PLA adds fourth location to slate of regional EDISJ symposia

For Immediate Release
Tue, 10/08/2019


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)

CHICAGO – In response to demand from the public library field, the Public Library Association (PLA) is bringing its regional symposium on equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice (EDISJ) to a fourth location in 2019. Social Justice and Public Libraries: Equity Starts with Us will now be offered in Toledo, Ohio, Dec. 9-10, 2019. The earlier symposia in Denver, Colo. and Charleston, S.C., were extremely well-received, and the Chicago, Ill. session sold out two months in advance.

The symposium will be led by Mia Henry, a facilitator and educator who teaches self-reflection, relationship-building, and understanding social movement history. Henry has served as executive director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice at Kalamazoo College and founder and principal of Freedom Lifted, which provides Civil Rights tours of the U.S. Deep South and social justice trainings through a historical lens. Members of the PLA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice will also be presenting.

Symposium participants will:

  • Build a shared understanding of core EDISJ concepts, including identity and privilege, institutionalized racism and oppression, solidarity, and liberation;
  • Increase self-awareness, develop strategies to address their own biases, and learn how to share this knowledge within their libraries and communities;
  • Develop regional connections to help them begin and sustain transformative work in their libraries and communities; and
  • Utilize case studies and equity tools to create an action plan for strengthening EDISJ practices in their libraries and communities.

Here are the details for the Toledo, Ohio symposium:

Dates: Monday, Dec. 9 (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) and Tuesday, Dec. 10 (9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.), 2019
Location: Toledo Lucas County Public Library; Main Library; 325 N. Michigan St.; Toledo, OH 43604
Cost: $175 for PLA members; $250 for non-members (includes 12.5 hours of training, training materials, continental breakfast daily, Monday lunch and coffee breaks)
Registration Deadline: Friday, Nov. 22, 2019

    Registration will be limited to 100 per session and attendance on both days is required. For more information, including registration instructions and lodging options, please click here.

    PLA's free on-demand webinar, Understanding Power, Identity, and Oppression in the Public Library, is an excellent primer for symposium participants or anyone else interested in understanding how power, identity and oppression can impact public libraries’ staff, services, programs, collections and spaces. Participants are also encouraged to download and review the Government Alliance on Race and Equity report, Advancing Racial Equity in Public Libraries: Case Studies from the Field. These preparatory materials are recommended, but not required.

    Additional presentations of Social Justice and Public Libraries: Equity Starts with Us are being planned, but will not occur earlier than late spring or early summer of 2020.

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    About PLA
    The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or