Expanding Access Quarterly extension office of access, inclusion, and compliance

Winter 2020

Reflections on Washington, DC

by John Kriva, Natural Resources Institute Marketing & Communications Coordinator

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC as one of two Wisconsin participants in the National Extension Leadership Development (NELD) program. While I wasn’t always wearing my nametag or Badger red, it was apparent that my Extension connection allowed me access that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Trip highlights:

I, along with the other Wisconsin participant, Dominic Ledesma, was able to get face time with Senator Tammy Baldwin and her senior policy advisor, Colleene Thomas. Dominic and I also met with Leslie Zelenko, a senior legislative assistant from Congressman Mark Pocan’s office. These behind-the-scenes conversations reinforced the fact that our elected officials value and support Extension’s work and helped humanize DC in a way that I hadn’t experienced during prior visits. It was fun to learn about how things actually get done in DC from the people who live and breathe it every day.

The trip also allowed time for visits to the Museum of the American Indian and the Embassy of Tribal Nations. Both experiences were important reminders of the complicated relationships between the U.S. government and the independent tribal nations of North America. Viewing past and current events through the lenses of failed treaties, forced relocations, ethnic cleansing and genocide provided striking contrast to the promises of justice, freedom and equality that are so frequently referenced in DC. And yet, despite the backdrop of so many challenges, I was inspired by the optimism of the representatives at the tribal embassy. Policy analysts Nicholas Courtney and Kelbie Kennedy emphasized the health and strength of the tribal nations they help represent and offered multiple examples of positive ongoing initiatives around juvenile justice, language and art preservation and health care reform.

While the trip was filled with highlights, meeting congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis definitely tops my list. Dominic and I happened to be standing outside of the Capitol Building when Congressman Lewis walked out of the legislative tunnel, and to say I was starstruck is an understatement. The congressman was extremely generous with his time and even shared an anecdote about a Freedom Rider from Wisconsin who was a friend and ally during some of the hardest moments of the civil rights movement. Hearing Congressman Lewis’s firsthand account of his experiences was truly humbling and helped put the entire trip into perspective. It’s not every day that you meet a national hero.

From L to R: John Kriva, Congressman John Lewis, Dominic Ledesma


  • U.S. politics can be disorienting, complicated and contradictory, but I feel much more optimistic about the future after meeting dozens of driven, compassionate people who believe in the promise of an American dream for all.
  • We (Extension) may not work at the national level, but it’s important to remember that we all have the ability to make a difference in our own communities and among our personal spheres of influence.
  • Working for a respected and trusted institution like Extension gives us access that few people have, but this access comes with responsibility. Each of us needs to take personal ownership of learning about the historic and present-day contexts in which we work so that we can better understand the people we serve.

The anatomy of a Coaching & Consultation Request

Need support or guidance for a program or effort related to expanding program access, equity, or inclusion? You’re in the right place. However, before you send that email to one of us with a question seeking guidance or collaboration on a project that taps into our area of professional expertise—PAUSE. We have an easy and accessible way to reach out and receive our full attention and support.

The OAIC developed a Coaching & Consultation Request Form to coordinate the support we provide on projects statewide. Here is a description of our intake process in 8 easy steps:

You'll find the Coaching & Consultation Request on the OAIC website
  1. Visit our website: https://blogs.extension.wisc.edu/oaic/
  2. On the right-hand side of the page, it says “Coaching & Consultation Request.”
  3. Click on the clipboard icon and it will take you to a Qualtrics form.
  4. Fill out and submit the form. This provides our team with an initial context and a baseline of information about your idea, program, or project. Filling out the form takes less than 10 minutes.
  5. Once our team receives your C&C Request Form, we will reach out to you via email within two business days. We work with you to schedule a conversation either via Zoom or in person.
  6. We meet to talk through your request, offering insight and recommendations on how we might move forward and how we can provide support.
  7. Following our scheduled meeting, our team will provide you with a write-up of our discussion. The write-up will include a summary of our conversation, identify any areas where we provided you with coaching/recommendations, and next steps.
  8. Our team will provide ongoing guidance as appropriate for your request. If we covered all questions and topics, and no further support is needed from us, we will close out your request.

Worried about not remembering all of this? No worries, there is a resource document for Coaching & Consultation Requests that is housed on our website. Our team looks forward to working with you!

Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another's uniqueness. --Ola Joseph

Updated organizational non-discrimination statements

We are happy to announce that updated non-discrimination/Equal Opportunity statements are now available for your use! These statements are refined to be more Extension-specific and are provided in English, Spanish, and Hmong. You can find them at https://go.wisc.edu/exteostatements as well as on the OAIC website.

What are non-discrimination/Equal Opportunity statements?

