Meeting Minutes

2020-2021 Academic Year

For previous academic year meeting minutes, please visit our archive.

Diversity Committee meeting minutes

September 16, 2021

Via Zoom

Attending: Kelly Gray, Cathy Jenkins, Thura Mack, Megan Venable, Michelle Brannen, Shaina Destine, Kelly Blaylock, Trey Hobson

Agenda:

  • Announcements
  • Issues/problems our handicapped students face
  • Response to local/state/world topics as they happen
  • Ok to invite SIS Director Abebe Rorissa and Steve Smith to October meeting to discuss another Book Read between our organization
  • Announcements – Megan announced the September Lunch and Learn re: MBA is cancelled, and we will focus on the November L&L on AAPI. Shaina announced that in coordination with the Pride Center we will work on a collaboration to honor Octavia Butler and her work. Megan and Shaina will meet with the Pride Center to make this happen.
  • A google doc will be started to create a budget for the Diversity Committee to include budget items for Lunch and Learns, International Festival and Black History Month.
  • Response to local/state/world topics as they happen – Cathy asked if there was a way the DC could be more responsive to issues in the news, perhaps identifying authorities on campus to make videos on certain subjects. Michelle suggested using lib guides identify topics and then assign small teams to develop a guide with resources on the topics to share out to campus. Kelly suggested a blog format. Trey suggested utilizing social media/news feeds on the website that are already in existence. Cathy suggested we talk to Christine in marketing and Sarah Funk about getting a news feed on the site. Shaina pointed out that themes are often recurring. Michelle mentioned the glass board for a DC feature at some point in the future. Kelly suggested we start making a note of resources as we go to collect historical context on hot button issues in One Drive. The team agreed to share the budget above and ideas for timely subjects/resources on Google.
  • Ok to invite SIS Director Abebe Rorissa and Steve Smith to October meeting to discuss another Book Read between our organizations – OK to invite.

The next meeting will be October 14th from 1 – 2 PM.

Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes

August 19, 2021

Via Zoom

Attending: Thura Mack, Kim Blaylock, Megan Venable, Ethan Graham Roeder, Cathy Jenkins, Shaina Destine, Charissa Powell, Sarah Funk, Kelly Gray, Sara Green, Trey Hobson, Melanie Dixon, Elizabeth Greene

Ethan Graham announced that his last day at UT will be August 29th. He shared that he was excited about the Group Read with the campus community and the opportunity to participate in the website update almost immediately upon joining the committee.

Website updates – website should be updated; if there are questions or problems or updates, please let Megan know.

Virtual Cultural Corner Updates – will be AAPI focused; meeting scheduled next week to plan. A discussion was held about where/when the decision was made to have the virtual culture corner and the Culture Corner be the same topic – it was in the June meeting. Trey and Kelly offered to join the subcommittee; Megan invited them to the meeting next week.

Reminder: we have a website subcommittee and a virtual culture corner subcommittee. While these two groups have different goals, the work does overlap.

Lunch & Learn Progress – Black Musicians Alliance is scheduled for September 16th, working on an AAPI L&L for November. We are still waiting to hear from the music library to establish the BMA lunch and learn.

Book Read Wrap-Up – attendees have been invited to next week’s session. Charissa, Michelle and Megan are working with the subcommittee to put together slides for the session.

Slides are here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1qyQvw9xmmWqj11BZjHXM8CVXET2Q2tN8/edit#slide=id.p1

July 15, 2021 meeting was cancelled.

UT Libraries Diversity Committee

Meeting Minutes June 17, 2021

Via Zoom

Attendees: Thura Mack, Cathy Jenkins, Megan Venable, Ethan Graham Roeder, Jeffrey Hines, Ernest Brothers, Sarah Funk, Charissa Powell, Sara Green, Anne Hulse

Lunch and Learn for the Fall – AAPI

Thura and Megan are working with multicultural student life to find some resources – a meeting is scheduled for July 2021

Another topic of interest for a lunch and learn may be on the Black Musicians Alliance and diversity in music.

Cathy suggested adding the element of CRT to the BMA presentation.

Jeffrey suggested a topic as multi-race identities

Perhaps pursue a fall lunch and learn on BMA, and look toward a mixed race identity in the spring 2022 semester.

Website update – Ethan Graham has separated the web pages into different folders. The information needs to be collated.  Megan will share the google folder with the committee.

Cathy will work on miscellaneous and diversity residents

Ethan Graham and Sarah will work on the meeting minutes

Megan will work on events, lunch and learns and culture corners

VCC update

Culture Corner update

  • The VCC will mirror the topic of the physical Culture Corner. Whereas the CC will contain book resources, the VCC will feature additionally music, art, resources and conversations.
  • The VCC content will be archived on the culture corner libguide, and the VCC template will used for the next topic in the CC.
  • Megan will work with Molly to get the book resources added to the VCC site.

Next meeting: July 15 via zoom

Diversity Committee meeting
May 20, 2021
Via Zoom

Attendees: Thura Mack, Megan Venable, Lorna Hollowell, Jeffrey Hines, Kim Blaylock, Cathy Jenkins, Ethan Graham Roeder, Anne Hulse, Peter Fernandez, Ernest Brothers, Kelly Gray, Sarah Funk, Melanie Dixson, Charissa Powell

Meet and greet with our new members icebreaker activity: What is your favorite food and where would you like to travel if money wasn’t a barrier.

Welcome to Kelly Gray and Ethan Graham Roeder!

Thura asked for volunteers to work on the website. Interest in switching the resources to libguides. Team will include Sarah Funk, Ethan Graham Roeder, Kelly Gray, Megan Venable and Michelle Brannen, Cathy Jenkins and Jeffrey Hines.

There was a brief discussion on the Virtual Culture Corner vs. a physical Culture Corner – both will continue.

Ethan Graham will join the subcommittee for the VCC for the next meeting. Megan will schedule the next meeting.

Megan and Lorna gave the committee an update on NCBI. NCBI is a testament to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s commitment to educating our campus community on diversity, equity, inclusion, and identities while highlighting these conversations. Our team’s aim is to take action during a time that silence about these topics is no longer acceptable. Our goal is to bring educational opportunities to our campus community through workshops tailored specifically for our students, staff, and faculty that are led by our own students, staff, and faculty.

NCBI at UTK provides the space for our community to engage in critical and sometimes difficult dialogue that is crucial for our campus to grow, and growth starts with each of us. NCBI is here to help you water the seeds for growth. As Vols, we should all be committed to consistently improving, sprouting new thoughts & ideas, and growing, especially in our relationships with our campus and community. Part of growth is challenging yourself to explore both who you are and who others around you are at a deeper level. While may seem difficult, the UTK NCBI team is ready and excited to help equip you with the tools you need to tend to your growth and delve deep into what it truly means for all Vols to matter and belong.

Our next diversity committee date is June 17, 2021 at 1 PM

Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes

April 15, 2021

Via Zoom

Attending: Thura Mack, Megan Venable, Jeffrey Hines, Elizabeth Greene, Anne Hulse, Sara Green, Lorna Hollowell, Michelle Brannen, Peter Fernandez, Cathy Jenkins, Kim Blaylock

Onboarding process for new members – Thura

  • Lorna suggested sharing mission and vision, and recapping the history of the diversity committee. Share also some ongoing projects that they can assist with.
  • Michelle suggested walking them through the website, or perhaps assigning a current committee member to be buddy’ed up with them.
  • Lorna suggested sending a photo with everyone’s names so they can assign names with faces.
  • Lorna suggested making a meeting that is purely social.
  • Anne suggested ice breakers.
  • Consider asking some of the applicants who were not selected to serve on some subcommittees.
  • The two new members will be invited to attend regular meetings starting on May 20th.

Michelle Brannen Wikipedia project

  • Michelle suggested we partner with Meredith Hale, and work on Wikipedia pages for women and people of color in Tennessee history with little or no web presence. Megan will invite Meredith to the July diversity committee meeting to provide the training to edit the wiki pages.

Virtual Culture Corner

  • Thura wanted to make sure we were supporting our Asian American students, faculty and staff; perhaps a lunch and learn in the fall
  • Perhaps create a physical Culture Corner on Asian American resources
  • Michelle suggested contacting their student organization before starting a Culture Corner or Lunch & Learn – https://utk.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/asianamericanassociation
  • Lorna suggested contacting the panelists she participated in to see if they would collaborate.
  • Megan will contact the panelists and the student organization and see what interest there is in collaboration in either culture corner or lunch and learn or both.

Reflections on Lunch and Learn – fall ideas?

Next meeting will be Thursday, May 20 at 1 PM via Zoom.

