is there anything you are inspired to do differently?
Day 7 - Sunday, Sept. 20 Week One Catchup and Reflections
Part of grounding in the reality of racism and other forms of oppression is not simply about thinking, but also honoring our emotional and embodied reactions. There is important information in our feelings and bodies that dominant professional culture can often marginalize. As you reflect on this week's prompts and resources, what emotions come up? What do you sense in your body? What does that tell you? What can you learn from that?
Day 8 – Monday, Sept. 21 Internalized Racism
Of the four levels of racism (internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic) internalized can be the hardest to see and is often the hardest to talk about. And yet for healing to happen, what is otherwise unseen must be named. Internalized racism can manifest as internalized racial inferiority on the part of Black, Indigenous and People of Color and as internalized racial superiority for White people.
Day 9 – Tuesday, Sept. 22 Interpersonal Racism
Though some would believe otherwise, interpersonal racism is very real. We are seeing more visible evidence of this in the time of COVID19, including escalating attacks on Asian and Asian-American communities. Everyone, and especially White people, have a role in calling out racism and bigotry, and this can be a hard thing for some people to do. Even if it is not difficult to do, it can be difficult to do in a way that is ultimately productive, inviting someone who has said or done something that perpetuates racism to change or to consider changing.
Day 10 – Wednesday, Sept. 23 Institutional Racism
Institutional racism shows up in both formalized and informal ways, from Human Resources policies that privilege white dominant norms of “professionalism” to cultures that instill a sense of belonging to those who feel more comfortable in norms of whiteness (go back to the prompt from Day 5 to dig back into this).
Day 11 – Thursday, Sept. 24 Structural Racism and New Narratives
Poet and novelist Ben Okri wrote, “Beware of the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.” Systems scientist Sally J. Goerner has added, “The stories we tell ourselves about how the world works form our greatest survival tool.” Stories hold tremendous power in our world, work, and lives. Writer Chimamanda Adichie notes: “Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.”
Day 12 – Friday, Sept. 25 Structural Racism & the Racial Wealth Gap
As Inequality.org puts it, “Systemic and structural racism has contributed to the persistence of race-based gaps that manifest in many different economic indicators. The starkest divides are in measures of household wealth, reflecting centuries of white privilege that have made it particularly difficult for people of color to achieve economic security.” This gap means that many Black and Indigenous people and communities and People and Communities of Color are more at risk financially than White people and communities at times of disruption. And with respect to the food system, it means having less access to the means to purchase land, start a business, etc.
Day 13 – Saturday, Sept. 26Catching Up and Reflections
Take some time to catch up on this past week's prompts. Reflect on the different approaches we have explored so far for addressing the different levels of racism (internalized, interpersonal, institutional, structural) and white superiority/supremacy.
Day 14 – Sunday, Sept. 27 Reflection
As with last weekend, we invite you to find some quiet time (if possible and desirable) to get centered and to consider the past two weeks of your participation in the Challenge. Check in with yourself. What do you sense/feel? How are you physically? Intellectually? Emotionally? Spiritually? What are these sensations telling you?
Day 15 – Monday, Sept. 28 Reparations
The National Black Food and Justice Alliance, along with growing numbers of regional and local groups, including white “accomplices,” are calling for reparations of land and resources to Black and Indigenous people to account for decades of extracted wealth.
Day 16 – Tuesday, Sept. 29 Equitable & Liberation Forms of Food System Governance
Government and governance have both been and continue to be forces for perpetuating and exacerbating racial inequities. By governance, we mean “the processes of interaction and decision-making among actors involved in collective problem-solving that lead to the creation, reinforcement, or reproduction of social norms and institutions.” Governance happens through government, and also through organizations, communities, markets and networks.
Day 17 – Wednesday, Sept. 30 Sovereignty & Self Determination
Someone at a Food Solutions New England Network Team meeting once said, “Equity within fundamentally dehumanizing systems is not what the goal is.” Rather, equity is tied to “liberation” (from racism, othering, white supremacy, patriarchy, extractive forms of governance and economics) when it lifts up food sovereignty and self-determination.