Extension includes non-discrimination/Equal Opportunity statements to inform the public of our commitment to ensuring the accessibility of our programs and services. Our USDA/NIFA requirement includes, but is not limited to, the use of these statements within our brochures, fact sheets, program announcements, flyers, etc.

What’s changed?

Extension’s Office of Access, Inclusion, and Compliance, in coordination with the Office of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement, has refined Extension’s list of Equal Opportunity statements. The statements are provided in English, Spanish, and Hmong, and are categorized by use in email and publication footers, accommodation and language access statements, hiring language, and more. The text has been updated to reflect UW-Madison and to make sure we’re reflecting current best practices.

Why this change?

Our transition to UW-Madison prompted the opportunity to review our statements and how we best communicate with our audiences. Given the numerous ways Extension provides information to the public, we’ve decided to keep offering statements that are tailored to specific needs of Extension programs and services. This is partly because we have USDA-specific directives and needs, and we want to make sure we’re in compliance with recommendations and requirements in our funding.

How do I use these?

Please review all of the statements to get a handle on different offerings and what would work best in various situations. Then, incorporate the appropriate statements for brochures, fact sheets, posters, and other official communications. For example, emails and general communications can use section two, “Footers for email signatures, letterhead, brochures, publications” which has this statement: An EEO/AA employer, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title VI, Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requirements.

If these statements are in multiple languages, do we need to incorporate all three?

No. Only one statement is required for compliance efforts in this area. That being said, feel free to incorporate statements in any combination of languages as appropriate for your materials and audiences. For example, if you develop a flyer to promote a program in both English and Spanish, then you should incorporate both statements in a way that corresponds with the flyer’s language.

If you have any questions about the statements, please email the Office of Access, Inclusion, and Compliance. For questions about using the statements in your printed, digital, or other communications pieces, contact the Office of Communications & Stakeholder Engagement.

employee spotlight

Fabiola Diaz Negrete

Job title: Bilingual Nutrition Educator

Where do you live? Racine, WI

Where did you grow up? Mexico City

How many years have you been in Extension? 20 years!

Tell us a little about your role in Extension: I’ve served as a nutrition educator for the past two decades. During this time, I’ve reached numerous families and individuals in both Racine and Kenosha counties. Helping these communities adopt a healthier lifestyle and gain new perspectives about food has been an honor and a passion of mine. Participating in trainings and collaborating in local and statewide initiatives has helped me develop a broad view of the goals and the work we do as an institution as well as of the impact of that work.

What motivates you in your position? As educators we have the unique opportunity and privilege to work with the people of Wisconsin on a personal level. Every day we develop relationships that lead to trust, then change. I have an enormous amount of gratitude for this opportunity. Although not every relationship will result in change, I try hard to connect with people from the heart. Making this human connection and knowing I’m helping different people everyday motivates and drives me to continue towards my goals: to serve people and eat food, LOL!

How many years have you been in the Latino Employees Resource Group (LERG)? Since it started!

What is your favorite aspect of LERG? My favorite aspect of LERG is to share the challenges that the Latinx community experiences across the state in the different communities LERG members come from.

One unique or surprising fact about you that you'd like to share with us: I take risks even though sometimes I’m fearful.

What's the difference between equality and equity?

Equality and equity are both strategies to promote fairness. But, as you can see from the graphic below, they don't always produce the same results. Equality is treating everyone the same. Equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful. Equality aims to promote fairness, but it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same help. Equity may appear unfair, but it actively moves everyone closer to success by “leveling the playing field.”

This graphic helps clarify the difference between "equality" and "equity." Thanks to Tami Griffin and Jenna Klink for sharing this!

Personal pronoun stickers available

If you attended the All Program meeting in November, you may have noticed the pronoun stickers (he/him, she/her, they/them) on nametags. The OAIC has extra stickers, so if you or your office would like a supply, please contact us at oaic@extension.wisc.edu.

Wisconsin Idea Internship Program proposals due Feb. 7

Earlier this month we were excited to hear about the Wisconsin Idea Internship Program (WIIP) and the request for position proposals. WIIP is intended to holistically develop the professional skills and interests of current UW-Madison students, provide them with opportunities to contribute to Extension's programs and activities, and encourage them to explore potential career paths in Extension. A main program objective is to encourage and recruit applicants from racially, ethnically, and linguistically minoritized communities; members of tribal nations who reside on or near tribal lands; persons with diverse abilities; persons with veteran status; returning adult students and persons with non-traditional backgrounds; and areas of study and careers where women have been historically underrepresented.

Internship position proposals must be submitted online no later than February 7, 2020. Full details and a link to the online application form can be found at: https://blogs.extension.wisc.edu/oaic/wisconsin-idea-internship-program/

Office of Access, Compliance, and Inclusion

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background - people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.


Created with images by Aaron Burden - "Snowflake macro" • fsHH - "technology spotlight hamburg"