Diversity Committee Minutes
March 18, 2021
Via Zoom

Attending, Thura Mack, Peter Fernandez, Sarah Funk, Elizabeth Green, Kim Blaylock, Melanie Dixson, Anne Hulse, Charissa Powell

• Lunch and Learn updates – Megan to ask Cathy, Elizabeth and Kim to assist with technology during the L&L to proactively remove any potential zoom bombs during the session.
• New members – Foundational elements for use in selecting members: representation of multiple departments under the libraries umbrella, balance of gender, as many different types of voices represented from our community, applicant skill set to match the committee’s needs.
• Performance Key Elements – Elizabeth needs assistance in crafting criteria on the change in performance reviews. See the section below; the yellow section is being removed and replaced with the section in blue. A subcommittee of Thura Mack, Megan Venable and Sarah Funk volunteered to meeting with Elizabeth to draft performance review criteria to reflect inclusion, diversity and equity.

Adaptability & Flexibility – the extent to which the employee exhibits openness to new ideas, programs, systems, and/or structures.

Rarely Achieves Expectations
● Resistant to change whether in normal duties, schedule or environment to meet the needs of the team. Shows little or no flexibility in determining how tasks are accomplished.
● Does not work well in group situations where blending of ideas is required.
● Performance may be counterproductive to the team goals.
● Rarely seeks assistance, leading to repeated mistakes.
● Complains without offering advice or solutions; does not contribute to team in a professional and productive manner.
● Conflict resolution is personal not professional.

Sometimes Achieves Expectations
● Shows minimal resistance to change in duties, schedule or environment to meet the needs of the team.
● Sometimes works well in group situations where blending of ideas is required.
● Sometimes requests help from others when appropriate to learn how tasks should be accomplished.
● Sometimes responds to change without being incessantly negative or unnecessarily critical.

Fully Achieves Expectations
● Does not resist change in duties, schedule or environment to meet the needs of the team.
● Works in group situations where blending of ideas is required.
● Adapts to new situations.
● Responds constructively to change.

Fully Achieves and Occasionally Exceeds Expectations
● Willing to modify work procedures, duties, schedule or environment to accommodate the changing needs of the team.
● Willingly works in group situations where blending of ideas is required and occasionally serves as a leader.
● Adapts and responds constructively change, occasionally assisting others in adapting to change.

Consistently Exceeds Expectations
● Actively recommends modifications in work procedures, duties, schedule or environment to improve or accommodate the changing needs of the team.
● Serves as a leader in group situations where blending of ideas is required.
● Is open to new ideas and helps others in adapting to change.
● Keeps conflict resolution professional and not personal.
● Offers open exploration of differing ideas and solutions within the team.

Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity – the extent to which the employee treats others with fairness, dignity and respect, fosters inclusion, values individual and group differences, makes efforts to enhance inclusion, diversity, and equity, and contributes to departmental and organizational unit diversity strategic goals.

Diversity Committee Meeting

February 18, 2021

Via Zoom

Attendees: Elizabeth Greene, Thura Mack, Megan Venable, Sarah Funk, Melanie Dixon, Kim Blaylock, Peter Fernandez, Trey Hobson, Shaina Destine, Anne Hulse, Sarah Green, Cathy Jenkins

  • ; this work is ongoing. We will revisit this topic at a later date.
  • Book Read w/SIS -Megan; 88 people have been issued books. A meeting of the subcommittee is scheduled for next week, and a script for Carol and Steve for the kickoff session will be devised.  A meeting to walk Carol and Steve through the kickoff session has been scheduled.
  • Open call for new members-Thura
  • Add “about us” section to include bios for each member

Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes
January 21, 2021
Via Zoom

Attending: Cathy Jenkins, Sarah Funk, Thura Mack, Megan Venable Kim Blaylock, Mat Jordan, Melanie Dixon, Peter Fernandez, Michelle Brannen

Announcements-
• Welcome Sarah Funk

Lunch and Learn topic suggestions
• L&L on mental wellbeing – Thura and Melanie will work offline with Preston Med Library to firm up a topic/date

Update on Black Issues Conference — Michelle
• Megan, Michelle and Thura working on a presentation for the conference on health misinformation.
• Melanie will provide support if the proposal is accepted.

Update on Book Read with SIS – Megan
• 88 people have signed up, and March 8 is likely the kickoff meeting via Zoom.
• Steve Smith and Carol Tenopir have agreed to lead the kickoff session.

