Dear Cornell Cooperative Extension Community,
Like so many of you, I am devastated by racist violence and senseless killing of Black men and women, including those that we have heard about in recent weeks: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. We firmly denounce the ways in which structural racism and white supremacy disproportionately and detrimentally impact the lives of Black members of our community. We also recognize the resulting racialized trauma that stifles dreams, smothers hope, and compromises our shared humanity across race.
Cornell Cooperative Extension’s strong ties in diverse communities across New York State compels us to fully embody the principles of equity and inclusion in our programs, in our interactions with community members, and with each other. To this end, CCE pledges to foster a culture of belonging in our communities where all are supported and welcome to pursue their dreams and opportunities for growth without fear or apprehension.
We invite all members of the extension community to join our collective efforts to transform ourselves, our relationships, and our systems through critical self-reflection, courageous conversations, and bold actions. Our intentional efforts in doing so will lead us to a more just, healed, and thriving community for all.
Christopher B. Watkins
Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension