Urban Extension: A Professional Development Offering

cut-back and demonstrated a commitment to meet the growing need to engage new audiences located in urban areas.

• Youth development professionals were recruited from non-traditional places to fill the Metro Educator positions. Many were new to Extension and all demonstrated competencies relevant to urban communities such as experience working in urban environments, bilingualism, and high levels of cultural competence. • In the past two years Illinois Extension has committed a massive amount of staff time and financial resources toward an organization-wide cultural competency training program using a diverse team of extension staff as peer trainers utilizing the Navigating Difference curriculum.

How Illinois State CES collaborates to leverage resources for collective impact:

Examples of Illinois 4-H engaging with new and different kinds of partners in their community are listed below.

• Cultivating a partnership with Olympic medalist and East St. Louis, Illinois native, Jackie Joiner- Kersey . The collaboration leverages the African American athlete’s public platform to build positive associations between Extension and 4-H youth development and communities of color.

• Partnering with Google to host a STEM event for youth across the city of Chicago.

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