Agenda for Meeting #4 (6/16/2014)

1:00-1:05: Welcome & Introductions:
Welcome to the panelists and everyone (including panelists) introduces themselves.

1:05-1:10: Check In:
Round robin: each member shares one thing they would like to thread through to this session by starting with the phrase: What was important to me from last meeting…
Action Item:
1. Please take a look at Krystal’s blog entry for the last session to jog our memories about last session.

1:10-2:10: Learn about campus climate & best practices:
We will hear from and talk with a roundtable of campus specialists on the campus climate for and best practices for racial/gender/sexuality justice:

    • Ixchel Rosal, Director of Student Diversity Initiatives, Director of the Gender & Sexuality Center (serving women and LGBTQ students), and Interim Director of the Multicultural Engagement Center – She will speak about campus climate for and best practices for serving LGBTQ students.
    • Two MEC Program Coordinators will speak about campus climate for and best practices for serving students of color and queer students.
      • Brandelyn Franks Flunder, Program Coordinator at the Multicultural Engagement Center, advises student organizations Afrikan American Affairs and Native American and Indigenous Council
      • Tony Vo, Program Coordinator at the Multicultural Engagement Center, advises student organizations Asian Desi Pacific Islander American Collective (APAC) and Queer People of Color and Allies (QPOCA)
    • Choquette Hamilton, Associate Director of Development for the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, she has recently done a study of admission rates for African American students and has a history of organizing on campus as a student herself – She would speak about her research in relationship to campus climate for and best practices for serving African Diasporic students
    • Ryan Miller, Associate Director of Campus Diversity and Strategic Initiatives at the DDCE – He will speak about the recent report from the Campus Climate Response Team (which Ixchel is also on) about the campus climate for historically marginalized students.

(One other campus specialist may join in as well; I will update the blog and let you know if we have news.)

Action Items:
2. Please review the websites that offer information about the campus units our visitors work with:
Gender & Sexuality Center
Multicultural Engagement Center
Division of Diversity & Community Engagement
Campus Climate Response Team
Campus Climate Trend Report 2012-13
Department of African and African Diaspora Studies

3. Please come ready to ask questions and discuss how this relates to our roles at the Libraries.

2:10-2:25: Define our small-group work on peer education/research:
As a group we will identify which and how many areas we will research in preparation for our next meeting. For example, we have discussed these possibilities thus far:

  • Best practices in diversity at other (university) libraries
  • Best practices in diversity in other professions (for example, social work)
  • Best practices in diversity on our campus/in our city

By email: We will sign up for/break into groups, identify a group liaison to keep the group on track, and outline plans for the research.
For next time, we will come prepared to share research and outline our research outcomes. For example, our research will help us to:

  • Suggest events and speakers for our group and for our connection with LSC Staff Enrichment Committee
  • Draft a working definition of diversity for the Libraries
  • Outline a proposal to the new VP/Director of the Libraries

Action Item:
4. Please come ready with your thoughts (even though they may change during the session!) about which three issues you would like to see our small groups research.

2:25-2:30: Check Out:
Early on, we said we wanted to see a building energy rather than separate meetings. In the spirit of this interconnection, we will close out with a round robin description of how we see connections between our previous and current sessions.

Action Item:
5. Please look at the DASIG Blog in advance of the meeting so that we are prepared to see the threads in our work together.

Meeting Recap – 5/12/14

For our third meeting, Cindy and Ben worked with Betty Jeane Taylor from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement who graciously agreed to facilitate a discussion of how how define diversity and what changes we would like to see.

Group members discussed diversity as including:

  • Race
  • Class
  • Gender identity
  • Sexuality
  • Disability
  • Students, staff, leadership
  • Organizationally – racial justice
  • Diversity of ideas/opinions

After taking some time to think individually about what we would change (relating to diversity)  in the Libraries and at UT at large if we could, we paired up to share our ideas . The rest of the meeting was spent discussing ideas with the whole group. Ideas that arose included:

  • Affirmative action in admissions – what a change in the “Top 10 Percent Rule” would mean for diversity, and how to address conflict that could arise from increased diversity
  • The lack of diversity in librarianship and, more specifically, at the iSchool. This means we have a less diverse group of GRAs.
  • The desire for more respect, understanding, and intolerance of discrimination in the workplace. Education, awareness, and training may help with this.
  • The complex gender issues within librarianship – a traditionally female profession within a traditionally male-dominated institution (higher ed).
  • The need to focus on diversity during the search process, from recruitment to interviews and hiring.
  • The need for the Libraries to project our professed values outwardly, and prioritize and advertise diversity both at the policy level and beyond policy. This includes a desire for authentic conversations about diversity within the organization.
  • The need to be aware of the impact of our rapidly growing city on students and staff, and think about how the challenges this may create could affect how patrons interact with us.

This meeting was full of lively discussion, and group members spoke of a sense of optimism at the end of the meeting. We did not have time to fully discuss next steps, but there was a sense in the room that action seemed more tangible and more attainable than it had in past meetings.

Betty Jeanne was kind enough to share her notes from our session, which are grouped by theme. I’ve included them here in case they provide further context.

1) What do we mean by diversity?

  • Race
  • Class
  • Gender identity
  • Sexuality
  • Disability
  • Students, staff, leadership
  • Organizationally – racial justice
  • Diversity of ideas/opinions

2) Students

  • Admissions policy
    • Affirmative Action
    • 10% Rule
    • Increase diversity – students
    • May be conflict when population is diverse (climate: faculty/staff)
  • Librarianship (I School)
    • Lack of diversity
    • Curriculum
    • Degree programs
    • Need to recruit and develop diverse students
    • GRA pool and nationwide
    • Counteracting stereotypes perpetuated in K-12 education
    • Racial justice in librarianship

3) UT Libraries

  • Search process, recruitment, hiring
  • Interviews
  • Network
  • Access
  • Need to prioritize diversity and share information about priorities
  • What does that look like?
    • Policy level (beyond policy)
    • Hiring
    • Authentic conversations internally
    • Organizational maturity (diversity of ideas)
    • Connect to more student groups

 

  • Education/Awareness
    • Staff should be educated about students, assumptions re: class
    • Develop sensitivity – understanding what diversity means (related to workplace)
      • Respect
      • Human understanding
      • Building human respect
      • Discrimination is not tolerated
    • Increased awareness about students/staff re: access/services
      • Consider Austin
      • Cost of living
      • History
      • Staff busses
      • At individual level
      • Mandatory educational course

 

Agenda for Meeting #3 (5/12/2014)

For our third meeting, we will have a guest facilitator,  Betty Jeanne Taylor. While the discussion will be guided by goals and ideas that DASIG co-chairs, Kristen and Jee, and meeting facilitators, Ben and Cindy, identified in collaboration with Betty Jean, it will be more free flowing than previous meetings, hence the reason for fewer exact discussion times.

1:00 pm – 1:05 pm: Introduce Betty Jeanne Taylor, Director of Diversity Education Initiatives (DEI) in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE).

1:05 pm – 2:30 pm: Discussion and dialogue with Betty Jean who will lead us through the following concepts and activities:

  • Define diversity: come ready to share what you think diversity is. We’ll talk about protected classes and bring in the ACRL Diversity Statement, etc.
  • Describe what needs to change at the UT Libraries and why: come ready to share what change is important to you. We’ll think about this in the context of ourselves, the Libraries and the University.
  • Discuss DASIG priorities and build our next steps, which may include a future workshop with Betty Jeanne Taylor , small group research initiatives, presentations, etc.