31 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 301 2020 Puente: In what way have these major challenges changed your perspectives about how we approach DEI work? Kumaran: I feel that there is more urgency from everyone, but my concern is that DEI work becomes a fad again. We should not undertake this work only due to the events happening around us. In terms of approaching DEI work, I was reflecting on the book Engaging the Six Cultures of the Academy by Bergquist and Pawlak. It provides a history of how different institutions in Canada (and the US) came about. One of the premises of the book is that managerial culture wants to ensure that resources are spent wisely, and that resources (human and monetary) are managed and controlled. I think DEI should be one of the core cultures of the academy, the first culture. And all other cultures should be viewed from the DEI culture perspective. Witt: We are experiencing a cognitive shift: from DEI to race equity work. These two experiences have exposed the weaknesses or fallacies of DEI work, especially at a predominantly white institution like Michigan. Framing the work as “DEI” can help us avoid doing the really hard work of race equity. More folks are understanding/realizing that true social justice is really uncomfortable. Much of the DEI work is “feel good” work. Social justice work churns up all kinds of emotions…it is not “feel good” work. We are finding that more folks in the library are capable of living in that discomfort, which is a positive thing. Our AULs have been more open to exploring and seeing the impact of systemic racism. Our organization, especially leadership, is starting to recognize how white supremacy plays out at work. We are also focusing this work in library publishing. Hodge: Instead of talking about microaggressions and biases, the conversations and actions have shifted to racism, especially eradicating anti-Black racism. The work has changed to having conversations about underlying structural inequities, institutional racism, etc. From an operational standpoint, how is this embedded
Previous Page Next Page