University of Minnesota SNAP-Ed Regional Coordinator Position Opening




Title:                                             SNAP-Ed Regional Coordinator

Classification:                               Coordinator, Job Code 9354

Appointment:                                100%-time, Academic Professional,

                                                     Annually renewable, 12-month

Program Area:                              Extension Center for Family Development

Initial Application Deadline:          June 27, 2014; position will remain open until filled

Office Locations:                          Ramsey County Extension Office



The University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota, a land grant institution with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. The mission of the University of Minnesota Extension is: Making a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota.


As one of four centers, the Extension Center for Family Development helps families make informed decisions leading to better health, financial security and well-being. We accomplish this by developing, delivering and evaluating credible, relevant and research-based education; working closely with others across Minnesota to build the strengths of individuals and families of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds; conducting and collaborating on research projects; recruiting and retaining expert faculty and staff passionate about families and their success; increasing the understanding of our work among key stakeholders; securing resources to sustain and grow programs that meet emerging needs and support strategic priorities. Extension Center for Family Development programs currently focus on family relations, family resource management, food safety, and health and nutrition, with special effort in the areas of children’s mental health, families in transition, building healthy and strong families, and preparing for an aging Minnesota.


The SNAP-Ed Regional Coordinator has major and continuing responsibility for the implementation and management of the University of Minnesota Extension’s SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Education program in a multi-county region of the state. He/she will develop and lead an effective work team (4-8 FTE) of SNAP-Ed Educators in the region to deliver high-quality, effective health and nutrition education for SNAP recipients and others eligible for federal benefit programs. This position focuses on hiring, training, supervising, and supporting Extension’s SNAP-Ed Educators, and managing programmatic efforts carried out by these educators from a regional perspective. 



Bachelor’s degree in health, nutrition or a closely related discipline. Advanced degree preferred.

3-5 years of experience with program management and supervision in a health and/or nutrition education program.

1-3 years of experience in teaching, community organizing, community health promotion, and community education.

Experience in implementing multi-level public health programming.

Valid driver’s license, reliable vehicle with required liability insurance, to be utilized for frequent travel within Minnesota, infrequent travel outside Minnesota.

Direct experience in grants management and administration.

Proven abilities to foster a work culture respectful of cultural, socioeconomic, ideological, and other kinds of diversity.

Ability to communicate clear work direction and broad understanding of programming priorities.

Ability to work effectively in an environment that combines independent action and teamwork with colleagues and external organizations.

Ability to build effective work teams and manage conflict.

Experience in training and teaching in an adaptive and engaging manner; ability to coach others to do so.

Respectful, professional communication style both orally and in writing.

Organizational and time management skills with attention to detail.

Experience delivering evidence-based programs in a community setting.

Ability to analyze and recommend action based upon complex data and contextual factors.

Computer skills: Active development of and participation in web-based communication and training, competent keyboarding, high level of comfort with development of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, web-based communications, and marketing materials. Able to effectively use Microsoft Office Suite of software programs.

Ability to oversee the compliance of budgetary requirements and financial policies and procedures.

Ability to plan and maintain a flexible work schedule, including regular evening and weekend work to meet time demands and/or special needs of SNAP-Ed program management.

Experience working with culturally and economically diverse audiences.



Masters or other advanced degree.

Experience working with SNAP-Ed or other nutrition education programs for low-income audiences.

Skill in and experience using distance technologies for communication and education.

Speak a language in addition to English.



Supervision and program management (50%)

Oversee implementation and evaluation of all SNAP-Ed programming in a multi-county region within Minnesota.

Supervise SNAP-Ed Educators (4 – 8 FTE) located in region. Provide on-going coaching/training.

Conduct engaging, effective, and adaptive training and coaching.

Oversee their professional development plans, ensuring that each has the resources and expertise needed to effectively carry out their job duties.

Assess and ensure the quality of community program delivery, adherence to protocols and guidelines, and responsible resource management.

Monitor and ensure the completion of participant level documentation.

Manage the reporting protocols and evaluation plans implemented by SNAP-Ed educators.Train educators to implement protocols and plans.

Develop and implement training for SNAP-Ed Educators in conjunction with the Associate Program Director.

Manage the implementation of a regional program plans for continuous improvement of the quality of health and nutrition programming with SNAP-Ed Educators.

Oversee and coordinate the development and implementation of partner level agreements in the region.

Analyze programmatic data and financial information to determine ways to better focus resources for effectively and efficiently reaching low income Minnesotans, and people with health disparities in the region.

Analyze and adjust the work of the SNAP-Ed Educators to create the greatest outcomes and impact, and the most efficient use of resources.

Ensure accurate, complete and organized confidential records, as required across the region.

Manage and monitor data and budget for projects and programs.



Program development (30%)

Analyze and synthesize feedback from SNAP-Ed Educators on participant and community concerns, program implementation, curricula and other resources to improve the quality and efficiency in the program and better meet the needs of SNAP-Ed participants throughout the region.

Develop strategies and facilitate the regional implementation of train-the-trainer opportunities for community-based organizations provided by Health and Nutrition Extension Educators.

Provide expertise advice to community-based organizations on the technical aspects of the federal SNAP Education program.

Keep abreast of new research and strategies in the field of nutrition. Maintain a sound understanding of community health and nutrition issues as well as public health approaches for addressing them. Guide SNAP- Ed Educators to translate this understanding and knowledge into programmatic efforts in the region.

Identify gaps in the prevention spectrum of community programs and initiatives to address health and nutrition issues that represent opportunities for program development to enhance impact.

Maintain a sound understanding of and familiarity with the key partners, stakeholders and health and nutrition initiatives in the region that have bearing on health and nutrition work.

Communications and community partnerships (20%)

Lead positive communications and ongoing updates internally and externally with all stakeholders regionally.

Coordinate and facilitate meetings with staff, stakeholders and partners.

Cultivate new partnerships and maintain professional relationships to further health and nutrition goals.

Strengthen and leverage collaborative partnerships with internal health and nutrition team regionally and state wide as well as with external stakeholders.

Speak on behalf of Extension priorities and provide informed support and expertise when serving on agency or community boards or advisory committees related to health and nutrition.

Prepare timely reports of programmatic activities and success stories in the region.

Other responsibilities assigned as needed



This position is 100% time, annual renewable academic administrative professional appointment with a University of Minnesota job code/classification of 9354 Coordinator.  This position is funded through September 30, 2014 with continuation dependent on funding, need, performance, and results.  Extension’s academic promotion process does not apply to this position.  All University of Minnesota positions require successful completion of a background check.



This position reports to the Associate Program Director, SNAP Education who reports to the Health & Nutrition Program Leader.  Annual performance review will occur according to Extension and University policies.



Travel throughout the region and at times, the state, is required to perform these job responsibilities.  This person will be expected to use a personal vehicle with legally required insurance for travel.  Reimbursement for travel expenses will occur according to University policy.



This position is benefits eligible. Information is at: Salary is commensurate with experience and education.



Please apply, complete the online application at attach to the “Required Document” section:

Cover letter in which you:

Describe your qualifications for the position based upon the job requirements and position responsibilities.

Include examples of your ability to perform this job.

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Professional Reference List with complete phone and email contact information.


If you have questions about applying online please contact:

Naaz Babvani

Extension Human Resources

260 Coffey Hall, 1420 Eckles Ave.

University of Minnesota

St. Paul, MN  55108

Telephone: 612-624-3717

Fax: 612-624-7749



Mary Caskey

SNAP-Ed Associate Program Director




June 27, 2014; position will remain open until filled


*To check the status of your application, log-in to the University of Minnesota employment website at To log-in, you will need the user name and password you create when you apply for the position.


**Any offer of employment is contingent on the successful completion of a background check.


University of Minnesota Extension shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.


Job opening at University of Kentucky

Please find a position available at the University of Kentucky for experienced professionals.  If you have any questions on the positions feel free to contact myself.




Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station


The College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment (CAFE) at the University of Kentucky seeks an innovative leader for the position of Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. The Experiment Station serves as the research arm of the Colleges academic departments, the Division of Regulatory Services, and off-campus units that include the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, research and education centers at Princeton and Robinson Station, and experiment station farms. The College also has a strong partnership with the USDA-ARS Forage-Animal Production Research Unit (FAPRU) located on campus.

Responsibilities: The Associate Dean position is the principal administrative officer of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and reports directly to the Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment. The person filling this position will participate fully in the overall management and operation of the research related activities of the college including the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. The candidate will work in a team environment with the Dean of the College and the Associate Deans for Extension, Academic Programs, and Administration, as well as department chairs and unit leaders.The Associate Dean has oversight for all research-related academic activities and federal and state mandated programs, comprising an annual budget of around $35 million with an additional $25-$30 million in grants and contracts. The Associate Dean will devise and implement policies for investing in research across the college under a new values-based financial model. Day-to-day duties include:

  • Recruit, evaluate, and facilitate the development of research faculty.
  • Foster an environment that encourages and facilitates multidisciplinary and multistate research efforts.
  • Provide leadership and vision for the research mission of a land-grant institution.
  • Strategic and administrative responsibility for grants and contracts.
  • Administer Hatch, Hatch-Multistate, McIntire-Stennis, and Animal Health funds and programs
  • Research regulatory compliance, conflict of interest management, and responsible conduct of research.
  • Implement intellectual property policies.
  • Plan and develop resources for research faculty startup packages.
  • Oversee the distribution and investment of research support pools (portion of federal formula and recurring state funds, royalties, and one-time internal investments).
  • Manage Regulatory Services, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center, and Equine Programs.
  • Provide direct oversight for research farm facilities across the state.
  • Lend support for research components of college-wide special initiatives.
  • Maintain accountability for research outcomes to numerous university, state and federal entities.

– See more at:



Quentin Tyler PhD

Assistant Dean and Director

Office of Diversity

College of Agriculture,Food, and Environment

305 Charles E. Barnhart Bldg

Lexington, KY 40546-0276


Phone: 859-257-3482

Fax: 859-323-1913

How to Register for Communicating Across Cultures Course

Text Box: Directions to enroll in: Communicating Across Cultures 1

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If you have an account then log in with your username and password.

If you do not have an account, click on Create new account.

  • On the page that comes up fill in the information requested.

  • You will receive an email confirming the account creation within an hour or so. Follow the instructions in the email in order to enable the account. If you do not get a confirmation email please for assistance in getting the account confirmed.
  • After you have logged in look for the search box and type in “Communicating Across Cultures” and click on the search button.

  • When you see the course name click on the title to self-enroll.
  • For help and assistance?
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    Once you are enrolled in a course it will appear on a list under “My Courses” on the left side of your screen the next time you log in.You can click on the course title to go back to the course.

Job Postings

Nebraska Extension is looking for an Extension Educator who would provide regional expertise (York County) and develop focused learning experiences that inspire young people in local community leadership and entrepreneurial roles along with other opportunities to help young people achieve their potential. For a detailed position description, required materials, and how to apply, go to, requisition F_200051. Review of applications will begin 03/27/2020. As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See Advertisement 4-H York Advertisement 4-H Pawnee; FW__Advertisement_for_Engagement_Zone_Coordinator

College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) University of Illinois Extension: The Energy Educational Council is an independently funded 501 (c) 3 national non-profit with a long-time connection to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, funded by several hundred electric utilities, energy-related businesses and other organizations who share the mission to create a safer, smarter world. The Director for the Energy Education Council (EEC) serves as a full-time academic professional staff member, responsible for administering Council business, managing staff, and overseeing a broad range of multi-media outreach programming and educational activities. One full-time position is available. Location: Energy Education Council (4440 Ash Grove Drive – Suite B, Springfield, IL 62711)

Open Rank Extension Educator – Beef Systems – University of Nebraska-Lincoln: UNL Extension is looking for an Extension Educator who would provide regional leadership (Saunders County) and develop focused, comprehensive learning programs on topics like integrating the current technologies in ruminant nutrition, beef genetics, and reproduction in beef operations and planning resiliency to drought in grass and forage-based beef systems. For a detailed position description, required materials and how to apply, go to, requisition F_190224. Review of applications will begin 1/2/20. As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See Beef_Saunders

Open Rank Extension Educator – Urban Entomology University of Nebraska-Lincoln UNL Extension is looking for an Extension Educator who would provide regional expertise (Lancaster, York, Seward, Cass and Otoe Counties) and develop focused, comprehensive learning programs for addressing emerging, persistent and resistant urban entomology issues in communities, structures and home landscapes. For a detailed position description, required materials, and how to apply, go to, requisition F_190223. Review of applications will be 1/2/2020. As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See Urban Entomoloyg (Lancaster)

University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign – The following newly posted academic job is available to be viewed on the University of Illinois job board: Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources (Local Food Systems and Small Farms) – Unit 26 –

Extension Educator – 4-H Youth Development, University of Nebraska-LincolnNebraska Extension is looking for an Extension Educator who would provide regional expertise in Douglas and Sarpy Counties and develop focused learning experiences that inspire young people to be college and career ready along with other opportunities to help young people achieve their potential. This position will partner with schools and community organizations for out of school time program delivery and reaching underserved audiences. For a detailed position description, required materials, and how to apply, go to, requisition F_190222. Review of applications will be 12/13/19. As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See Advertisement 4-H Douglas-Sarpy



Reaching New Audiences

Reaching New Audiences

The Reaching New Audiences page offers a wide range of resources and information to assist educators in working with a variety of groups and individuals. The site includes practical strategies relating to outreach and engagement along with resources and connections to relevant information related to the changing demographics of the United States. This site is to share information, resources, and best practices on reaching out to and working with diverse audiences.


April is Minority Health Month! Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competency in Health Care – The Office of Mi.pdf

Engaging African American Farmers in the South.pdf This article contributes to efforts to develop more inclusive climate services, understood as institutional arrangements and processes that generate and disseminate science-based climate information to promote improved preparedness to climate impacts. Discussion on equity in climate services tends to focus on the specific challenges of women and the poor in developing countries. We seek to broaden this scope by considering a farming population in the southern United States, whose particular circumstances are shaped by rural poverty as well as by racial discrimination, namely African American farmers. The research is based on a phone survey, in-depth interviews, and a workshop, and was conducted in collaboration with a civil right organization that helped the research team gain trust and entry to this community. The findings show that farmers in this study are vulnerable to drought given their relatively limited access to resources and risk management mechanisms. Climate forecasts can help these farmers move from coping strategies to deal with the effects of climate anomalies to proactive planning to anticipate and mitigate those effects. Research participants were able to identify a range of options for using such information in risk management decisions. Provision of climate services to African American farmers, however, must be consistent with existing patterns of knowledge management. These patterns are shaped by major trends stemming from the transformation of rural Southern life. Social networks of mutual assistance and knowledge transmission have been eroded by the outmigration of African American farmers from rural areas. Additionally, their relationship with public agencies is marred by a legacy of racial inequities, which makes it difficult for well-meaning projects involving the same agencies to establish legitimacy in this community. We discuss how insights from research findings and research process have guided programmatic efforts to involve African American farmers in climate services and outline lessons that can inform similar initiatives seeking to work with under-represented groups. In the conclusions we propose that engagement of this community challenges climate services to fully embrace a “social justice” perspective and an understanding of science as transformative of society.

A brief history on the 1890 universities:

How are New Apps being used to transform immigrant integration? Find out here: Smart Phones and Immigrant Integration.pdf

Another article in line with celebrating 100 years! Is Extension Ready to Adopt Technology for Delivering Programs and Reaching New Audiences.pdf ?

Family and Consumer Sciences and Cooperative Extension in a Diverse World.pdf  Abstract: The role of Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) as a program area in Extension dates back before the Smith Lever Act of 1914. As we celebrate 100 years, reaching a new set of audiences poses a challenge to Extension. These audiences include new Americans, new family structures, urban populations, new occupations, and virtual clients from around the world. This commentary examines the role that FCS will play in the next 100 years to face these challenges.


These two articles explore ways to increase inclusiveness in 4-H:  The first looks at the perceptions of 4-H Youth Professionals in WV- 4H youth programs’ professionals’ perceptions.pdf  The second is an example of one way that a 4-H  in California incorporated a cross-cultural program to help at-risk youth in their community- Carnaval Drum and Dance Traditions in 4H.pdf 

Last month was Asian-American Heritage Month. For more information on how to improve outreach to Asian Americans, please see this article, How to Better Serve AsianAmericans.pdf, published by the Diversity Executive.

Slavery is still alive and well in the United States and around the world.  Free Online Training to Address Human Trafficking:

Outreach to Arab Americans: “For the Arab culture, emphasis is on form over function, affect over accuracy, and image over meaning. An awareness of these cultural differences can help facilitate client relations, media training, and message appeals.” -R.S. Zaharna 

For more information on how to engage Arabs and Arab Americans, please read here:

Teaching Tolerance’s Magazine Archives
This site provides excellent resources for educators who care about diversity and fostering environments of inclusiveness.

Expanding Services with Latino Volunteers


Multicultural Pavilion –

For original articles and essays on progressive, transformative, multicultural, social justice, and liberatory teaching and learning by educators around the world visit the Critical Multicultural Pavilion Research Room –

Prevention and Tolerance: A Counselor’s Guide to Bullying

Promising Practices

Resources for Reaching New Audiences

Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Latino Resources

Engaging Latino Youths in Community Based-Programs (pdf)

Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Native American Task Force

The Winning 4H Plan

Recruiting Latino Youth to Attend Overnight Camp

Does the Agricultural Census Include All Hispanic/Latino farmers?

Migrant Farm Workers: Our Nation’s Invisible Population

Impact of Migrant Labor Restrictions on the Agricultural Sector (pdf)

Keys to Effective Extension Programs with Latino Audiences

13 Lessons Learned in the Oregon Outreach Program

Equity and Social Justice Diversity Links

Diversity and Multicultural Program Development and Support Materials (pdf)

Our Voices on the Air: Reaching New Audiences through Indigenous Radio

National Association of Extension 4-H Agents(NAE4-HA)

Reaching New Audiences Section Editor:
Alejandra Gudino
University of Missouri

Module Seven


Module 7 – Discovering Global Trade


The globalization of trade around the world will result in major changes in agriculture. Forces outside of the USA, such as the World Trade Organization, have major impact on agriculture, the communities where we live, and the needs of Extension clientele. By completing this module you will gain a better understanding of the impacts of trade, who a few of the major players may be, and resources available to you to better prepare yourself and your clients for these changes.


Kelvin Leibold is a Farm Management Field Specialist with Iowa State University Extension Service. You may also contact him via telephone at (641)648-4850.


Overview of Discovering Global Trade Module (Text) (PDF)

Unit 1: Basic Concepts of Trade (Text) (PDF)

Resource Materials (Text) (PDF)

International Vocabulary Worksheet (PDF)

International Vocabulary Answers (Power Point)

Two Country Trade Examples (PDF)

Crop Budget Comparisons (Power Point)

Crop Budget Reviews (Text) (PDF)


Unit 2: Geography and Agricultural Trade

Overview (Text) (PDF )

Resource Materials (Text) (PDF )

Fact Sheet Overview (Power Point )

Brazil Fact Sheet (PDF)

China Fact Sheet (PDF)

USA Fact Sheet (PDF)

Geography (Power Point )

Brazil Land Use (Image)

Brazil Climate (Image)

Brazil Population (Image)

Brazil Political (Image)

China Climate (Image)

China Land Use (Image)

China Political (Image)

China Population (Image)

USA Political (Image)

USA/Iowa Climate (Image)

USA/Iowa Land Use (Image)

USA/Iowa Population (Image)

Map Comments (Text) (PDF )

Commodity Imports and Exports Activity (Power Point)

Everything Depends on Everything Else Activity (Power Point)

Ag Trade Vocabulary Summary (Text) (PDF )

Global Ag: Implications for US Farmers (Video Clip )


Unit 3: Policies that Influence Trade

Overview (Text) (PDF )

Dynamics of Ag Competitiveness: Policy Lessons from Abroad (PDF )

Ag Trade and the Doha Round: Lessons from Commodity Studies (PDF )

Goals of Ag Policies (Power Point )


Unit 4: Current Issues in Agricultural Trade

Overview (Text) (PDF )

Resource Materials (Text) (PDF )

Ag Marketing and Resource Center – International Issues (Web )

Ag Marketing and Resource Center – International Markets (Web )

Foreign Ag Trade of the United States (Web )

Diversity Assessment Tools



Diversity Assessment Tools (Personality, Communication, Thinking)

By Kathy Lechman, Leader of Diversity Development, Ohio State University Extension

Defining Diversity

Diversity has become a very talked about issue and for some it may be considered a politically correct “buzzword”, reality is that diversity is among us on a constant basis and a well-prepared leader understands this and uses the diversity of staff as an advantage and as a way to further the goals of the organization. Ohio State University (OSU) Extension uses the following definition of diversity: “Differences among people with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, spiritual practices, and other human differences (OSU Extension Strategic Plan for Diversity)”. As this definition demonstrates, there is more to diversity than racial, ethnic, or cultural characteristics. These aspects of diversity are important but when looking at the workforce there are many other dimensions to consider. We cannot deny that our race, ethnicity, gender, or religion influences our personality but consideration should be given to the possibility that other factors also contribute to our personalities. With the increasing diversity of the workforce, leaders in organizations must work with people who are not only racially, ethnically and culturally different but who also bring with them diversity in communication styles, conflict management styles, and personality types. “Diversity is about leadership’s capacity to influence people to WILLINGLY work toward company objectives…It is valuing differences no matter how big or small they may seem (Burrs, Linda. 2002. Diversity – It’s More than Just a Notion.”. Examining aspects of diversity that move away from focusing on the observable and or physical differences provides an opportunity to highlight the subtle and often hidden aspects of diversity that exist among people. A variety of assessment instruments exist, including: Myers/Briggs Type Indicator, Jung’s communication styles Assessment, Spectrum Color personality types, Coachman’s conflict management styles, the Enneagram, and many others.

Benefits of Celebrating Hidden Diversity

All of these assessments provide useful information on how people prefer to operate and relate. These assessments also offer additional dimensions of diversity that should be considered by supervisors, and managers when establishing work groups, task forces, and or committees. A variety of personality styles, communication, and thinking styles enrich any group and can actually increase productivity and creativity. Knowing styles and preferences of co-workers is important but it is also important to know our own preferred style. As leaders, we need to be able to tap into the strengths of our employees as well as our own. “When people are encouraged to work in their areas of strength, they are happier, more productive, and more likely to stay with the company or organization (Burrs, Linda. 2002. Diversity-It’s More than Just a Notion.”. Demonstrating appreciation for these dimensions of diversity is also setting the tone for a healthy and accepting work environment where people can excel. As mentioned earlier, culture, race, ethnicity, and religion along with a myriad of other factors are important aspects of diversity and just like we need to be wary of racial and ethnic stereotypes, we need to be cautious not to stereotype or pigeon hole personality types. For example, a person who is an Extrovert, Sensing, Feeling, Judging (ESFJ) on the Myers/Briggs will not always be the leader of a group or be the first to speak at meetings. Just like an Introvert, Intuitor, Feeling, Perceiver (INFP) is perfectly capable of leading and taking charge of a large group and making decisions quickly.

