Defining Our Issues & Outcomes: Meeting #1

In our discussion about the blog, the DA SIG decided that authors of the blog entry after each session will:

  • share summaries of our process and discussions, and
  • include a list of action items from the meeting and the people responsible for those action items.

This blog entry begins the tradition! During the session we took notes on flip charts so that we could build on our concepts throughout the meeting. Here we’ll share our process – so that we can reflect on and consciously shape future sessions – and our findings together.

Setting the tone: we are working together to build each of our capacity for leadership in diversity. We started out with a collective discussion of what we hoped to get out of the group, and in the process we discovered that we each have specialized skill sets and experience with diversity training that will be a help to the group and our vision.

We want to:

  • Generate action within our organization including: policy recommendations, statement to administration, organizational development processes
  • Participate in an ongoing professional discussion: nationally, energy is building around discussions and work for racial justice
  • Recruit and hire diverse students, staff, and administrators
  • Support user service: visibly reflecting the communities we serve, conducting mindful outreach, improving access, acknowledging segregation and lack of diversity in central Austin
  • Become leaders:
    • Campaign for change
    • Influence faculty, students, and administrators
  • Learn together with a focus on issues including: racial justice, multiculturalism, gender diversity, underrepresented communities, equal opportunity employment, socioeconomic class
  • Connect with university resources including LGBTQI and dis/ability ally training, the Ombudsperson
  • Build coalition: with student organizations
  • Share our experiences with: diversity training, ethnic employee organizations, research, hiring, personal/systemic exclusion and inclusion

Action Item: Create a google doc or other shared space to document any diversity training skills we bring to the group.
Responsible: Kristen
Date by:
Two weeks before next meeting

Norms of the Group:
As we begin a difficult and exciting journey together, all of us want to continue to want to attend the meetings. We talked about what would make us feel heard, make our time feel valued.

We expect to:

  • Begin and end our meetings on time
  • See each other arrive on time
  • Listen to each other without interrupting
  • Understand/be challenged to understand different listening styles
  • Turn off our cell phones or leave them at our desks
  • Speak from our own experiences rather than from others’
  • See and build connections from one session to the next
  • Make measurable progress together

Action Item: Review and uphold the norms of the group; suggest others or changes as necessary.
Responsible: Everyone
Date by:

Issues & Outcomes:
At this first meeting we set out to define the vision for the group this year. Together, we brainstormed issues we want to address and outcomes we want to see. (There was much overlap between the two.) We discussed these and then used post-it notes to vote in THAT-Camp fashion for the three issues and two outcomes we’ll take on over the next year.

This year we are focusing on these ISSUES:

  1. Diversity in the hiring and recruitment process
  2. Staff development around diversity issues
  3. Engagement with diverse students

This year we seek to produce these OUTCOMES:

  1. Draft (and revise) a working definition of diversity for the Libraries
  2. Generate a diversity speakers series and diversity-focused events (focus alternately on staff, faculty, students)Additional issues and outcomes we raised will inform our process and may become part of the future work of the SIG:

Additional issues:

  • Reflecting on our own identities
  • Diversity as a factor in team building
  • Diversity and expectations in organizational culture
  • Disparity between people’s self-perceived communication skills and inappropriate behaviors

Additional outcomes:

  • Diversity training
  • Best practices in diversity
  • Make diversity approachable/desirable for all staff

We discussed next steps towards focusing on the three identified issues and achieving the two identified outcomes:

  • We decided we would build a structure for staggered co-facilitation of each meeting; that is, one co-facilitator from this meeting will co-facilitate the next meeting with a new co-facilitator who will co-facilitate the following meeting with a new co-facilitator, and so on.
  • We decided we would share out the summary of the meeting along with a draft agenda for the next meeting and recruit co-facilitators.
  • We talked through our schedules and identified a few dates to put into a Doodle Poll to schedule our April meeting.

Action Item 1: Create Doodle Poll & schedule next meeting.
Jee & Kristen & all
Date by:
One week after the meeting

Action Item 2: Share out the blog entry/summary of the meeting.
Jee & Kristen
Date by:
Two weeks after the meeting

Action Item 3: Share out draft agenda for the next meeting.
Jee & Kristen
Date by:
Two weeks after the meeting

Action Item 4: Recruit a co-facilitator for the next meeting.
Jee & Kristen & all
Date by:
Two weeks before the next meeting

It Made Me Think:
We started a tradition of closing the meeting by reflecting on our work together. We each shared one word or phrase that made us think followed by the phrase “it made me think.” We started out:
“Reflecting on our own identity, it made me think.”
“Racial justice, it made me think.”
“Student experience, it made me think.”

March 24 Meeting Agenda

2:00-2:20: 1. Introductions:
Think about: What brings you to this group? What do you hope to get out of being in the group?

2:20-2:30: 2. SIG Name:
Think about: What names do you want the group to consider?

2:30-2:40: 3. Norms of the Group:
Think about: What behavior makes us feel listened to/our time valued.

2:40-2:55: 4. SIG as Leadership Development:
Think about: How can we participate as leaders together in our SIG?

2:55-3:25: 5: SIG Issues & Outcomes:
Think about: What issues do you want to discuss this year? What outcomes would you like to see?

Please bring your calendars to schedule the next meeting.