Day 18 – Thursday, Oct. 1 Raising the Next Generations
Each generation is hopefully building on the work of those that came before. We certainly see that up and coming generations seem to be more aware of what is wrong in our food and related systems and are determined to create something better. And this is ideally about multi-generational work …maybe four generations to carry the work forward.
Day 19 – Friday, Oct. 2 New Patterns, New Vision
At FSNE, we believe that vision and imagination are powerful “leverage points” in systems for finding a path forward beyond oppressive structures and extractive mindsets. And we know we are in good company! In her book Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown writes that we are engaged in an “imagination battle”, that the current conditions are the result of someone's imagination, a de-humanizing and domination-oriented view. There are so many other alternatives, if we would be bold, broaden our view, and band together with one another to create new living and life-affirming stories.
Day 20 – Saturday, Oct. 3 Week Three Reflections
What are your main takeaways from the Challenge? Where are you now compared to before you started? How do you feel? What new knowledge or insights do you have? What hopes?
Day 21 – Sunday, Oct. 4 Closing Reflections
Today's prompt builds on yesterday's reflection about how the Challenge has guided you to think and act differently, perhaps more boldly, on this journey of racial equity and justice.
How will you put any of your new commitments into action, starting as soon as Monday, October 5? What kinds of support do you need to do so? Do you have those supports or can you organize them into being, perhaps with help from others? Please share your comments here. You have an option to share anonymously in this survey. We really want to hear your responses!
UC VP Glenda Humiston, 4-H member Melina Granados of Riverside County and UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland gave the UC regents a presentation about UC ANR's community outreach and impact. The Public Engagement & Development Committee meeting was held at the UCSF–Mission Bay Conference Center on Jan. 24, 2018, in San Francisco.
Opening the discussion, Humiston gave an overview of ANR, explaining that for 150 years ANR has been bringing the power of UC directly to the people in all California counties. Melina, who was born in Mexico, talked about her role as president of the Eastside Eagles 4-H club and what she has learned. Leland described joint projects between UC Merced and ANR in climate adaptation, nutrition and drone technology research.
Watch the 25-minute recording of the UC ANR presentation to the regents below, or visit https://youtu.be/ptFS8HwlsjE.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, can improve precision agriculture by using sensed environmental data to “learn” and continually adapt, VP Glenda Humiston told the Little Hoover Commission at a hearing in Sacramento on Jan. 25.
The Little Hoover Commission is reviewing the impacts of artificial intelligence. While there is no singular definition, artificial intelligence encompasses a broad range of technologies that seek to approximate some aspect of human intelligence or behavior.
Throughout its study, the commission will consider the potential policy role of California state government in areas such as regulation, workforce development and retraining.
Humiston was asked to give a statement on the impacts of artificial intelligence in the agricultural sector.
“California's working landscapes face some critical challenges; among those are drought, climate change, air quality, soil health, pests, pathogens and invasive species,” she said. “Additionally, rural/urban conflicts and urban sprawl continue to reduce available farm land and make viability of food production more difficult.
“Of importance to today's hearing, California's labor-intensive crops are facing increasing difficulty accessing necessary labor – both skilled and unskilled. This situation has led growers and universities to seek solutions through mechanization, automation and other new technologies.”
She sees opportunities in precision agriculture for growers and ranchers to more precisely manage their operations by using site- and crop-specific data gathered by new technologies.
“Artificial intelligence improves this further by using the sensed environmental data to ‘learn' and continually adapt to ever-changing conditions as it receives data that strengthens the computer's ‘intelligence,'” she said.
Humiston also outlined some of the challenges to harnessing the power of AI for agriculture.
“Artificial intelligence is extremely difficult in agriculture because of the huge amount of variability in environmental conditions across a single field,” she said. “This requires many sensors, complex algorithms, and large real-time data processing – all integrated and working together to inform decisions and actions.”
