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ALA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Implementation Working Group (EDI-IWG) Committee

In: Diversity, Equity of Access

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Discussion Update and Definitions

by Martin Garnar on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 11:03 pm

Dear colleagues,

ALA’s Task Force for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, co-chaired by Martin Garnar and Trevor A. Dawes, has begun its work to ensure committed and sustained attention to equity, inclusion, and diversity issues within ALA, in the profession, and in our communities.  The Task Force was formed earlier in 2014 when members of the Black Caucus (BCALA) raised serious concerns about the scheduling of ALA’s 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, a state where the implementation of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law has been critically flawed.

Dear colleagues,

ALA’s Task Force for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, co-chaired by Martin Garnar and Trevor A. Dawes, has begun its work to ensure committed and sustained attention to equity, inclusion, and diversity issues within ALA, in the profession, and in our communities.  The Task Force was formed earlier in 2014 when members of the Black Caucus (BCALA) raised serious concerns about the scheduling of ALA’s 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, a state where the implementation of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law has been critically flawed.

After some discussion with several concerned members, the ALA and the affiliated Ethnic Caucuses issued a joint statement, available at http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blog/joint-statement-presidents-ethnic-caucuses-ala-aila-apala-bcala-cala-reforma-and-american.   In the joint statement, we shared our concern about the reasons there was a call to change the conference location; affirmed our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion; and recognized that moving the conference at that point was not possible.

Task Force members have heard that there is still some concern being expressed about the fact that the American Library Association will hold its 2016 annual conference in Orlando, FL.  We believe that moving forward with the conference in Orlando presents us with opportunities to engage with the communities in Florida in ways clearly not possible if we are not there.   The Task Force will be developing plans for the association not only to address actions at the 2016 conference, but also to plan more generally for how we can be a more inclusive association and profession.

The Task Force members will be reaching out to ALA members and non-members in the coming months to gather information and feedback and we all hope you will share your thoughts.  The first piece where we would appreciate your feedback is to the definitions of equity, diversity, and inclusion that will frame our work.  The definitions are below.  You are, of course, welcome to contact the task force members (http://www.ala.org/groups/node/4471) at any time if you have questions or concerns.

Preface to the definitions:

In framing the definitions of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for our work as a task force, wanting to change the world by and beyond the Annual 2016 Conference, and realizing we *may* fall short of that  goal, we offer the following definitions  for consideration. We have decided to maintain a fairly global perspective in these definitions, i.e. not to attempt an exhaustive list of descriptors or qualities of disenfranchised groups comprising ALA membership and by extension our various stakeholders and patron populations. We are striving for social justice for *All* - and with these definitions desire to achieve a larger rather than smaller common and inclusive denominator.

Equity

Equity is not the same as formal equality. Formal equality implies sameness. Equity, on the other hand, assumes difference and takes difference into account to ensure a fair process and, ultimately, a fair (or equitable) outcome. Equity recognizes that some groups were (and are) disadvantaged in accessing educational and employment opportunities and are, therefore, underrepresented or marginalized in many organizations and institutions. The effects of that exclusion often linger systemically within organizational policies, practices and procedures. Equity, therefore, means increasing diversity by ameliorating conditions of disadvantaged groups. . 

(Adapted from University of British Columbia: http://diversity.ubc.ca/valuing-difference/equity-and-diversity-%E2%80%93-definitions-and-philosophy/)

The Task Force believes that everyone deserves equitable rights and opportunities.  Our goal is to create a just and equitable Association, profession, and society where everyone has access to social power, resources, and physical and psychological safety.

(Adapted from ALA Office for Diversity “Strategic Planning for Diversity”: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/diversity/workplace/diversityplanning , and National Association of Social Workers: http://www.socialworkers.org/practice/standards/cultural_competence.asp)

Diversity

Diversity can be defined as the sum of the ways that people are both alike and different.  Visible diversity is generally those things we cannot change and are external.  However, diversity goes beyond this to what we call ‘invisible’ diversity.  Invisible diversity includes those attributes that are not readily seen. So, when we recognize, value, and embrace diversity, we are recognizing, valuing, and embracing the uniqueness of each individual. 

The Task Force has chosen to define “diversity” in all its complexity in order to recognize and honor the uniqueness of each ALA member, all members of our profession, and our very diverse communities.  The Task Force also agrees with the National Education Association that, “While diversity itself is not a value-laden term, the way that people react to diversity is driven by values, attitudes, beliefs, and so on.  Full acceptance of diversity is a major principle of social justice.” 

(Adapted from National Education Association): http://www.nea.org/tools/diversity-toolkit-introduction.html

Inclusion

Inclusion means an environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; are valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; have equal access to resources and opportunities; and can contribute fully to the organization’s success. 

