Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice

Charge and Work

Because we believe that #LibrariesTransform, we also commit to honest reflection and structural change. We acknowledge that libraries have been—and still are—complicit in systems that oppress, exclude, and harm Black people, indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC). The library profession remains overwhelmingly white, despite decades of emphasis on diversity and inclusion. We see incredible examples of self-determination and resilience by BIPOC librarians and educators, yet the profession has largely failed to improve conditions and ensure pathways for advancement among library workers of color. We commit to dismantling white supremacy in libraries and librarianship. We recognize the urgency of this collective work, and commit to hold ourselves, our colleagues, and our institutions accountable when we fall short.

Deliverables and outcomes:

The PLA Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice commit to do the following:

  • Convene meaningful conversations about EDISJ in public libraries. In the next few months, we will be hosting a series of Twitter chats.
  • Identify the action step(s) above that we are collectively best positioned to address during our next year of work and develop concrete recommendations for PLA to advance racial equity and organizational change in libraries;
  • Evaluate the structure of the Committee with the aim of creating a more diverse and representative entity with the capacity to move this transformative work forward; and
  • Embrace discomfort as we navigate challenging and emotional subjects. To uproot racism and white supremacy within ourselves and our institutions will require immense courage, compassion, and the honest desire for accountability.

Expected time commitment:

  • Attend ALA Midwinter Meeting and ALA Annual Conference (4 hours/year plus travel time)
  • Attend monthly virtual meetings (10–12 hours/year)
  • Participate on project subcommittees such as communications, training, etc. as assigned (variable)
  • Review and respond to emails and ALA Connect messages (2–3 hours/year)
  • Provide subject matter expertise on priority projects (12 hours/year)
  • (Optional) Represent PLA and the Committee at relevant national meetings such as the Joint Conference on Librarians of Color (variable)

Desired skills, knowledge, or experience:

  • Personal interest in and strong commitment to social justice and providing equitable library services for all
  • Experience as a leader or active participant in addressing EDISJ issues at your public library of employment
  • Strong speaking and/or writing skills to help the Committee advance its projects

Roster

Ms. Christina Fuller-Gregory (Co-Chair, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Lois Langer Thompson (Co-Chair, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Ms. Lana Adlawan (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Brett Bonfield (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Ms. Jessica Anne Bratt (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Mr. Peter D. Coyl (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Katie Dover-Taylor (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Toby Greenwalt (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Andrew F. Harbison (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Joy Kim (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Sarah Lawton (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Cynthia Ledbetter (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Amita Kaur Lonial (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Angela Mathieu (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Ms. Amy Beth Reyes (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Ms. Julie Ann Robinson (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Amy Lynn Sonnie (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Mr. Roosevelt Weeks (Member, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Scott Gregory Allen (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)
Leighann Wood (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021)

Displaying active committee roster as of 01/26/2021. Last retrieved on 01/26/2021. Members can log in to view full contact information for committee members.

Composition

The task force is comprised of up to twenty (20) members, led by two (2) co-chairs.

Origin

Created by the Board of Directors as its Midwinter 2017 meeting.

Get Involved

To be a thriving, vibrant organization, PLA must have committed and active committee members. If you are interested in serving on a committee, please read and fill out the online volunteer form.

  • Volunteers are accepted on an ongoing basis.
  • Appointments are made by the PLA President and President-Elect, primarily in the spring.
  • Volunteers must be members of ALA and PLA.

Join the PLA Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice Interest Group on ALA Connect to stay up-to-date on these topics and connect with peers on similar issues. PLA personal membership is required to join.

Staff Liaison

Scott Allen
Deputy Director
312-280-5858
sallen@ala.org