In a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, the vast majority of the 1,896 experts anticipated that robotics and artificial intelligence will “permeate wide segments of daily life by 2025.” The commission's artificial intelligence project will investigate the shape and speed of these changes in California and in society.
Through its public process, the commission intends to study the key challenges of artificial intelligence in California, its economic implications and how it can be used to solve societal ills. The commission will review issues such as justice, equity, safety and privacy. The project will consider recent studies on workforce impacts, which could include both job creation and job displacement. Possible mitigations and worker protections will be discussed as will examples of efforts to plan and prepare for innovations and labor transformations.
To read Humiston's full testimony to the Little Hoover Commission, visit http://www.lhc.ca.gov/sites/lhc.ca.gov/files/CurrentStudies/ArtificialIntelligence/WrittenTestimony/HumistonJan2018.pdf.
Cathryn “Katie” Johnson joined UCCE on Jan. 2, 2018, as an area nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor for the Central Sierra Multi-County Partnership serving El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. The long-time resident of the Sierra foothills is passionate about developing an integrated approach to fighting chronic disease and improving community nutrition in the region.
Prior to joining UCCE, Johnson had been a health educator for the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency, Public Health Division, since January 2017. There, she worked on policy, systems and environmental change strategies, program planning and local evaluation for the SNAP-Ed/NEOP (Nutrition Education & Obesity Prevention) program, and served as the WIC (Women, Infants & Children) regional breastfeeding liaison.
From 2015 to 2016, Johnson held the positions of communication evaluation and development consultant and staff research assistant at the UC Merced Communication, Culture and Health Research Lab. At UC Merced, she contributed to strategic communications and formative evaluation for the CDC-funded PICH (Partnerships to Improve Community Health) project and coordinated community-engaged research on Merced residents' perceptions of health and safety. Previously, Johnson helped to manage small farms in Northern California and New Mexico, growing fruits and vegetables for sale at local markets. Johnson is also an international board-certified lactation consultant and has counseled breastfeeding families.
She earned a master of public health degree (with a concentration in public health nutrition) from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in environmental studies from Wellesley College.
Johnson is based in San Andreas and can be reached at (209) 754-6476 and email@example.com.
Laurent Ahiablame joined ANR as the UC Cooperative Extension director and water quality and management advisor in San Diego County on Dec. 18, 2017.
Ahiablame's research activities integrate environmental observations and computer modeling supported by ArcGIS to advance understanding of the fate and transport of water and related constituents across various spatial and temporal scales.
Prior to joining UCCE, Ahiablame was an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at South Dakota State University from 2014 to 2017. From 2013 to 2014, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Ahiablame earned a Ph.D. and a M.S. in agricultural and biological engineering from Purdue University and a B.S. in bioenvironmental engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Ahiablame can be reached at (858) 822-7673 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kari Arnold joined UCCE as an area orchard and vineyard systems advisor in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties on Nov. 1, 2017.
Prior to joining UCCE, Arnold was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis, where she participated in a statewide extension and outreach program involving viruses in grapevines and the certification program, collaborated with county viticulture advisors and industry leaders to facilitate grower workgroups for regional management of grapevine viruses, and provided presentations at grower meetings.
As a graduate student researcher from 2011 to October 2016, Arnold participated in individual grower meetings and surveys, facilitated and collaborated with a grower workgroup for areawide disease management in Napa vineyards, and conducted statistical characterization of spatial and temporal patterns of insect-vectored plant viruses. From 2009 to 2011, Arnold also worked as a staff research associate and nursery technician for Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis, where she provided employee training; worked on team oriented projects; provided tours, conducted virus indexing, and collected and analyzed data.
Arnold completed an M.S. and a Ph.D. in plant pathology from UC Davis and a B.S. in horticulture from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
Based in Modesto, Arnold can be reached at (209) 525-6821and email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @KariDigsPlants.
