​Assessing Strengths of Your Community

This module is designed for the educator who recognizes that culturally diverse populations exist in their area and that they are an important segment of the community. This module will provide ideas and resources to Extension staff as they serve all residents of their county/state. It will help you determine where and how to start educational programming efforts. This module provides ideas, strategies, resources, and examples in five units. The topics are difficult and often are barriers for education in responding to the demographic changes in communities. The effort to reach across cultures is no different than other Extension planning and programming in that it is based on designing, conducting, and evaluations education programs that improve the lives of people in your community. Thus, this effort simply needs to be integrated into our everyday planning process. Extension can offer a proactive approach to community planning rather than react to changes after they occur. This module outlines a "way to begin" in this challenging and important process. It is best that Module 1 "Building Cultural Competencies" be reviewed before beginning any of the other units.

The order in which these units are useful to you depends on your stage of engaging multi-cultural populations in your community and your experience with the topics and extension methods. You should review the resources and activities to improve your comfort level in the difficult "where do I start" and "with whom do I start". Each unit is designed to be accomplished in one hour. The lessons can serve as a basis of presentations on these topics, but are primarily designed for professional development.

Unit 1: Asset Based Community Development
Unit 2: Introducing Extension & Understanding Cultures
Unit 3: Modifying Extension Programs
Unit 4: Identifying Key Leaders
Unit 5: Helping Groups Lead Their Own Programs

Handout 1: Community Organization Map Activity
Handout 2: Community Positional Leaders Activity