38 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 301 2020 Witt: We need to continue to recognize that our traditional DEI and accessibility (DEIA) work needs to become foundational—just the way we operate. This creates a space for us to pursue social justice more. We create more time and space for substantive conversations when DEIA is baked in. What we’re building is a culture dedicated to social justice. We talk alot about representation, but we need to get to a point where we have a critical mass of POC working in our profession. If people feel isolated or tokenized they will not trust the work. Also, born-accessible materials should be leveraged as we create and innovate. Reaching our accessibility and access goals is still too much of an afterthought. How are people going to gain access? Hodge: The desired future is almost the opposite of what is the current reality. It is being able to go to any library program and see faculty and administrators of color, to see a multitude of identities (Black, Afro-Caribbean, trans, immigrant,female, etc.) reflected in the curriculum. It is that the lives and experiences of BIPOC colleagues are valued, and experiences, knowledge, and research are reflected in K–12 and higher education. It is that the preservation and support of Black and Indigenous life are interwoven into the systems and structures. It is to be seen as an individual and not a representation of any identities. It is that a position like mine is obsolete due to the reality of inclusive, anti-racist, equtiable workplaces. How can we thrive together as a society, where universal design comes naturally? Where people are not judged for their skin color, or not preferencing those who are younger? Work environments where respectability politics, “culture of niceness,” conflict avoidance, passive- aggressiveness, or whiteness aren’t the standard or expected norm. Difference is celebrated. People can be who they are without choosing which parts of themselves they need to mask or make more palatable to fit into a society. Paraphrasing a speaker, it is hard to envision something that doesn’t exist. Let’s start envisioning and then get to work. Anti-racism, equity, and inclusion don’t happen suddenly they take time, resources, life-long learning, and dedication.
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