Since 2017, Marion County has redefined what it means to be a Family and Consumer Sciences Educator. Traditionally focused on building healthy people, residents have called on Family and Consumer Sciences in Marion County to respond to the conditions that underpin health inequity: racism, ableism, sexism and other forms of injustice that presently and historically exist in the community. For Whitney Gherman, the most significant part of her job is to redistribute material and financial resources from the university to support community-led initiatives and programs.
For example, most recently she mobilized activists, community residents, artists and community-accountable scholars to participate in collaborative and emergent dreaming, writing and drafting of a new program, Marion Dreamkeepers. The program and research study elevated youth of color as leaders for racial justice and exemplified community responsive, collaborative, creative work in Extension. Whitney offered a critical and reflexive understanding of theory and young people led the way of implementation, providing insight to their lived realities and perceptions as well as new ways of facilitating Extension programs. <Read more...>