Websites to Explore

Websites to Explore

Diversity Related Conference Information

The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) New York City, May 26-30, 2020.

American Association of Blacks in Higher Education 2020 National Conference March 18-21, Charleston, South Carolina.

Diversity Abroad Conference, Amplifying Voices: Moving from Rhetoric to Systemic Change, March 14-17, 2020, New Orleans, LA.

National Conference on Diversity, Race & Learning. The Ohio State University May 4-5, 2020., Fawcett Event Center, Columbus, USA.

National Diversity Council Conference, April 18-23, Marriot Marquis Houston 1777 Walker St. Houston TX 77010:

Prayer in a Public Institution

By Harvey L. Lineberry, II, Assistant Dean for Personnel, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University

Prayer in a public institution and workplace can be a one-way road to dissension and divisiveness, or it can find itself as the “chalice” or “conveyer” of constructive education and meaningful dialogue. The outcome of this issue is most often driven by many factors within an organization and most notably as a function of leadership, both formal and informal, as a means of effective organizational movement. Additionally, for public entities this issue is interlaced with legal
At first glance, the easy road to choose is to ignore this matter all together and just allow each situation to deal with this issue in its own way and to manage the fall-out of that strategy. It takes enormous leadership leaps of integrity to address this in a direct, honest, professional and caring way that serves to build the organizational skill tool-kit that helps not only the immediate organization, but hopefully the community, state and nation. We must ask ourselves the difficult questions: What is it that innately drives us to label negatively those whom we perceive as “less than” in order to make ourselves feel more powerful or more deserving? What role and responsibility do we have in understanding this dynamic and changing it for our children and the multi-faceted society that we know is on its way in the years and decades to come? Based on this knowledge, it is incumbent on our institutions and organizations to help us with this education and to challenge us. Growth is not always painless, but neither is it something that can be delayed to any great extent without consequences.

It is important to note that during these past few months we have reached the full gamut of viewpoints on this issue. There have been individuals within our organization indicating that the “University” would not “allow” prayers to be said, which raised concern by many within and outside of our organization. We have also experienced our employees attending a meeting (not sponsored by the College) where a person was invited to “stand outside” when they expressed their concern over a traditional prayer being spoken at a public meeting. It is clear, there are heightened emotions at both ends of this issue and our goal is to find a place of respect and common ground where we can deal responsibly with each person in our organization, community and clients. Again, the easy road is to complain and talk about all the reasons why the “glass is half-empty,” rather than invest the energy and time to educate ourselves about how that glass could be portrayed as “half-full,” and the reasons why we should look at it so.


Bound by Law

As educators and public servants connected not only with the State of North Carolina, but the federal government as well, we must be aware of the foundation or basis of the concern over prayer in a public environment. We are bound by law, legal precedent and the First Amendment of the Constitution, which mandates separation of church and state in the sense of any and all religion. The information which is available regarding the various specific legal cases serve as the true foundation of “WHY” this is fact, but in no way frames the “HOW” part of the discussion.

Within the context of our responsibility as a public institution we can better explain a different approach to the “why” and to help you with the “how.” Former U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren spoke to these issues in great detail in his memoirs. You might know that as Governor of California he was part of the decision making team which chose to inter Japanese Americans during War World II and was seated as Chief Justice when the landmark civil rights and desegregation decisions were made in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The following is an excerpt from his memoirs:

We (the Supreme Court) also were heavily attacked by many people, particularly legislators, when we declared compulsory prayers in the public schools to be unconstitutional. I vividly remember one bold newspaper headline saying, “Court outlaws God.” Many religious denominations in this same spirit condemned the Court, although most of them have receded from that position. Scores of Constitutional Amendments and legislative bills were proposed in the Congress to circumvent the decision but were later abandoned when the public came to recognize that the ruling was not an irreligious one. Rather it tried to maintain the separation of church and state guaranteed by the First Amendment. ….. The majority of us on the Court were religious people, yet we found it unconstitutional that any state agency should impose a religious exercise on persons who were by law free to practice religion or not without state interference. (“The Memoirs of Chief Justice Earl Warren,” page 315.)

