Dr. Betty Jeanne Taylor of DDCE led us in a workshop focused on reflecting on how our own social identities affect our work.

Dr. Taylor asked us to name various people categories, and grouped our answers in to personal and social columns, personal being characteristics that others would attribute to us and social being less visible characteristics. She then discussed a handout on Levels and Types of Oppression.

We all filled out the Intersections of Identities worksheet, and then paired up to discuss our answers. Dr. Taylor then directed us to draw a circle and write inside it all of our characteristics that are “in group,” as in, powerful or privileged. Outside the circle we wrote our “out group” characteristics, those for which we might experience oppression. We were invited to share our circles if we chose to.

The exercises were a useful know-yourself experience, but it was not clear how to use them to affect the culture of the UT Libraries.