39 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 301 2020 Puente: What do you think will be the most effective strategies for keeping DEI issues at the forefront of our practice and profession, even in these challenging times? Kumaran: Talking about it. It doesn’t have to be a bad event that instigates these conversations. People need to be embedding conversation about DEI in teaching, learning, and research. There will always be someone fresh. Make ongoing DEI training mandatory for all employees. Develop and implement pre-tests/post-tests to gauge what people are getting out of it. Include DEI in promotion and tenure standards for accountability purposes. Witt: We need approaches that are more humanistic than scientific… what’s really made a difference here is that we’ve recently had a dean and associate dean who were willing to step out in front of the organization and say, “I’ve not done enough.” They opened themselves up to critical review. People are saying, “You’re not doing this right,” and we have to be open to the message. Deans, by stepping into that space have allowed some voices to be heard who have not been heard before. By being that vulnerable, that open to criticism, we build trust. People from marginalized groups have the agency to say how these things affect their experience in the organization. Hodge: We have to tie this work to lives and livelihoods. How do we connect this work to the people’s jobs and what they care about and think about why this needs to be done? We say we want a fair and just society, but are we willing to do the lifelong work to make that happen? We need to develop communities of practice to share strategies, data, information, and assessment tips. It’s having metrics and benchmarking and tying it into what people care about, the institutional mission, vision, and strategic plan. Furthermore, centering the work and connecting it to all decision-making— leadership and middle management involvement, time for processing and reflection, professional development support for continuing education, etc. There is a cost to this, and no one is winning.
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