Part of this premise is to understand that our society is majority Christian. This majority position can often lead us to make assumptions and/or to proceed without thoughtful planning as to our impact on others. These majority assumptions play out in every facet of our lives and every day of our lives – and in playing out, be it through “omission” or “commission” the reality is that it can be extremely hurtful and reflects a lack of respect for those who are “discounted.” In addressing the issues of “majority,” Chief Justice Warren notes “… it is human nature for the dominant group in a nation to keep pressing for further domination, and unless the Court has the fiber to accord justice to the weakest member of the society, regardless of the pressure brought upon it, we never can achieve our goal of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ for everyone.” (“The Memoirs of Chief Justice Earl Warren,” page 335.)

Our Responsibility

We, within the requirements of the law, have a responsibility to honor and respect all who are present in our programs, meetings, classrooms, and in our offices. We have a responsibility to our colleagues to be aware and informed on these issues and to exercise professional sensitivity in all situations over which we have control or are planning. When asked to give a public “prayer” or remarks as a meeting begins or ends, or at a meal time, it is important that these remarks, delivered in a secular setting, should serve to bind your group together in a common concern that is identifiable to every person and not dependant on any particular faith. Again, either by omission or commission, words directed and built with Christian phraseology can become unintentionally divisive because they exclude persons of other faiths, or those not expressing a position of faith. Individuals who lead the general community in prayer have the responsibility to be clear about the public nature of the occasion and respectful of the composition of the audience. Words spoken on behalf of an entire community, University, or College, should be easily shared by any listener, regardless of their beliefs and is both a privilege and a marked responsibility.

Some make the comment that this approach to the issue does not “honor” their particular belief system. Everyone has a right to his or her own religion and that is in essence the point of this entire issue – EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO THEIR OWN RELIGION and no one should feel infringed upon. Our challenge is to offer words that are reflective of this understanding and respectful of all. If you are uncomfortable in planning and delivering secular and inclusive remarks, then you should feel free to decline any invitation to offer one. It is a matter of inclusiveness, both for you and for the audience and we want to be clear about our intent to be sensitive to that fact. As educators, we can very quietly and effectively step up to the plate and help all our partners across the state to see how we accomplish this inclusive language through example rather than presenting this as “we are not allowed to pray.” Again, it is so important to look at what holds us together in common ground rather than to seek out that which divides us from one another – do our words and actions seek to build rather than tear down or do harm?

Our Challenge

It is logical to see the United States as one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world. Some accounts show that non-Christians number in excess of 20% in the U.S. and that this number is growing each year. Suffice it to say, diversity, or pluralism, is a fact of life and one that any dynamic organization must recognize and address in a proactive and forward thinking manner. However, it is extremely important to understand that religious diversity means only that different religions (including non-religious beliefs) coexist and in no way implies that individuals accept these religions or positions as valid. Therefore, our challenge is to determine how we express respect for each person at the place they find themselves in their religious journey and still be true to an organization founded on the principle of advancing the purpose of education through the “extension” of research to our clients statewide. Most people in the U.S. and the rest of the world probably take an exclusivist, or “dominate” position: they believe that their religion, and only theirs, is completely true. Most believe that their God communicated universal truths by special revelation given to their spiritual ancestors or patriarchs. This knowledge has been passed on to present-day humanity, often in the form of religious texts. Many people hold tenaciously to their particular faith, believing it to be God’s revealed wish for all humanity. Some may even view other faith groups, those without a “faith community” or denominations within their own religion to be false. This type of exclusivity can sometimes develop easily into hatred, or intolerance, of any “other” interpretation of position. Religious exclusivity is often a major cause of much of the world’s civil unrest, civil wars, mass crimes against humanity and genocide. Yet, in balance to many places in the world, the U. S. has enjoyed a high level of religious freedom and a relative absence of religiously motivated conflict — even though exclusivism is probably predominant here.

Over time, the American public has developed a heightened regard for human rights, including religious freedom. Thus, they are willing to tolerate other religious beliefs, even though they consider them to be inconsistent with their own. Too many times this “toleration” is only given as long as it doesn’t impact them in any way, or ask them to modify their own sense of conduct or expression, even in public settings. If this is true, then it would appear that the best way to reduce religiously based friction throughout the world is for governments and religious institutions to promote human rights generally, religious freedom in particular, and respect for all globally.

It is to this end that I ask that we, each in our own way, seek to understand a different point of view on this issue – not in a way that seeks to change any belief systems, but to the extent that they allow us to reach a place of compassion and respect for our colleagues, friends and neighbors who may have different beliefs than we. Regardless, there is room for each of us at the table of respect and understanding for our brothers and sisters in this freedom. I would ask each person within the College, on and off campus, to join me in this effort. Speak to others in your office, or members of the Diversity Catalyst Team about what it means to honor each person within our organization and what steps might we undertake to do just that. Seek out ways to offer ecumenical and inclusive words of thanks and remember that leading in this way is both a privilege and a responsibility.

