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"I don't see color" and other harmful statements: Moving toward climates that support positive dialogue about race

An important part of healthy youth development is understanding multiple aspects of one’s identity—including those connected to issues of race.  Recent research shows that too often adults in the lives of kids deny and ignore racial slurs and tensions because they are scared or lack the skills to intervene. This webinar discusses barriers that get in the way of our conversations about race and presents suggestions for engaging in “race talk” based on building community, engaging in deep personal reflection, dialoguing across differences and taking action for social justice.

This webinar will feature Shayla R. Griffin, Ph.D., M.S.W., drawing from her research and forthcoming book titled Those Kids, Our Schools: Race Relations in an Integrated American High School (Harvard Education Press), a three-year ethnographic study of how students, teachers, and administrators navigated issues of race in an integrated, Midwestern school. Shayla received her Ph.D. from the joint program in Social Work and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor. Shayla has worked with high school students, college students, and hundreds of K-12 teachers around issues of race, class, gender and sexual orientation. Currently she is the Diversity and School Culture Consultant for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District and director of Creating Culturally Proficient Communities, a five-year initiative to improve racial and economic justice in Ypsilanti Community Schools. In addition, she consults with a number of other districts and non-profit organizations on issues of social justice through her consulting firm The People’s Dialogue Project. Shayla resides in Detroit, MI.

The webinar will also feature Janet Olsen, program leader, and Karen Pace, senior program leader, who work in the area of social and emotional health with Michigan State University Extension health and nutrition programs. They are the co-authors of the Be SAFE: Safe, Affirming and Fair Environments core curriculum. 

Note: There is a $10 registration fee for this webinar (and an additional $5.00 cost for those wanting 1.0 Social Work Continuing Education hour). Register at the following link by October 19, 2014:

Registrants will be sent the link to the webinar on or before October 21, 2014.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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