Fiscal year 2022-2023 was the first year for CALL’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (“D&I”). The committee co-chairs were Ariel Scotese and Julie Pabarja, and Jonathan Hawkins, Lucy Kelly, and Juanita Harrell served as members.
The committee met a few times each month to discuss their charge and set goals for the year. Our initial meetings focused on what diversity and inclusion meant to the committee. There were good discussions around this topic and the challenges libraries face when trying to be inclusive.
D&I tried identifying opportunities with other CALL committees and collaborating with them on projects, and we had some success.
D&I partnered with Continuing Education to promote the program, Demystifying the American Bar Association Policy Process: How Can ABA Policy Help You? The speaker was Skip Harsch, the Director of the ABA’s Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and the ABA’s Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities. This program was held on January 25, 2023 and the recording is available in the Continuing Education annual report.
D&I submitted an article for the CALL Bulletin introducing the committee members, sharing the committee charge, and seeking input from members on the issues they want to discuss. This article was featured in the Spring 2023 issue.
The co-chairs attended the CALL Committee Chair Summit in December 2022. This summit was organized by the CALL Executive Board and attended by the chairs from the various CALL committees. This meeting was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the work other committees were doing, the challenges these committees were facing, and what opportunities for collaboration exist. The co-chairs presented notes from this summit to the committee members. We hope that the Executive Board regularly calls a summit of committee chairs and that D&I continues to attend.
Due to various factors, there were a couple of goals we did not complete that we encourage the next committee to consider.
One goal we did not complete was adding a D&I section to the CALL website. The idea behind this goal was to promote the committee by sharing a curated list of resources. Scott Vanderlin, CALL President, was supportive of the idea. We discussed what content should be in this section, and we encourage the next committee to follow up on this goal.
D&I planned to feature a CALL member in the Bulletin who either represents a diverse group or is an ally or advocate for equity and inclusion. Although we had a member identified, the committee could not complete this task.
Despite not completing some of our goals, the committee’s inaugural year was successful because we ultimately created a foundation for future committees to build on. We hope the next committee will continue to build bridges with the other CALL committees and promote this committee’s importance within our association.