Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 making it an annual observance, and it became a national holiday in 1938. Then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day to honor all those who served the country in war or peace. On this day, the nation honors military veterans with parades and other observances across the country and a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Follow this link to learn facts about Veterans Day.
For Extension to remain relevant to the mission of meeting the most critical community needs, we must examine the racial inequities that hold us back as institutions and lead efforts to engage diverse communities in learning about race through dialogue. Responses from participants in 26 states who joined a train-the-trainer initiative suggested that despite previous efforts, there is great need for increased education and capacity building to address racism and prioritize racial equity both within our institutions and in the communities we serve. For Extension professionals to effectively engage in this work, it is critical for administrators to show visible support. Follow this link to learn more.
Sourced from: Journal of Extension
Eric Walcott, Government and Public Policy Specialist, Michigan State University Extension
Brian Raison, Associate Professor, Ohio State University Extension
Rachel Welborn, Associate Director, Southern Rural Development Center, Mississippi State University
Rich Pirog, Director, Center for Regional Food Systems, Michigan State University
Mary Emery, Department Head, Sociology and Rural Studies, South Dakota State University
Mike Stout, Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University
Laura Hendrix, Associate Professor, University of Arkansas
Marcia Ostrom, Associate Professor, Washington State University
Mike Levenston stands over a half-harvested stalk of kale, eyeing the autumnal remnants slowly disintegrating into the soil. It’s a familiar scene for Levenston, an urban gardener who has been growing food and community in the garden he founded, dubbed City Farmer, for more than 40 years.
At the time, it was almost unheard of to grow food in cities, and gardens weren’t given much thought in city planning efforts. No longer: Urban gardens are thriving worldwide, especially this year as pandemic-bound city dwellers have sought sustenance in gardens, parks, and other green spaces.
“I’m there seven days a week. It’s the best place for my family to be in COVID times because it’s a garden with lots of space,” Levenston said. “We’re busier than ever because of the backyard garden craze. We sell city compost bins (and) people are picking them up every day, and (there) are a lot of new gardens (in the city).”
Canadians like their gardens, especially in 2020. A report released earlier this month by Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab found that roughly 51% of Canadians grow at least one variety of fruit or vegetable at home. Follow this link to read more.
More than six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s small businesses are in a prolonged struggle for survival. And like many aspects of the pandemic, this struggle is wrought with geographic disparities. The severity of the small business crisis varies by state, city, town, and even neighborhood, with businesses in areas dependent on leisure and hospitality at an especially heightened risk. Rural communities have been hit particularly hard, as many had staked their economic revival on fostering locally owned small businesses and recreation-based downtowns. The threat to rural America is compounded by relief structures that have largely lagged to reach small businesses in the hardest-hit places. Given this uneven geography of recovery, the National Main Street Center (NMSC) and Brookings’s Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking wanted to take a more granular look at how place impacts small business survival. Follow this link to read more.
As Extension seeks to respond to the challenges of the 21st century, staff from University of Minnesota Extension’s health and nutrition program area are embracing racial equity as a core focus of their systems change work. They believe that racial equity is an integral part of work across Extension services and that we must improve our capacity to serve Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) community members. Consider, for example, how health and nutrition are connected to disparities in food access, agriculture is connected to disparities in land access, and access to youth programming is connected to disparities in graduation rates in BIPOC communities as compared to predominantly White communities (Hassel, 2004; Horst & Marion, 2018; Raja et al., 2008; Ratkos & Knollenberg, 2015). In Minnesota, this is especially significant, given the state’s ranking as one of the worst in the nation in terms of racial inequality (McCann, 2020). Follow this link to read more.
World Cities Day 2020 is the seventh global celebration since the day was launched on October 31, 2014 in Shanghai, China. Under overarching theme of Better City, Better Life, the aim of the day is to focus the international community’s attention on urbanization as a central issue for development and to encourage cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing urban challenges toward sustainable development.
Each year a different sub-theme is selected, to either promote successes of urbanization, or address specific challenges resulting from urbanization. The sub-theme for this year is Valuing our communities and cities, and the Global Observance will be hosted in Nakuru, Kenya.
World Cities Day seeks to promote global interest in urbanization and engender international cooperation to address the challenges of urbanization, thereby contributing to sustainable urban development. Follow this link to learn more.
Join the Smart Growth Network at 2:30 p.m. Friday, October 23, as Calvin Gladney, President and CEO of Smart Growth America and a national thought leader on equitable and sustainable community revitalization, and Andre Perry of the Brookings Institution and author of Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities meet in a virtual forum to discuss smart growth’s past, present, and future. Gladney and Perry will examine the current state of built environments and the policies that have historically affected the lives of people of color and look to the future to explore the potential for positive change. Follow this link to learn more.
This month marks the second annual Urban October at the University of Chicago, a monthlong initiative that highlights policy leaders, public officials, and leading researchers from Chicago and around the world who are confronting the most profound challenges facing global cities.
Such urban challenges have only increased in 2020. The basic infrastructure of global cities—including public transportation, densely populated office and residential districts, and overburdened public health systems—have made them especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wildfires in California have worsened air quality for millions of residents on the West Coast. A summer of public reckoning on racial justice and policing in major American cities has resulted in mass demonstrations in the streets. Meanwhile, climate change is expected to prompt population shifts in the United States and abroad, widening the gulf between the rich and the poor and accelerating urbanization. Follow this link to read more.