Diversity and inclusion
Celebrating diversity in gardening
The Master Gardener program, as part of University of Minnesota Extension, is committed to the promotion of human dignity and tolerance, as well as the acknowledgement, appreciation, and celebration of diversity and inclusion in all of its endeavors.
The Master Gardener program has been intentional about this commitment. A State Master Gardener Diversity Committee, which functioned actively between 2005 and 2008, developed goals and action plans. Those goals and action plans remain today a foundation for our focus on increasing outreach to ethnically and racially diverse audiences who are new to Minnesota or have been historically underserved.
The University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in three goals and action plans:
Goal 1: To increase the cultural competency of Master Gardener staff and volunteers
- Action #1: Educate the current Master Gardener volunteer base on lifestyles, traditions, and horticulture as they relate to other cultures.
- Action #2: Assume our audiences are diverse. Therefore, as resources are updated or created, they should include information for various cultures. Effort should be made to ensure materials and resources reflect the language needs of audiences and translation resources should be obtained where needed.
- Action #3: Include ethnic plants in gardens at regional research and outreach centers as an educational resource to Master Gardeners and the public. Where possible, provide literature in various languages.
Goal 2: To provide equal access to Master Gardener services and information for all diverse cultures in Minnesota
- Action #1: Because the second generation of immigrants—children—speak English and often act as translators for parents, use the Junior Master Gardener program and other youth activities to transfer information and knowledge to adults in various cultures. This also will encourage the next generation of Master Gardener volunteers.
- Action #2: Visit with leaders of various ethnic and racially diverse groups in the state to develop relationships and partnerships. Make Extension and Master Gardener resources and services available to these communities. Seek ways to engage community members and seek their guidance in how best to involve members of their communities in the Master Gardener program.
- Action #3: Be more visible within ethnic/racially diverse communities. When feasible and appropriate, schedule Master Gardener information booths and speakers at community events (e.g., Cinco de Mayo, Juneteenth, etc.). Include materials that are language appropriate.
Goal 3: To increase the number of ethnic/racially diverse individuals who serve as volunteers or staff within the Master Gardener program
- Action #1: Explore the feasibility of recruiting Master Gardener intern candidates from ethnically and racially diverse communities. With the communities, determine the best ways to promote the program opportunities.
- Action #2: Consider creating scholarships to cover Core Course expenses for interns from diverse backgrounds. The goal of this action is to have volunteers that give back to their communities and who mentor new interns.
- Action #3: Consider alternatives or additions to the traditional procedures for Master Gardener recruitment, training, and participation. Identify ways to partner with diverse communities to meet their needs and learn from them.
- University of Minnesota Office for Equity and Diversity
- The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) directory of nonprofit organizations of color in Minnesota. In particular, the CURA Experts page may be a source of contacts for Master Gardener groups wishing to make contact with groups of color within their counties.
- The Chicano Latino Affairs Council also has a directory of organizations that serve the Chicano Latino community in Minnesota. In particular, the Community Organizations page may provide a link to organizations within a Master Gardener county and a starting point for contacting Hispanic organizations.
- Hmong Homepage
- Growing Home, Stories of Ethnic Gardening, Susan Davis Price, 2000
Get to know gardeners from all over the world who have settled right here in Minnesota. Local writer Susan Davis Price introduces us to people who share passions for food, plants, and the earth, and have survived life's turmoils and flourished to tell us about it.
- Seedfolks, Paul Fleischman, 1999
One by one, a number of people of varying ages and backgrounds transform a trash-filled inner-city lot into a productive and beautiful garden and in doing so, the gardeners are themselves transformed.
- Dark Sky, Dark Land, David L. Moore, 1989
Stories of the Hmong Boy Scouts of Troop 100. Dave Moore is a former Edison High School teacher of Minneapolis who introduced a number of Hmong boys in 1981 to scouting ultimately organizing Troop 100. The troop, which he still leads today, has produced a number of professionals and leaders in the Twin Cities. This book is a series of interviews conducted by Mr. Moore to preserve their incredible tales of courage and survival.