Champaign, IL – Illinois 4-H is marking the establishment of a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Implementation Committee. This newly formed committee will advise and collaborate in the implementation of DEIA priorities recently identified through a strategic planning process involving 4-H staff, volunteers and community members
"The DEIA Committee will play a pivotal role in ensuring that every child who participates in our programs feels valued, included, and supported," said Roxana Cejeda, University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development new audiences and outreach associate.
The DEIA Committee is a critical step toward fostering inclusive environments where all young people and their families have equitable access to educational opportunities and resources. By prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, Illinois 4-H aims to create an increasingly welcoming, and empowering experience for all participants.
The Illinois 4-H Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative is aligned with the National 4-H campaign, Opportunity4All, which pledges to eliminate inequities for kids and help them get equal access to resources they need to thrive. This committee is dedicated to advancing the DEIA goals of the organization, with a specific focus on fostering inclusivity and cultural awareness among our educators and youth participants.
“We are taking a page from National 4-H’s book and following their key points that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not,” says Cejeda. “The gap between kids is only getting wider and is largely aligned by race, family income, and where they live. We want all youth in Illinois to have access to the benefits of participation in the Illinois 4-H program..”
The DEIA Committee will represent 4-H educators, youth leaders, and community partners to advise and support implementation of the new DEIA strategic objectives.. This collaborative approach aligns with 4-H's long-standing commitment to youth-adult partnerships.
“We are committed to putting our goals into action”, says Lisa Diaz, assistant dean and director of 4-H. “Diverse youth and community voices are needed for our success in this work.”
Extension Educators and 4-H leaders are encouraged to nominate themselves, other staff, volunteers, and/or parents to join the DEIA Committee and participate in its initiatives to promote inclusivity and equity in 4-H.
“Young people will judge us not by the promises we make, but by the promises we keep. It’s time we provided opportunity for all kids,” says Cejeda.
For more information about joining IL 4-H’s DEIA Committee and its initiatives, please contact Roxana Cejeda at email@example.com.
Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.