PLA Midwinter Institute:
Advancing Racial Equity in Public Libraries: Normalizing, Organizing, and Operationalizing
Friday, January 25, 2019
8:30 AM–4:00 PM
Washington State Convention Center, The Conference Center–Chelan 2
Event Code: PLA1
Libraries strive to be portals to education, lifelong learning, wellness, civic engagement, and community gathering for all. They have not always delivered on this promise. America’s history of racialized public policy prevented full participation by communities of color. While laws preventing access by race have been eliminated, many library practices still perpetuate practices that negatively impact communities of color, amplify racial inequity—and don’t work well for the larger community.
Libraries allied in the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) are proactively interrupting implicit institutional bias in their practices and procedures by acknowledging race as the principal barrier to success in our society, using racial equity analysis, and structuring to achieve equitable outcomes for all. This workshop highlights foundational racial equity concepts and tools; participants will have an opportunity to learn and use them. A panel of practitioners will share their experiences using racial equity tools, setting up racial equity initiatives for success, barriers to anticipate, and how to sustain these efforts through challenging times.
The morning will be an introductory training that GARE provides to libraries and all other jurisdictional partners that focuses on the history of race and racism in America, understanding bias and brain function, and concepts of individual, institutional, and structural racism. It is an interactive session and, by the end of it, participants will have an opportunity to understand and identify situations of bias and racism in their institutions.
The afternoon session will continue with information about how to communicate about race, case studies from libraries, and an introduction to using a racial equity analysis tool. Examples of racial equity solutions from GARE libraries are presented in the context of using the racial equity analysis tool. Participants are asked to identify operational “choice points”—decisions they make daily, weekly, with regularity. Ideally, these are operational decisions that are within their immediate scope of responsibility; areas they have some input on to achieve racial equity. After identifying a choice point, participants are invited to start using the racial equity analysis in the session to become familiar with using it. Our objective is to have participants leave the session poised to implement a change in practice, procedure, or protocol upon return to their library.
Lunch is not provided for this full-day event; attendees will have the option to purchase lunch in the convention center or nearby. A morning coffee/tea break and afternoon coffee/tea/soft drink break are provided and included in the ticket price.
Sonja Ervin is the Multnomah County (OR) Library’s first equity and inclusion manager, leading efforts to ensure library services, programs, staffing, materials, and spaces are equitable, inclusive, and culturally responsive. Her work involves leading staff in thoughtful discussions about equity and inclusion and outlining actionable steps to improve the library’s efforts both internally and for the community. She is also a liaison with the We Speak Your Language program and an executive sponsor of the Black Cultural Library Advocate staff. Prior to joining the library, Sonja engaged in street and shelter outreach, working with community members experiencing houselessness, addictions, and mental illness. She brings this experience to the library with the goal of expanding the ways the library can fulfill its commitment to welcoming and serving those in the community experiencing the greatest barriers.
Gordon F. Goodwin is the Government Alliance on Race and Equity Midwest Regional project manager at Race Forward. He has significant experience working with senior leadership teams to achieve mission and program alignment. His specialties include organizational strategy development, program delivery and impact, and governance and leadership. Gordon has worked for 30 years with and for foundations, community development organizations, and public-private sector consortia in metropolitan and rural settings. He has worked extensively with organizations that have formed collaborative efforts to advance their advocacy and public policy objectives—specifically, designing and facilitating working group meetings, trainings, governance discussions, and organizational strategic alliances. Gordon has contributed to poverty reduction and racial equity public policy efforts with PolicyLink, Northwest Area Foundation, WK Kellogg Foundation, Foundation for the Mid South, CFED, and the Aspen Institute. Based in Saint Paul, MN, Gordon is married, a proud parent of two adult children, a caretaker for two small dogs, and repairs and rides motorcycles in his spare time.
(by 11:59 AM Central October 24, 2018)
(by 11:59 AM Central January 18, 2019)
|PLA Personal Member||$100||$130||$150|
|ALA Personal Member||$130||$150||$170|
(Retired, Student, Life, Trustee, Non-Salaried, and Support Staff)
You can register for this PLA Institute (event code: PLA1) with or without an ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits registration. Register now!