Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Leadership Opportunities for Underrepresented Populations: Here's What We Are Doing!

Academic journal article The Agricultural Education Magazine

Leadership Opportunities for Underrepresented Populations: Here's What We Are Doing!

Article excerpt

I anxiously accepted Dr. Foster's offer to solicit authors for, "Leadership opportunities for underrepresented populations-What are YOU doing?", because I was internally nagged by a previous professional incident, and I wanted to explore it more thoroughly. Here it is...

In June 2007, participants arrived from across the country to formally engage in agricultural education's most courageous and demanding adventure to date: 10x15-10,000 quality programs by 2015. How exciting!! I prepared for the multiple-day event by pondering earlier American industry comebacks and how those industry comebacks were orchestrated. I thought about how the industry leaders must have brainstormed unexplored possibilities, contemplated the what-ifs, and examined new, untapped, diverse audiences and venues. Consequently, I arrived at the meeting prepared for brainstorming, contemplating, exploring.

Imagine then, my disbelief, when during a coffee-break from the meeting, it was suggested to me privately that, "we have diversity, we have black and white cows". All I could think was, "during a critical period in our history, when we again, are perched at the threshold of making a difference in education in America, did I really just hear that"?

My next thoughts caused me to think about the opinions of our profession collectively, and that's where the internal nagging began. Fortunately, the July/August 2008 issue of The Agricultural Education Magazine offers assurance to me that the June, 2007 quote was an isolated incidence rather than a collective professional opinion.

In collecting and reading the articles for this issue, I learned, however, that I am not the only person in the profession who is wrestling with our homogeneity. Jamie Cano's article is revealing. He, too, will be encouraged by reading that which the authors of this issue are advocating for our profession. …

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