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One effort for the Cooperative Extension System to respond to the need for dialogue to promote racial understanding and healing is Coming Together for Racial Understanding (CTRU). Seeded by ECOP in 2016, CTRU began following a similar season of anguish in our country. CTRU’s vision is to grow a community of Extension professionals ready to aid in fostering meaningful community conversations leading to positive change. Many of the trained teams across 26 states continue to work fervently, aiding both CES professionals and communities toward this vision. As work continues, three principles are clear:
  1. Dialogues are vital to understanding, and understanding is vital to healing and meaningful change.
  2. CES must do our own work around race before we can effectively engage communities.
  3. Administrative support to these teams is vital to their success.
Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: ECOP Monday Minute
What goes down the drains can be used to make things grow. Sewage sludge – carefully treated to make it safe – is used often in agriculture. Now, researchers are testing these materials, called biosolids, for use in urban settings. In a new study, researchers combined high-quality biosolids with other urban waste – food and yard waste, sawdust, and nut shells for example. They found several such mixtures to be acceptable in terms of smell and looks, and the mixtures also supported plant growth. Using biosolids and urban waste to make topsoil or engineer additions that increase soil fertility has several benefits. “Soil additions must have nutrients, and ideally organic matter, to support plant growth,” says Ryan Batjiaka, a researcher at the University of Washington. “We are currently very dependent on finite resources to supply these nutrients.” Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: Morning Ag Clips
In the urgency of the moment, affordable housing organizations are understandably focused on the health of their residents and vitality of their organizations. Green building may seem like an unaffordable luxury at a time like this, but by making buildings healthy and sustainable, we can help build resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic and to future health and climate threats. Organizations that previously committed to sustainable, green building practices—energy and water efficiency, good ventilation, and nontoxic materials—may find they and their residents are better able to withstand the stresses of this pandemic. Even though those projects may not have been planned and built with a pandemic in mind, the core elements of green building create conditions for better resilience in the face of a sudden global health threat. Follow this link to read more. Sourced from: Shelterforce
The Forest Service's Urban Forest Connections webinar series brings experts together to discuss the latest science, practice, and policy on urban forestry and the environment. These webinars are open to all. The most recent webinar The Science and Practice of Managing Forests in Cities discussed how Urban natural areas are critical as refugia, protecting biodiversity, and mitigating the impacts of climate change all while contributing to the health and well being of nearby residents. This event was hosted by Sarah Charlop-Powers, Dr. Clara Pregitzer, and Dr. Rich Hallett who shared successful strategy stories from across the nation. Follow this link to learn more about the webinar series. Follow this link to access the recordings. Sourced from: The United States Department of Agriculture and The United States Forest Service
Racial and ethnic inequalities loom large in American society. People of color face structural barriers when it comes to securing quality housing, healthcare, employment, and education. Racial disparities also permeate the criminal justice system in the United States and undermine its effectiveness. At the Urban Institute, they examine how historical and ongoing public policies, institutional practices, and cultural narratives perpetuate racial inequalities and constrain mobility for communities of color. For decades, their researchers have called attention to the role of race and racism in our public and private institutions and offered evidence-based solutions for how to address these inequities. Scholars will continue to play a crucial role as we work to elevate the public discourse around race and inequality in America. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: Urban Institute
Leading Edge Dialogues (LEDs) were 90-minute interactive workshops held during the 2019 National Urban Extension Conference which explored critical issues facing our cities and our universities. Each LED consisted of a multi-sector panel presentation followed by a facilitated group discussion with all attendees. These papers capture both the presentations and the innovative discussion that followed for one of the LEDs. Papers on the following topics will be completed in Spring/Summer 2020: Density, Youth Engagement, Preparing the Extension Workforce, Data and Policy, Fulfilling the Land Grant University Mission, and Smart Cities. Follow this link to learn more. Follow this link to read: Reaching 10 Million Youth with Extension. Follow this link to read: Smart Cities: Technology, Equity, Livability, and Trust. Sourced from: Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research
What makes us stronger? Join Penn State Extension for the Mental Wellness during COVID-19: Building Resilience live webinar to learn how coping with the current situation can support the development of skills for dealing with future challenges. The webinar is taking place Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. EDT. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: Penn State Extension
The connection between walkable communities and public health was already at the center of planning discussion in many communities before the Covid-19 pandemic prompted many cities to close public streets for pedestrian use. Join the Maryland Department of Planning and the Smart Growth Network at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 11, as two of the nation’s leading walkability experts, Dan Burden and Mark Fenton of Blue Zones, lay out a significant new canvas for the health of the built environment, with wide application to communities across the nation. Making use of their combined 70 years of experience on walkability and health issues in more than 3,000 communities, they will “walk through” a set of street design tools and techniques as the first of a multi-part series on walk audits they will present with us. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: Smart Growth Online