How can the Diversity Committee support ACE? – Elizabeth
• https://www.racialequityinstitute.com/groundwaterapproach – the committee will support participation in this groundwater session with a three-hour introduction to Racial Equity in March.
• Participate in the Book Read w/SIS
• Perhaps another “Let’s Talk About It” in Fall 2021
• Cathy and Mat discussed exploring inequity in information access/vaccinations for Covid-19. Melanie brought up the rapidly-changing information being produced and hesitated to create something at this time.
• Peter suggested a lit review/programming/something about what the effects are of various diversity programming

Change Diversity Committee to “Diversity and Inclusion Committee” — (group discussion)
The Diversity Committee website will be changed to Diversity and Inclusion at UT Libraries, and the Diversity Committee will be a link on that site as an effort by UT Libraries. Cathy, Mat, Elizabeth and Sarah will work offline to discuss this possibility and change to the site.

Questions?

Next meeting– February 18

Diversity Committee Meeting:

November 19, 2020 @ 1pm

Via Zoom: https://tennessee.zoom.us/j/9482011320

Attendees: Thura Mack, Ernest Brothers, Anne Hulse, Peter Fernandez, Cathy Jenkins, Mat Jordan, Charissa Powell, Sarah Green, Melanie Dixon, Megan Venable, Kim Blaylock, Trey Hobson

Thura announced that she will be sharing the Beck Cultural Center events via email.

Cathy announced In conversation: with Bettye Kearse & Robert Blande author of The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family (https://www.bettyekearse.com/)

Event date is 12/8

@7pm

Agenda:

Spring 2021 Lunch and Learn topics – Danielle Bohn has been invited to attend our Diversity Committee meeting to discuss mental well being. Perhaps invite her to participate in a Lunch and Learn in the Spring 2021.

Book read updates – meeting is scheduled for next week to discuss a title and timeline. Current front runners are “Algorithms of Oppression” and “So you want to talk about race”

Poll is here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfZu-Wk8bXW68fh9PmtooCi345JzrtHI_pfB9kzf4JztVGjRQ/viewform

Virtual Culture Corner update – need to keep content updated and fresh

Mat gave an update on how the Let’s Talk About It conversations wrapped up.

Everyone shared what they were working on to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic.

Cathy announced Artist in the Archives being presented tonight. https://volumes.lib.utk.edu/news/boundless-announcement/

Upcoming meeting dates (via Zoom at 1 – 2 PM)

December 17, 2020

January 21

February 18

March 18

April 15

May 20

June 17

July 15

August 19

September 16

Diversity Committee meeting minutes
October 15, 2020
Via Zoom

Present: Thura Mack, Megan Venable, Michelle Brannen, Peter Fernandez, Lorna Hollowell, Charissa Powell, Trey Hobson

Special guests: Carol Tenopir and Casey Fox

Michelle outlined her notes on a plan for a collaboration between SIS and the UT Libraries for a group book read: (https://liveutk.sharepoint.com/:w:/r/sites/UT_DiversityCommittee529/_layouts/15/guestaccess.aspx?e=gsu2Z1&share=EdN091imvSpKoDvaQp_E8oQBjt4sV-SODgGElTG9aF1yzQ)

A subcommittee will be formed consisting of Peter, Michelle, Megan, Thura, Casey, Kim Blaylock and an SIS designee. Once the designee is identified, a draft email to the past Org Read participants soliciting book titles will be crafted by Megan and sent to the sub committee for approval.. The subcommittee will vet the list and meet to discuss the feasibility of access to titles.

Once a title is identified, an offer will be sent to all lib and SIS faculty inviting them to participate in a 2nd Org Read with the intent to have participants selected by late November, books distributed electronically in December and discussions to begin in late January/February 2021.

August 20, 2020

Meeting minutes composed by Megan & Michelle

Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes via Zoom 7/16/20

Thura, Sarah G., Shaina, Melanie, Elizabeth, Michelle, Mat, Anne, Trey, Jeffrey, Charissa, Lorna, Cathy

Announcements:

  • Shout out to Trey Hobbs for his rap skills!
  • Thura was invited by the Office of Diversity and Engagement and will be serving on the Diversity Action Plan Committee
  • Shaina was recently selected to be the Critical Race Commission’s Fellow. 
  • Mat mentioned that Asheville, NC recently voted to back reparations. There will be no direct payments but busted money will be invested for initiatives/investment in the black community. 
  • Mat shared an article from “The Atlantic” talking about “White Fragility:” www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/dehumanizing-condescension-white-fragility/614146
  • Shaina and Allison Sharp were invited to present on their LibGuides at a SpringShare conference. 
  • Thura mentioned that the Beck Cultural Center will be hosting a virtual town hall on Racial Justice (pt. 2) 7/17/20 f rom 4-6pm. www.beckcenter.net/events
  • Mat let everyone know about a new digital collection that was recently rediscovered in Special Collections. The Catalogues of Walden University can be found here: digital.lib.utk.edu/collections/islandora/object/collections%3Awalden Walden was a HBC in Nashville , TN that operated from 1865-1925. 