(Adapted from Society for Human Resources Management http://www.shrm.org/diversity  and Hewlett Packard: http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/about-hp/diversity/meaning.html)

The Task Force believes that, to be inclusive, our association, profession, and society must recognize the inherent worth and dignity of every member of the community; involve and empower all members to participate and contribute; promote and sustain a sense of belonging; and value and practice respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of all members.

(Adapted from Ferris State University: http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/administration/president/DiversityOffice/Definitions.htm)

 

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Discussion Symposium on the Future of Libraries discussion

by Martin Garnar on Sun, Jan 22, 2017 at 02:32 pm

For those who couldn't attend the EDI-IWG Symposium on the Future of Libraries session at Midwinter, or for those who weren't able to share their ideas in these sessions, please use the comments to provide additional input on the following questions:

For those who couldn't attend the EDI-IWG Symposium on the Future of Libraries session at Midwinter, or for those who weren't able to share their ideas in these sessions, please use the comments to provide additional input on the following questions:

• How do we want to make the case that EDI issues are relevant to libraries?
• How do we embrace or promote EDI when our own incoming presidential administration seems to be openly against it?
• Is the profession moving towards a post-neutral stance?
• Do you think libraries are safe havens? What does that mean going forward for libraries?

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Discussion Official Statement from the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Implementation Working Group - November 28, 2016

by Melissa Cardenas-Dow on Mon, Nov 28, 2016 at 05:16 pm

The ALA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Implementation Working Group (EDI-IWG) expresses disappointment and dismay towards the ALA Washington Office press releases, “ALA offers expertise, resources to incoming administration and Congress” and “Libraries bolster opportunity — new briefs show how libraries support policy priorities of new Administration.” These statements imply uncritical cooperation with an administration that is already acting against ALA’s core values.

The ALA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Implementation Working Group (EDI-IWG) expresses disappointment and dismay towards the ALA Washington Office press releases, “ALA offers expertise, resources to incoming administration and Congress” and “Libraries bolster opportunity — new briefs show how libraries support policy priorities of new Administration.” These statements imply uncritical cooperation with an administration that is already acting against ALA’s core values.

This body, first as a Task Force and now as an Implementation Working Group, has toiled for the past two years on infusing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) into our profession and association. The press statements from two weeks ago, released just as we begin implementing the Task Force’s recommendations, contradict our work that is vital to the future of our organization. We object to the ALA’s encouragement of the policies of an administration that has demonstrated disrespect for our values and our profession. Our utmost priorities during this current time of rampant misinformation and propaganda should be honoring diversity and ensuring the ethical use and critical evaluation of information.

While we appreciate President Todaro’s remarks on the morning of November 21, 2016 regarding the egregious error in releasing a “draft” statement and subsequent withdrawal of the more explicitly supportive releases, we call for accountability from the ALA Washington Office for creating the original statements. We need reassurance that the authoring body is as invested in upholding our professional core values as we are. We do not want to be an association of empty lip service; we want to be an association of action, one that stands up for the rights of its members, its service communities, and its patrons. We call on ALA to dedicate material, time, and labor resources to make EDI a top priority for our organization, without pandering to those who would undermine our work. It is our duty and obligation to provide our members and patrons with the information they need to make sound, rational decisions within the association and the larger society.  

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Discussion Accessible version of the final TF-EDI report

by Martin Garnar on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 09:24 am

Attached is a fully accessible version of the final report of the Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Discussion ALA Volunteer info

by Trevor Dawes on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 06:31 am

information about volunteer pick up locations.  Please share broadly.

Discussion Q&A from the Virtual Membership Meeting

by Martin Garnar on Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 02:21 pm

Didn't have a chance to ask a question during the Virtual Membership Meeting?  Post it here and we will respond as soon as we can.

Discussion ALA Task Force Seeks Your Input on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (Survey 3)

by Trevor Dawes on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 03:20 pm

The ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion was created in the spring of 2014 by then ALA President, Barbara Stripling.  The Task Force is currently in the information-gathering phase.  To aid with information gathering, it has launched a series of short surveys to be conducted at times to coincide with the ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences through 2016.  These surveys are designed to help understand the culture of the association, the profession, and our communities with respect to equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

The ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion was created in the spring of 2014 by then ALA President, Barbara Stripling.  The Task Force is currently in the information-gathering phase.  To aid with information gathering, it has launched a series of short surveys to be conducted at times to coincide with the ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences through 2016.  These surveys are designed to help understand the culture of the association, the profession, and our communities with respect to equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

We recognize that incidents of racial bias and injustice continue to occur across the country on a regular basis.  This third survey, however, focuses on the economic implications of participating in ALA functions. 

