Extension Service Social Justice
We work directly with the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to help implement The Strategic Plan for Achieving Social Justice at West Virginia University.
We want to ensure that all people have access to the benefits WVU affords by upholding an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust, where basic concepts and principles of social justice are honored.
The Strategic Plan emphasizes that the principle of social justice encompasses the legal and moral obligations to promote opportunity, equality, civility, and respect for all people. We address contemporary issues, including violence, hatred, bigotry, prejudice, equity, rage, discrimination, harassment, and any barrier that interferes with learning, creates an undesirable work environment, or diminishes the worth of any individual. By educating and empowering individuals and groups on diversity issues and respect for difference, we can achieve an inclusive environment.
We, along with the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, “will provide opportunities for all members of the University community to increase their understanding and exercise the fullest measures of civility, dignity, and respect. The office will be the catalyst to promote and achieve an optimal environment for achieving dignity and respect and the attainment of this strategic plan.”
The Extension Service’s Human Resources Social Justice Liaisons are Tonya Michael and Kim Suder. Our Liaisons coordinate and implement statewide Social Justice educational programming. These are oriented toward public groups, clubs and extension personnel.
The mission of the West Virginia University Extension Service is to form learning partnerships with the people of West Virginia to enable them to improve their lives and communities. To these partnerships, we bring useful research- and experience-based knowledge that facilitates critical thinking and skill development.
WVU-ES Social Justice Vision
West Virginia University Extension Service is committed to the philosophy of multiculturalism as it emphasizes social justice in mission and vision; workforce; programs; audiences; and partnerships with other people, groups, and organizations. WVU-ES embraces the vision of itself as a diverse and multicultural organization that values, is committed to, and embodies pluralism as a long-term investment in the future. The commitment ensures that employees work in a supportive and caring environment in which leadership, power, and influence are shared. Extension develops and delivers programs that address the needs and interests of diverse audiences. Extension maintains equitable partnerships and funding. Extension strives to eliminate discrimination and to extend recognition, power, privilege, and opportunity to all people.
Integrating Social Justice into Extension Goals and Responsibilities
For the West Virginia University Extension Service, social justice is more than a single program. It is more than a group of activities in a planning document. Social justice defines how we do our work—every day. But, to make social justice holistic within our work, we first must segment and identify critical components of that work. Accordingly, to facilitate program planning, the strategic plan for integrating social justice into WVU-ES is presented in this format to help us blend the principles and practices of social justice throughout our assignment documents and resultant program plans. When others survey our work, they should be able to recognize social justice principles and practices in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of all WVU-ES programs.
Six goals delineate WVU-ES’s strategic plan for social justice. They focus on:
- establishing and supporting a diverse work environment;
- developing faculty, staff, and volunteers’ social justice awareness, knowledge, and skills;
- developing procedures for integrating social justice into WVU-ES programs and curricula;
- training social justice trainers;
- increasing the community’s awareness of social justice principles; and
- integrating social justice policies and procedures throughout the organizational structure.
You are encouraged to use the goals and responsibilities of the WVU-ES social justice strategic plan to develop your assignment document and the resultant objectives and activities of your various program action plans. Please reference it now as you develop your assignment document. Please reference it regularly as you develop plans for each of your programs.