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.
  • Identify the action step(s) above that we are collectively best positioned to address 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

Mrs. Tamara M. King (Co-Chair, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Peggy P. Tseng (Co-Chair, July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024)
Ms. Lana Adlawan (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Ms. Jaena Rae Cabrera (Member, July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024)
Tatiana Calhamer (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Nick Demske (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Wendy Ruth Eisenberg (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Francesca Garibaldi (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Mrs. Lewonda Gipson (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Mrs. Vidhya Jagannathan (Member, July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024)
Mr. Kacper Jarecki (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Jessica Jones (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Ms. Kayla Jean Kuni (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Jamie Fujiko Kurumaji (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Ms. Catherine Sue Matthews (Member, July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024)
Jennifer A. Reading (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Ms. Julie Ann Robinson (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Laura A. Tadena (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Ashley Teagle (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Joan Emily Vigil Boyle (Member, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023)
Mary R. Hirsh (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024)
Eliana Kleiman (Staff Liaison, September 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024)

Displaying active committee roster as of 12/07/2022. Last retrieved on 12/07/2022. Members can log in and refresh the page to view full contact information for committee members.

Composition

The committee 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

Mary Hirsh
Deputy Director, Programs
312-280-5039
mhirsh@ala.org