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Diversity Committee

UT Libraries Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes February 19, 2009

Diversity Committee Meeting Notes 2/19/2009


1. Debrief for the Black Issues Conference

2. Culture Corner (Completed)

3. Let’s Talk About It

4. Updates (Jerry Roberson)

5. International Festival


I.Debrief for the black issues conference

a.TM: It was what I had hoped for, in that it created some unity and a different level of us getting to know one another on the diversity committee

i.Teresa Walker came and supported and brought drinks

ii.Shantrie and Damon attended

iii.Audience was small, but they asked a lot of questions

iv.Good experience overall

b.Jeanine feels the audience was receptive and asked a lot of questions

c.A lot of the questions were about ebooks and kindle (ebook reader) units

d.Quite a few people attended the conference overall

i.Diversity committee members that participated and/or attended and people from the library have been presented with plaques by Thura

e.We got invited to present at a conference on the 28th (I-LEAD conference)

i.This has hopefully lead to another partnership

II.Student Recognition, Wed, 3/25/09 @ 2pm, probably in the staff room

a.Students that have worked here for two years or more.

i.They get to pick a book to be plated in their honor

ii.We try to get pictures of the students so that people will know who they are

1.This has sometimes been displayed @ the Melrose entrance

b.Diversity committee will help decorate

i.We’ll raid the closet and see if we’ve decorations from past occasions

ii.Trisha will see what kind of decorations they have in the Studio

c.We got $ for cake and punch from Barbara

III.Culture Corner is done and in alphabetical order

a.Usually in order by subject, but done in alpha due to time constraints

IV.Let’s Talk About it program ideas (Jerry isn’t here to do updates)

a.He talked to the Native American Students about a panel discussion, and they were receptive

b.We might be involved with a Ready for the World initiative in Albuquerque, as Trisha will be helping to teach people how to make a documentary

c.Anazette ideas for let’s talk about it

i.No burning issues

ii.There’s a dialog on campus about dealing with bias:


2.Sexual Orientation

3.Hate Speech

a.Do we have someone come in and talk about bias protocols?

iii.We are moving into Women’s (issues?History? Rights?) month, so this may be a pertinent topic

1.We’ll need to find a resource/person to come in and educate us on the topic

2.We will keep this in our thoughts and get in touch will Jerry and see what he can do

a.What kind of support will we need to pull this off?



b.Bob Eldridge should be accessible to us

iv.Our Let’s Talk About It RE Melungeons (Wayne Winkle) was relatively easy to pull together

1.He was approachable, local, and did not charge

v.Appalachian film screening at the Tomato Head (Trisha Brady knows about this) – Appalachian Film Series Monday, March 2nd 7pm @ The Tomato Head Market Square,

1.Rural Appalachian poverty might be a good topic

vi.Campus Diversity and Intercultural meeting yesterday 2-18-09 touched on this as an issue

vii.The Heartland Series is in danger of being cancelled – there is a group forming to keep it going – Trisha Brady

1.Bill Landry could come.We have the entire series, and he would probably come in and speak.

2.There’s a Facebook group created for this, so we’d probably have an instant audience

3.Publicity would probably be easy

a.If we’re raising awareness, he’d probably come

4.We won’t necessarily take a stand, but we can provide a platform for Bill to educate people on the series

viii.We could use the Heartland Series as a let’s talk about it and use Jerry’s as the “other” LTAI

V.International Fair – Friday, 4/24/09

a.The Diversity Committee traditionally participates in this

i.We get a table and take turns staffing the table

ii.Took turns staffing, usually in pairs

iii.Only people on the committee can staff the table

1.Would we be willing to have the committee have a table for this year?

2.We can talk about this later, but it seems like most of us are interested in staffing the table.

a.Annazette can bring literature from disability services

b.Laurie can bring literature from her interests

c.We had a board and pins so people could come by and place a pin in their geographic region of origin

i.We should repeat this

3.The way Let’s Talk About It is going now, we’ve not gotten a flurry of people offering topics

iv.Annazette suggests letting people know that we exist as a committee

1.Are we on anyone’s radar?

a.Yes – a lot of the colleges use us as a model

2.How do regular people find out about us?

a.We’re a library committee – We’re linked under the UT page under diversity.

3.When we first made ourselves known 5 years ago, people helped us define diversity thru input.We get questions nationally even now.

a.We could probably shoot our upcoming events to interested parties if we email people that are affiliated with other diversity efforts (use the contacts from the people sharing the diversity page with us – we can use their contacts as our own).

b.Allison could search for contacts

c.This could be shown as outreach on our annual report

v.How aware are we of incidents of hate speech/graffiti?

1.Here, we take pictures of things prior to erasures, repaints

2.Some places record this data and make sure that the incident is public

3.The dean might come and speak to us about protocol for this kind of thing

vi.Protocol for stressed students?

1.How to deal with students dealing with distress/stress

a.Things should be reported, not simply observed

2.We might be able to make this a LTAI or a staff-only talk (as per JW).Others might want to attend and offer input, however (as per TB).

vii.How do we initiate this?

1.Contact Dean Thompson-Davis, have her explain it to us

2.We should be aware of these things, as people might look to us for information about these things

a.PR-wise, the university does not want to sweep things under the rug. From a diversity and equal-opportunity standpoint, we should be aware and make others aware.

3.As a committee, should we have Dean Davis talk to us?Do we have a role here?Can we be part of a solution?

a.Annazette feels like this could be a good first step.

i.Using our position to inform others and raise awareness of issues and the protocol is a good decision.

4.We could have an open meeting, Annazette’s staff could attend

a.Could tell us how to be a responsible citizen in these situations

i.Annazette feels that we should start within our group, then we could discuss it in a LTAI.The dean of student affairs could talk at the LTAI

b.Who will contact the dean of student affairs?

i.We’ve got nothing for March

ii.JW will contact her and see if she can talk to our committee at the next meeting.

viii.A LTAI featuring people that attended the inauguration and played a role could be viable as well.

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