Business:

  • Shaina/Trey spoke about their new LibGuide collaboration: /libguides.utk.edu/antiracism The guide contains links to resources for children and adults, including social media, podcasts, and black-owned businesses. Thura/Michelle asked about adding a link to this new guide onto the Diversity Committees web page.
  • Mat/Jeffrey have been working on the idea of having conversations about race within the library. Named “Let’s Talk About It.” These would be conversations among colleagues at the library. A chance to have an ongoing conversation about race. They’ve contacted Dr. Casey A. Barrio Minton at the UT Clinical Health Counseling center to talk about having postdoc students to facilitate sessions if wanted. Jeffrey expressed concern for people who may not feel comfortable talking about this subject with others who have not had similar experiences and how they could be accommodated.
  • Mat/Jeffrey have taken on working with the Virtual Culture Corner web presence. There are concerns about the sustainability and usability of the proposed site design. Also a consideration is the unifying design of the site and its relation to the lib.utk.edu site. Computer/web technicalities make the original circles idea difficult to execute. 
  • Does anyone remember why Charissa started a GoogleDoc for the group?
  • Cathy asked where do LibGuides live that are created for events and larger topics that don’t necessarily fit under a subject heading. How do they become findable to people who do not use LibGuides daily? There is a LibGuide task-force that could possibly answer this question.

July 16, 2020

Meeting minutes composed by Megan & Michelle

Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes via Zoom 7/16/20

Thura, Sarah G., Shaina, Melanie, Elizabeth, Michelle, Mat, Anne, Trey, Jeffrey, Charissa, Lorna, Cathy

Announcements:

  • Shout out to Trey Hobbs for his rap skills!
  • Thura was invited by the Office of Diversity and Engagement and will be serving on the Diversity Action Plan Committee
  • Shaina was recently selected to be the Critical Race Commission’s Fellow. 
  • Mat mentioned that Asheville, NC recently voted to back reparations. There will be no direct payments but busted money will be invested for initiatives/investment in the black community. 
  • Mat shared an article from “The Atlantic” talking about “White Fragility:” www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/dehumanizing-condescension-white-fragility/614146
  • Shaina and Allison Sharp were invited to present on their LibGuides at a SpringShare conference. 
  • Thura mentioned that the Beck Cultural Center will be hosting a virtual town hall on Racial Justice (pt. 2) 7/17/20 f rom 4-6pm. www.beckcenter.net/events
  • Mat let everyone know about a new digital collection that was recently rediscovered in Special Collections. The Catalogues of Walden University can be found here: digital.lib.utk.edu/collections/islandora/object/collections%3Awalden Walden was a HBC in Nashville , TN that operated from 1865-1925. 

Business:

  • Shaina/Trey spoke about their new LibGuide collaboration: /libguides.utk.edu/antiracism The guide contains links to resources for children and adults, including social media, podcasts, and black-owned businesses. Thura/Michelle asked about adding a link to this new guide onto the Diversity Committees web page.
  • Mat/Jeffrey have been working on the idea of having conversations about race within the library. Named “Let’s Talk About It.” These would be conversations among colleagues at the library. A chance to have an ongoing conversation about race. They’ve contacted Dr. Casey A. Barrio Minton at the UT Clinical Health Counseling center to talk about having postdoc students to facilitate sessions if wanted. Jeffrey expressed concern for people who may not feel comfortable talking about this subject with others who have not had similar experiences and how they could be accommodated.
  • Mat/Jeffrey have taken on working with the Virtual Culture Corner web presence. There are concerns about the sustainability and usability of the proposed site design. Also a consideration is the unifying design of the site and its relation to the lib.utk.edu site. Computer/web technicalities make the original circles idea difficult to execute. 
  • Does anyone remember why Charissa started a GoogleDoc for the group?
  • Cathy asked where do LibGuides live that are created for events and larger topics that don’t necessarily fit under a subject heading. How do they become findable to people who do not use LibGuides daily? There is a LibGuide task-force that could possibly answer this question.

Virtual Culture Corner

The 2020-2021 Virtual Culture Corner offers resources and materials that explore Native American cultures and traditions.

Painting of woman reclining with poppy flowers