Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Home About Impact Areas Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Issue Overview

Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging must be more than words to be effective in addressing the widening opportunity gap affecting young people. Lack of access to positive relationships and the sense of belonging young people need to thrive through challenge is negatively affecting them in various ways, including a teen mental health crisis that encompasses loneliness, depression and anxiety. For more than 100 years, 4-H has given youth voice to express who they are and how they make their lives and communities better. Today, 4-H strives to reflect America and celebrate the diverse population from all beliefs and backgrounds. 


How 4-H is Making an Impact

Research shows that two key elements help young people thrive in life: a sense of belonging, and a caring adult beyond a parent or guardian. Through positive youth development (PYD), 4-H educators throughout the Cooperative Extension System provide hands-on learning experiences that cultivate inclusion, diversity and belonging. From youth-led summits that promote best practices about inclusion to trainings providing guidance for 4-H professionals and volunteers, 4-H is creating safe and inclusive environments where all youth have the opportunity to develop skills in partnership with caring adults. 4-H’s camp programs give nearly half a million youth the opportunity to participate research-backed, positive youth development.

National 4-H Council Programs and Experiences

On the ground locally

True Leaders in Equity Institute 

This training and leadership opportunity challenges participants to work together to ideate and champion equity-related projects that will grow 4-H in their communities. True Leaders in Equity Institute produces a well-trained cadre of youth who function as ambassadors within a growing network of change agents in the 4-H system.To continue to grow the critical work being done in local communities every day, 4-H is also working to build a True Leaders in Equity Hub to maximize reach and develop an opportunity for all youth to participate in DEI activities. 4-H will train a DEI Ambassador Corps of teen leaders from all over the country with the goal of reaching 1,000 communities by 2025.


This is 4-H

National 4-H Council is highlighting our DEI focused-content and moments that are uniquely 4-H. "This Is 4-H" celebrates the 4-H community by showcasing the values of the organization, with an emphasis on the diversity of our community.

  • Black History Month 2023

    When Morgan and Mariah Piper fell in love with riding at City Ranch, their father Murray didn’t know the first thing about horses. All he knew was that his girls had found their spark so, he kept bringing them back. 6 years later, the Piper Sisters are putting their 4-H skills to work. They’re caring for their family's first horse named Dunkin, volunteering to teach other kids how to ride, and even representing Baltimore by riding in parades. This Black History Month, we want to celebrate The Piper Family, by recognizing Morgan and Mariah, and the future they represent.

To find out how you can make an impact with 4-H, please fill out this form or contact Heather Elliott, Chief Development Officer, at 301-792-1023 or helliott@4-H.org.