The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TEDI3. Responses will be collected through March 18, 2016. ALA members and non-members are encouraged to participate.

Please take a few minutes to answer the survey, which should take no more than 7 minutes to complete. “Embracing and celebrating diversity, and creating a more inclusive profession have been long-standing goals of the American Library Association.  With your help, we hope to ensure these values are upheld,” said Task Force co-chairs Trevor A. Dawes and Martin L. Garnar.

The ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’s charge is to develop a plan and strategic actions to build more equity, diversity, and inclusion among our members, the field of librarianship, and our communities.  The most important Task Force outcome is the public and honest conversation generated by its plan and recommended actions.  The final Task Force report will include recommendations for ensuring that a continuing focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion is embedded throughout the ALA organization.

Questions about the survey can be sent to the Task Force at diversity@ala.org

Should technical issues arise, please contact the ALA Office for Research and Statistics at ors@ala.org or call 1 (800) 545-2433. ext. 4273.

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Discussion Conversation at NCAAL

by Trevor Dawes on Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 03:32 pm

Colleagues, 

 
Willie Miller from IUPUI is an attendee here at the NCAAL and is blogging for American Libraries.  Read his blog post about the conversation: http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/a-conversation-on-equity-diversity-and-inclusion-in-the-ala/
 
Mark and I have notes that we will upload to our ALA Connect space shortly. 
 
Trevor 

Colleagues, 

 
Willie Miller from IUPUI is an attendee here at the NCAAL and is blogging for American Libraries.  Read his blog post about the conversation: http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/a-conversation-on-equity-diversity-and-inclusion-in-the-ala/
 
Mark and I have notes that we will upload to our ALA Connect space shortly. 
 
Trevor 


--

Trevor A. Dawes
Associate University Librarian
Washington University in St. Louis
314.935.4300 - office
tadawes - social media 
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9923-4648

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Discussion 2nd survey from the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion now open!

by Martin Garnar on Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 09:42 am

The ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion was created in the spring of 2014 by then ALA President Barbara Stripling.

The ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion was created in the spring of 2014 by then ALA President Barbara Stripling.
Before moving forward with programs, actions, or recommendations, the members of the Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion believe it is important to understand the culture of the association, the profession, and our communities with respect to equity, diversity and inclusion. These short surveys are an opportunity to include input and ideas from the professional community while complementing the rich data collection efforts of the larger association.

The Task Force recognizes that incidents of racial bias and injustice continue to occur across the country on a regular basis. This survey, however, focuses on planned attendance in Orlando (the location that prompted the creation of the Task Force), but that will have implications for future ALA conference locations. This survey is brief and intended to gather information based on your thoughts regarding conference locations as well as to follow up on responses from the first survey.

The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/tfedi2. Responses will be collected through Aug. 15, 2015. ALA members and nonmembers are encouraged to participate.

Please take a few minutes to answer the survey, which should take no more than seven minutes to complete.

“Embracing and celebrating diversity and creating a more inclusive profession have been long-standing goals of the American Library Association. With your help, we hope to ensure these values are upheld,” said Task Force co-Chairs Trevor A. Dawes and Martin L. Garnar.

The ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’s charge is to develop a plan and strategic actions to build more equity, diversity and inclusion among our members, the field of librarianship and our communities. The most important Task Force outcome is the public and honest conversation that generated by its plan and recommended actions. The final Task Force report will include recommendations for ensuring that a continuing focus on equity, diversity and inclusion is embedded throughout the ALA organization.

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Discussion Agenda for Annual 2015 Business Meeting

by Martin Garnar on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 07:39 pm

ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

8 to 10 a.m.

Marriott Marquis San Francisco Pacific Suite B

 

ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

8 to 10 a.m.

Marriott Marquis San Francisco Pacific Suite B

 

  1. Introductions – 5 minutes
  2. Review of Agenda – 5 minutes
  3. Resolutions update – 10 minutes
  4. Survey update – 10 minutes
  5. Final program preparations – any questions? – 10 minutes
  6. Planning for Boston, Orlando, and beyond – 20 minutes
    1. Recommendations from REFORMA
    2. Panel on libraries with diversity plans and committees
    3. Desired speakers
    4. Other ideas?
  7. Future projects – 15 minutes
    1. Possible book chapter
    2. NCAAL listening session
  8. Agenda planning for future calls – 20  minutes
    1. Finding a new call time
    2. OfD/OLOS merger
    3. Changing ALA culture
    4. Moving from gathering input to taking action
    5. Other?
  9. Old Business – 5 minutes
  10. New Business – 10 minutes
  11. Adjournment
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