It is evident that there are many places along a continuum that we might find ourselves on this issue. We recognize this as the reality of our existence in the present nation and world and our need to understand and respect those around us. It is in being a diligent steward of our colleagues and clients that lead us to a higher place of functioning, if not understanding. This place that we find ourselves is one that honors and supports our various points of view and allows for secure footing along the continuum as we conduct our daily work. To this end, I would encourage you to find a place of humility and understanding for all of our colleagues and to look past our own “reality” to a place of inclusion and tolerance – to a place of the future. In closing, I would leave you with only a few examples of inclusive reflections.

Constructing an Inclusive Public “Prayer”

  • Seek the highest common denominator without compromise of conscience.
  • Use forms and vocabulary that allow persons of different faiths to give assent to what is said.
  • Use the language most widely understood by the audience, unless one purpose of the event is to express ethnic/cultural diversity, in which case multiple languages can be effective.
  • Consider other creative alternatives, such as a moment of silence.
  • Remain faithful to the purpose of giving thanks and that it is not used as an opportunity to preach, argue or testify.

Examples of Inclusive Reflections

Appropriate examples for use as a meal is served (these can be easily modified to begin or conclude a meeting):


We meet together in an effort to build community, to advance education and understanding. We seek the patience of one another as we strive to learn and grow and the stamina to make a difference in our state, nation and world. We express our thanks for the gifts of life and for the food that we are about to partake of.



We gather here today as colleagues and friends with attention to a common goal. That goal is the continued service to the citizens of our state through our programs and information. We understand our responsibilities as committed educators as well as learners – personally and professionally. It is obvious that we work and live in challenging times. We seek the patience of each other as we strive to learn and grow, and the stamina to make a difference in our state, nation and the world.
We express our thanks for an opportunity to gather together where we can reinforce our community principles of openness and engagement for all people, for the gifts of life and for the food that has been prepared for us. For all this, we are thankful.


A Prayer for the World
Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations. Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect. Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows. Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken. Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly so that we can see beyond labels, beyond accents, gender, or skin color. Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness so that we can share the joys and feel the sorrows of our neighbors. And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see all people as our neighbors. Let the earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround us with beauty. And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward.
Rabbi Harold S. Kushner (with slight modification)

Thoughtful Quotes

I would like to share with you some thoughtful quotes that I think reflect the diversity of this issue and in fact, address this point from a variety of perspectives. (I should note for the record, I do not endorse any person or overall positions of those whose statements are included below, they simply serve as points of thought along a continuum.)

“I ask you to uphold the values of America and remember why so many have come here. We’re in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them. No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith.”
George W. Bush, President. Address to a joint session of Congress, 2001-SEP-20.

“It is very important to understand that pluralism is part of our system. We don’t all think the same thing and part of our strength is that we come from different perspectives. We have to respect one another even when we disagree with each other. There has to be a spirit of tolerance for the views of others, while also being deeply committed to the positions we hold. If we do that, I think we can coexist and learn to love each other better.”
James Dobson, founder and president of “Focus on the Family” interviewed by Tony Snow of Fox News Channel, 2001-SEP-20

“The wiser you are, the more you believe in equality, because the difference between what the most and the least learned people know is inexpressibly trivial in relation to all that is unknown.”
Albert Einstein

“The millions of Christians in this country reflect just about every conceivable political point of view. For one highly conservative group to proclaim itself ‘the Christian Coalition’ strikes me as decidedly un-Christian arrogance…. We reflect countless races, religions and lifestyles, and we often differ on questions of morality and behavior. The only way so diverse a nation can survive is by all of us practicing a high degree of tolerance. But tolerance is not the way of the Christian right. Its leaders want to impose their one-size-fits-all morality on everyone. It won’t work. When any group tries to impose its values on everyone else, the result will inevitably be resentment, hatred and violence.”
Senator Warren Rudman

“When the dust settles and the pages of history are written, it will not be the angry defenders of intolerance who have made the difference. The reward will go to those who dared to step outside the safety of their privacy in order to expose and rout the prevailing prejudices.”
John Shelby Spong, Episcopal Bishop

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”
Blaise Paschal: Often attributed to Sam J. Ervin, Jr., in “Protecting the Constitution” (1984).

“It was Christians, you know, not Pagans, who were responsible for the Holocaust. It was Christians, not Pagans, who lynched people here in the South, who burned people at the stake, frequently in the name of this Jesus Christ.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, speaking at Ebenezer Baptist Church, to participants in the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference for the World Council of Churches in 2000-JAN. (In the same speech, he reminded his audience that the racist apartheid policy in his native South Africa was also created by Christians, not Pagans.)