Farzaneh Khorsandi Kouhanestani joined UCCE on Sept. 1, 2017, as an assistant agricultural safety and health engineer specialist in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UC Davis.
Prior to joining UCCE, Khorsandi Kouhanestani worked as research assistant and Ph.D. student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research is mainly related to agricultural machine design and evaluating the performance of the designed machines both experimentally and theoretically. The designed systems in the Ph.D. project were related to agricultural machinery safety. During her M.S. work, she designed, manufactured and evaluated the performance of a hand-held fruit harvester, a catch frame and a fruit sorter. After completing her M.S., she was a design engineer for an agricultural machinery design company, working on several design projects including a granule spreader, feed cutter and mixer and hay harvester.
Khorsandi Kouhanestani earned a B.S. in mechanics of agricultural machinery engineering in Iran, an M.S. in mechanics of agricultural machinery engineering from Shiraz University, Iran, and a Ph.D. in biosystems engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Khorsandi Kouhanestani is based at UC Davis and can be reached at (530) 752-7848 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
California Safe Soil and Pramod Pandey, UCCE specialist in UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, were among 13 California organizations that received the state's highest environmental honor, the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), in a ceremony at the California Environmental Protection Agency in Sacramento on Jan. 17.
The award recognizes the public-private partnership and collaborative research among California Safe Soil, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the California Department of Food and Agriculture to recycle organic food waste into fertilizer and feed for agricultural use.
California Safe Soil has a proprietary new technology – enzymatic digestion – to recycle organic biomass. However, they had to prove that recycling food into fertilizer and feed can be done safely, without foodborne pathogens.
California Safe Soil worked with Pandey to conduct pathogen challenge research. Annette Jones and Douglas Hepper at CDFA and Bart Weimer, professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine, and Glenn Young, professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, helped formulate the pathogen challenge test, which provided the scientific results needed to allow CDFA to issue an operating license for the enzymatic digestion.
Pandey's research, which was published in a peer-reviewed journal, proved that California Safe Soil's method for recycling organic food waste into fertilizer and feed is based on robust science and technology.
GEELA recipients are chosen from five categories including climate change, ecosystem and land-use stewardship, environmental education, sustainable practices and waste reduction.
Trevor Suslow, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis and director of the Postharvest Center, received the 2017 Valley of the World Education Award given by the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. The center established its Valley of the World Awards to honor key figures in the Salinas Valley agricultural industry.
“In the spirit of John Steinbeck's writings, the education award recognizes an individual who through his or her teaching and efforts has inspired and nourished a lifelong love of learning,” the center says on its website.
In presenting the award, the center described Suslow as having “one of the most active extension education and outreach programs” among extension specialists.
“Conservatively, he has provided over 1,500 local, state, national and international technical, extension education, training and outreach presentations on crop protection, soil and phyllosphere microbiology, biotechnology, fresh and fresh-cut produce quality systems, and microbial food safety of fresh produce,” the center wrote.
Soule named one of Top 20 under 40 in SLO
The San Luis Obispo Tribune has chosen Katherine Soule, UC Cooperative Extension director and advisor in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, as one of its Top 20 under 40. The Tribune's annual competition recognizes young professionals “who are making significant contributions in the fields of health care, business, law, government and the nonprofit sector. Not only have they demonstrated excellence in their careers, they also have shown a profound commitment to public service.”
In the news article announcing the winners, the newspaper says that Soule has earned state and national recognition for improving community health and increasing diversity in youth participation.
“As the extension's youth, families and communities advisor for the last several years, Soule developed new 4-H programs engaging underserved youths and promoting healthy living, leadership and social development. Her efforts nearly doubled enrollment and boosted Latino participation 26.8 percent. She's delivered nutrition education to more than 10,000 people through various partnerships,” the Tribune wrote.
It goes on to add, “Soule is a founding member of the Cultivating Change Foundation, working to improve inclusivity for the LGBTQ community in agriculture locally and nationwide.”