“In diversity there is beauty and there is strength." -- Maya Angelou

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Best Practices for Collecting Demographic Data

We know we have to do it, but sometimes it just seems like a hassle.  Here’s a reminder of the why, what, when, and how related to collecting demographic data on our program participants. Why?  As a recipient of federal funding through the USDA, Cooperative Extension is required to annually report on who we are […]


Diversity in America

The personal-finance website WalletHub did an in-depth analysis of diversity in America, comparing the 50 states across six key categories: socio-economic, cultural, economic, household, religious and political diversity. For a full report of findings, commentary from a panel of researchers, the methodology, and how Wisconsin stacks up, go to: https://wallethub.com/edu/most-least-diverse-states-in-america/38262 For a more local perspective […]


“Civil Rights” Evolving to Become “Expanding Access”

The terminology, “Civil Rights” has encompassed and been used extensively to justify and explain our internal and external efforts toward building a diverse and inclusive organization.  These efforts, in effect, have evolved from the need to be in compliance with federal and state laws as a recipient of both state and federal funding to how […]


How to address your unconscious bias

It’s likely that most of us have heard something about unconscious or implicit bias.  This term refers to attitudes or stereotypes that occur largely outside of conscious awareness and control. Therefore, we are largely unaware of them.  Studies support the idea that there is a relationship between implicit bias and real-world behavior.  This should be […]


Unpacking “Latinx” as a socially constructed term of self-identification

We asked Dominic Ledesma, Cooperative Extension’s Language Access Coordinator, to provide some clarification and guidance on the use of the terms Hispanic, Latina(o), and Latinx for identifying ethnicity on demographic self-reporting forms and here is what he said. While respecting the multiple ways an individual may or may not choose to self-identify, I offer the following […]


Is There a Difference Between “White” and “Caucasian?”

As a racial classification, what is more accurate – white or Caucasian?  It is helpful to determine how the term came into use.  Use of the term “Caucasian” came into popular use in the late 18th century based on German anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach’s classification of humans into five categories based on physical characteristics.  He […]


Building Relationships to Expand Access in Programs

A prerequisite for expanding access and having Civil Rights compliance is ensuring educational programs meet the needs and interests of people representing the demographics of the geographical area(s) you serve.  Going beyond just knowing the numbers and characteristics of those you want to reach means learning more about their cultures, realities, communities and needs.  There […]

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Racial Equity Tools

Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large.


Updated nondiscrimination statements available

A variety of updated nondiscrimination statements (EEO/AA) are now available in English, Spanish and Hmong on the Expanding Access website. Find them in the Quick Links section (EEO/AA statements) or on the History and Policy page. We are required to include some sort of a nondiscrimination statement in all our communications — including websites, email messages, and […]

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How Diversity Makes Us Smarter

An article in Scientific American, entitled “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter,” says that decades of research by organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers show that socially diverse groups (that is, those with a diversity of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation) are more innovative than homogeneous groups.  Read the full article here.    

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UWM course: Education & Integration of Refugees in Urban America

Below is a description of a UW-Milwaukee course titled Education and Integration of Refugees.  For more information, please contact the instructor directly. Title: Education and Integration of Refugees in Urban America: EDPOL 579 Course: EDPOL 579                  Instructor: Kalyani Rai, Ph.D. Credit: 3 G/U           […]

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New data on Wisconsin’s African American population

The Applied Population Laboratory has recently completed a statewide report highlighting data on African Americans in Wisconsin.  The new report can be found here: http://www.apl.wisc.edu/publications/AfricanAmerican_Chartbook_2014.pdf The report presents demographic information on the state’s African American population.  The report relies on data from the 2010 Census and estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS) to create […]

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Curb-Cut Effect

The curb-cut is a solid (usually concrete) ramp that grades down from the top surface of a sidewalk to the surface of an adjoining street to allow someone in a wheelchair to move onto or off a sidewalk with less difficulty.  It also benefits a pedestrian when using a walker or cane, pushing a stroller […]

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Anti-bullying Resources

News reports suggest that there has been an increase in bullying across our country, often targeting those protected by civil rights laws. This disturbing trend is more often than not experienced by school-aged children, but adults are affected as well.  As Extension employees, what can we do to promote respect, civility, and inclusiveness in our […]