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Purdue Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team Selected to Apply for $5,000 Grant

DEI Indy earned the second highest team, out of a total of 28 teams, for the North Central region at the Impact Collaborative summit in Atlanta. As a result of our work, DEI Indy has been invited to apply for a $5,000 grant to help bring new capacity to our project.

Our project is Learn it! Work it! Live it! The intention is to increase understanding of what the Indianapolis community wants by assessing end-user needs and framing program development and implementation to serve the diverse communities of Indianapolis.  We will establish best practices to strengthen our staff, develop strategies to engage new audiences and improve readiness to support innovation in our programs and projects. By demonstrating diversity, equity and inclusion principles and practices in our team and organization, we will create an inclusive learning environment that values different voices and provides a safe environment to discuss, address and act on residual legacies of racial, structural and gender privileges.

The DEI Indy team has chosen two Indianapolis neighborhoods for the Learn it! Work it! Live it! project because of their diverse demographics and existing relationships with Purdue Extension. The communities of Twin Aire and 16Tech will partner with Extension and the local Boys and Girls Clubs to identify 30 teens to work with 15 corporate volunteers. Also, we have chosen three corporations based on their existing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) emphasis on providing the adult volunteer support for our participating teens. Recent focus groups of local teens reveal a desire to enter workforce-oriented relationships with real-world career professionals. Key contacts at Community Health Corporation, Corteva Agriscience and Salesforce are involved in helping us shape the project to create and build those mentoring relationships.

The DEI Indy Team includes Xiomara Diaz-Vargas, State Specialist 4-H Youth Development and New Audiences, Steve Wagoner, Extension Director, Marion County, George Okantey, Community Development educator (team leader) Ginny Roberts, Urban Agriculture, and David Allen, University of Kentucky (coach).

George Okantey is a Purdue Extension Community Development educator in Marion County. For more information about DEI Indy, contact George at 317-275-9263 or



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