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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002305/00001
 Material Information
Title: Reaching Diverse Audiences
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Guion, Lisa A.
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2005
 Notes
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Original publication date September 2005."
General Note: "FCS9218"
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00002305:00001


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FCS9218 Reaching Diverse Audiences1 Lisa A. Guion2 1. This document is FCS9218, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date September 2005. Visit the EDIS Web Site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu 2. Lisa A. Guion, Ed.D., associate professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Larry Arrington, Dean This paper is the second in a series of articles on planning programs to effectively outreach to diverse audiences. This series will include specialized papers on enhancing cultural competence, recruiting diverse volunteers, planning culturally appropriate marketing strategies, and other topics that are integral to the design and implementation of culturally relevant Extension education programs. Overview Florida's demographics are undergoing major changes and the need exists for programming efforts that reach all audiences across the state. It is becoming increasingly more important for Extension to reach diverse audiences with its programs and services. There are four main reasons for Extension to intensify its outreach to diverse audiences. They include: 1. As a publicly funded organization, Extension's mission is to serve all Florida citizens; 2. Having diverse participants enriches the Extension class setting (new ideas, thoughts, etc.); 3. Changing demographics may eventually mean change in political power structures, perhaps beginning at the local levels. Thus, it is important for Extension to have political advocates; and, 4. Diverse ethnic groups are experiencing increased financial viability, which has implications for financial support of Extension. Barriers to Reaching Diverse Audiences One of the main barriers to reaching diverse audiences is fear of the unknown and fear of differences. It can be difficult to initiate contact and begin to build relationships with individuals that you have not worked with in the past or know very little about. Also, it can be intimidating to meet individuals from a culture that seems drastically different from your own. Thoughts about the unknown are based on perceptions. Perceptions are influenced by experiences, beliefs, values, and environment. "Preconceptions and stereotypes function as negative lenses through which people perceive others who look, think or behave differently" (Hogan-Garcia,

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Reaching Diverse Audiences 2 2003, p. 52). Preconceptions and stereotypes can be a major barrier to working with diverse audiences. Understanding and communicating with a diverse group is a behavior that is a learned skill or habit. Habit is defined as a point where desire, knowledge and skill meet. Thus, desire, knowledge and skill are essential to the removal of the bias that can cloud judgment. You have shown a basic desire to reach diverse audiences in meaningful ways by reading this fact sheet. The next step is to increase knowledge and skillsa way to gain cultural competence. There are three broad, overarching strategies for beginning to reach out to diverse audiences. They are: 1. Be an active learner. While training is important, just attending a seminar or reading a lesson will not provided you with all the knowledge you need. Active learning involves lifestyle changes. It involves actively seeking opportunities to engage in dialog with diverse individuals. It involves getting involved in their community, etc. 2. Use critical thinking. Learn to avoid errors of perception, judgment, and premature reactions. A statement about a group of people based on negative observations of a few members is stereotyping and prejudice. Insist on accurate information. Validate that information is true for the specific individuals that you are working with or trying to work with. 3. Look at the humanity in everyone. Some goals are universal. It does not matter what socioeconomic class you are in or to what ethnic group you belong. Most people want health, safety, education, economic security, and the best for their children. These commonalities help us to recognize the humanity in everyone. Corey & Corey state it best when they assert: "It is necessary that you have a range of experiences upon which to draw to understand the human condition. Universal human themes link people in spite of their differences. What is crucial is your openness to learn from the lessons that life has presented to you, your respect for contrasting perspectives, your interest in understanding the diverse world views of the clients you will meet, of the challenging of your attitudes and views". (2003, p. 83) Conclusion It is easy to value commonalities in people. It is far more difficult to honor, appreciate, and respect differences. In embracing diversity, we must become aware of and celebrate the differences that are based on cultural values, norms, practices, and other factors. Learning comes from interacting with diverse audiences with whom you want to work. Through interaction you find commonalities to embrace. You also find uniqueness that must be respected and incorporated into program design and implementation in order to have the greatest chance of success in serving that audience. Subsequent fact sheets in this series further explore diversity as it relates to program planning issues including "Planning Programs to Break Down Cultural Barriers," "Culturally Diverse Advisory Boards and Volunteers," "Personal Marketing: A Strategy for Marketing Programs to Diverse Audiences," "Ethnic Marketing: A Strategy for Marketing Programs to Diverse Audiences," and "Relationship Marketing: A Strategy for Marketing Programs to Diverse Audiences." These and other publications in this series will provide more information on reaching diverse audiences. Also, an on-line, web-based staff development curriculum, Strengthening Programs To Reach Diverse Audiences, is available at http://fycs-diversity.ifas.ufl.edu/. n References Corey, M. S., & Corey, G. (2003). Becoming a helper. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. Guion, L. A. (1999). The diversity challenge: Programming in Extension in the new millennium. North Carolina Cooperative Extension, NC State University.

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Reaching Diverse Audiences 3 Guion, L. A., Goddard, H. W., Broadwater, G., Chattaraj, S., & Sullivan-Lytle, S. (2003). Strengthening programs to reach diverse audiences Hogan-Garcia, M. (2003). The four skills of cultural diversity competence. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. EDIS Fact Sheets in the Planning Culturally Relevant Programs Series 1. Guion, L.A. (2005). An Overview of Diversity [Online]. EDIS. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY752 2. Guion, L.A. (2005). Reaching Diverse Audiences [Online]. EDIS. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY753 3. Guion, L.A., & Brown, K. (2005). Culturally Competent Extension Educators [Online]. EDIS. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY754 4. Guion, L.A., & Harper Golden, J. (2005). Culturally Diverse Advisory Boards and Volunteers [Online]. EDIS.Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY755 5. Guion, L. A., & Walker, N. (2005). Planning Programs to Break Down Cultural Barriers [Online]. EDIS. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY756 6. Guion, L. A. (2005). Personal Marketing: A Strategy for Marketing Progrmas to Diverse Audiences [Online]. EDIS. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY757 7. Guion, L. A.,& Kent, H. (2005). Ethnic Marketing: A Strategy for Marketing Programs to Diverse Audiences [Online]. EDIS. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY758 8. Guion, L. A., & Kent, H. (2005). Relationship Marketing: A Strategy for Marketing Programs to Diverse Audiences [Online]. EDIS. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY759 9. Guion, L.A., & Harper Golden, J. (2005). Maximizing The Assets Of A Diverse Community [Online]. EDIS. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY760 10. Guion, L. A. (2005). Enhancing Instruction To Connect With Diverse Audiences [Online]. EDIS. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FY761