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March 2021 Urban Extension News Bulletin

Posted by msanderson | March 18, 2021

Features: Nat’l Urban Extension Leaders Virtual Summit, Editors’ Introduction to the Leading Edge Dialogue Series, WCMER Mid Year Report, Call for Abstracts for National Extension Energy Summit

Dear Colleagues,

While the National Urban Extension Conference has been postponed until May 2022, with the hopes we can experience the power of bringing together our urban Extension community and continue to see the benefits from the friendships and project/initiatives, ideas and white papers that blossomed when WSU hosted the 2019 National Urban Extension Conference in downtown Seattle (and we loved every minute of it), there will be a national virtual urban gathering this year I want to invite you to. We’re disappointed to not be shaking hands, fist bumping or hugging (if you’re a hugger) and at a live event this year, but think that this virtual gathering will be the next best opportunity to come together as an urban Extension community. I hope you’ll join me in attending.

The other event I’d like to draw your attention to is an in-person (gasp!) National Extension Energy Summit, scheduled for this Fall at Penn State University. Abstracts are now being accepted.

Until next time, be well, wear your masks, and wash your hands.


Brad Gaolach Ph. D. | He/Him
Washington State University Extension
Director | Metropolitan Center for Applied Research & Extension
Director | Western Center for Metropolitan Extension & Research
Associate Professor | Community & Economic Development
Phone: (425) 405-1734 | WSU Direct: 21734 | Twitter: @WSUMetroCenter LinkedIn


2021 National Urban Extension (virtual) Summit May 19-20th


Wednesday, May 19th, 2021
Noon-2:30pm ET; 11:00am-1:30pm CT; 9-11:30am PT; 8-10:30am AKT

  • Welcome and NUEL and National Urban Extension Initiative Update
  • Update on national Extension system focus on urban
  • Recognition of regional Urban Extension award winners
  • Keynote speaker
  • Rollout of National Urban Priority Issue Project and Overview of May 20th Urban Priority Issues Leading Edge Diaologues
  • Invitation to 2022 National Urban Extension Conference
  • Closing comments

Thursday, May 20, 2021
Noon-2:30pm ET; 11:00am-1:30pm CT; 9-11:30am PT; 8-10:30am AKT

  • Urban Priority (UP) Issue Leading Edge Dialogues – register for the topic of most interest to you
    • Food Access & Security UP Issue Dialogue
    • Urban Sustainability UP Issue Dialogue
    • Social-Emotional-Mental Health Wellbeing UP Issue Dialogue
    • Urban Extension Workforce UP Dialogue (focus is on internal Extension workforce)

Banner for leading edge dialogue white paper series image collage

Editor’s Introduction to the National Urban Extension Conference’s Leading Edge Dialogue Series

For the 2019 National Urban Extension conference, hosted by Washington State University’s Metropolitan Center for Applied Research and Extension, we created a series of 90-minute interactive workshops to explore critical issues facing our cities and our universities. These workshops, called Leading Edge Dialogues (LED), each consisted of a multi-sector panel presentation followed by a facilitated group discussion with all attendees designed to encourage thoughtful deliberation, generate new ideas, and create actionable steps for addressing the challenges and opportunities surrounding each topic.

The Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research (WCMER) led an effort to capture the conversations and learning from each LED into a set of individual position papers, authored by one or more panelists from each session. Once we completed the papers, we recognized a number of themes that emerged in multiple LEDs: trustinclusion and unitypartnership and collaborationembracing a bottom-up modelbuilding bridges between urban and rural; and the need for new funding mechanisms. In the Editors’ Introduction, we detail the connectivity we discovered between and across the six papers.

We hope you take the time to read these LEDs individually, while also reflecting on the patterns and connections amongst them. The complete collection can be found on the WCMER website at


Western Center for Metropolitan Extension & Research – Mid Year Report

The Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research (WCMER) is a multi-university collaboration established by the Western Extension Directors Association to:

  • increase the internal capacity of Western Extension programs to address metropolitan issues, and
  • to elevate the stature and value of Cooperative Extension to external metropolitan audiences.

Since its founding in 2014 we have focused our efforts on applied research on best Extension practices and issues facing metropolitan areas, and professional development for Extension professionals, with a goal of better aligning programs and program delivery with the needs, issues and interest of their metropolitan constituency.

The linked 2021 report highlights WCMER’s four initiated applied research fellowships; a national effort to gather stakeholder input for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Urban, Indoor and other Emerging Agricultural Production Research, Education and Extension Initiative; new projects around urban wildfires/urban smoke, nature based solutions, and sustainable regional systems; and seven Leading Edge Dialogue papers as the proceedings at the 2019 National Urban Extension Conference.

Call for Abstracts – 2021 Nat’l Extension Energy Summit

Submit abstracts for the National Extension Energy Summit by Monday, May 3rd.

The Call for Abstracts for the 2021 National Extension Energy Summit has been issued! The Summit will again be held jointly with the National Sustainability Summit, this time October 4th to 6th at the Penn Stater Hotel on the campus of Penn State University.

Abstracts for oral presentations, posters, roundtable discussions, workshops, panels, demonstrations, and exhibits related to Extension energy should be submitted to the energy track.  Abstracts related to sustainability should be submitted to the sustainability track.

Abstracts should be submitted online using the abstract submission site through Monday May 3, 2021, for full consideration.

See the full Call for Abstracts for details. Visit the NEES+NSS webpage to learn more about the joint summits.

The 2021 joint conference is being hosted by Penn State Extension, with planning support coming from the National Extension Energy Initiative (NEEI), National Network for Sustainable Living Education (NNSLE), the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, and The National Extension Climate Initiative (NECI).

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