The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Task Force consists of representation from a broad range of Library committees and units integral to efforts to support and advance diversity and inclusion within the Library in the context of our surrounding community. A joint task force proposed by the chairs of the Diversity Committee and Organizational Development and Training Advisory Committee with other stakeholders would also include individual employees with experience leading or contributing to DEIA efforts or related fields such as human rights, advocacy, and social justice, social work, organization change, etc. Due to the task force’s size, we consider appointing a coordinator to help with logistics such as scheduling meetings, tracking action items, and helping the task force chair(s).
The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Task Force, in concert with the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, has the following responsibilities:
- Develop specific goals and objectives that support an established DEIA vision,
- Identify activities and opportunities to further diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility work within the Library while keeping in mind the context of the broader community,
- Review and recommend practices or processes to help the Library remove barriers to DEIA,
- Serve as an advisory body to the planned Associate Director of DEIA position (depending on timing, see the section below on duration of the task force for more details).
Duration of Task Force & relationship to planned Associate Director of DEIA position
As this is a task force, we envision its work is finished within a two-year timeframe. If the Library hires an Associate Director of DEIA before the task force completes its work, we recommend that the Associate Director join the task force. As the task force concludes, the task force should advise on creating an advisory committee in consultation with the Associate Director and the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian.
Specific goals & timeline
- Develop and implement a communication plan for obtaining input as broadly as possible from Library employees about DEIA needs and suggestions (such as via listening sessions, survey, etc.) and updating Library employees of the DEIA tasks force’s progress (a website is recommended).
- Identify a method(s) to measure the impact of the Task Force’s work with improving DEIA in the Library.
- Review past efforts, especially the ClimateQUAL Implementation Team Final Report, to identify any pertinent information and recommendations that may be useful to pursue.
- Summarize the specific needs, challenges, and opportunities for improving DEIA within the Library
- Identify, vet, and make a recommendation to Library leadership for a consultant who specializes in DEIA work to provide training, facilitation, and consultation to the Library on its specific needs, challenges, and opportunities for improving DEIA.
- Draft a DEIA vision statement, which includes our Library’s definition of ‘diversity, ‘equity,’ ‘inclusion,’ and ‘accessibility’ to support the development of a shared language and understanding across the organization.
- Provide a one-year report of progress and next steps.
- Follow through on recommendations and actions resulting from the one-year report of progress and next steps.
- Propose methods to raise awareness that every individual in the Library is responsible for creating a respectful, civil, and inclusive environment.
- Develop a process for existing Library committees (and efforts within Library units) to better coordinate and share information and events that support DEIA.
- Review and recommend practices and processes that help the Library improve DEIA efforts (for example, how processes relating to hiring, onboarding, performance management, and career development can be updated or changed to better support DEIA in the Library).
- Develop a two-year final report of the task force’s activities and future recommendations, which can be used to sustain the progress of DEIA in the Library by informing the work of the planned Associate Director of DEIA.
Expectations for task force members are that each would:
- Share information w committees and/or units they represent (see above section)
- Provide input based on their experiences and expertise relating to DEIA work
- Attend meetings and possibly volunteer to handle tasks for the task force between meetings
- Contribute actively to the task force’s work in meeting its goals
In addition to the above, the Chair(s) would be responsible for
- Organizing and facilitating meetings (or delegate to an appointed coordinator as needed)
- Liaising with any consultants engaged via the Task Force as part of this process
- Presenting information to the Library, if applicable
- Briefing the planned Associate Director of DEIA on the background and progress of the DEIA Task Force to get them up to speed and ready to join the Task Force
Because topics of race, power, and privilege can become emotionally charged, it is essential to begin by creating a safe and healthy environment for dialog and learning. The specific intent for bringing a consultant who specializes in DEIA work into the Library is to leverage their professional expertise in helping us create this environment and help employees work through the discomfort that accompanies recognizing and combatting internal bias, unlearning stereotypes, and changing attitudes and behavior without defensiveness—which is critical to creating a more inclusive and welcoming organizational climate. In addition to this primary facilitation and training role, the consultant may provide insight into other needs, challenges, or opportunities for improving DEIA at the Library.
- Victor Jones, Co-Chair(Jan 2021 - No End Of Term Date Available)
- Joe Lenkart, Co-Chair(Jan 2021 - No End Of Term Date Available)
- George Gottschalk(Jan 2021 - No End Of Term Date Available)
- Heather Murphy(Jan 2021 - No End Of Term Date Available)
- Jen-Chien Yu(Jan 2021 - No End Of Term Date Available)
- DoMonique Arnold(Jan 2021 - No End Of Term Date Available)
- Erik Chapman(Jan 2021 - No End Of Term Date Available)
- Zoe Revell(Jan 2021 - No End Of Term Date Available)
- Elisabeth Paulus(Jan 2021 - No End Of Term Date Available)
- Norris Purdy(Jan 2021 - No End Of Term Date Available)
- Chris Prom(Jan 2021 - No End Of Term Date Available)
- JJ Pionke(Jan 2021 - No End Of Term Date Available)
Additional Committee Information
Title: Associate Dean for Digital Strategies
Department: Library Administration
DEIA Interest: Identifying and mitigating barriers to DEAI in the Library. Developing, modeling (and supporting others in modeling) leadership and followership practices that support inclusive organizational practices and working cultures.
Bio: I grew up in rural Wisconsin and attended Marquette University, where I majored in History and Philosophy. I live in Champaign with my wife, Linda. We moved here in 1994, so I could enter the Ph.D. program in History, and we lived in both York, England, and Dundee Scotland for extended periods of time—my area of history was British social and labor history. Linda and I have three children, Andy (22), Grace (19), and Molly (18), and we’ll be empty nesters this fall, leaving aside the three cats who like to make appearances during zoom meetings! I enjoy woodworking, gardening, and other home projects, as well as taking long walks around town. In addition, I’m a (very) amateur winemaker, a member of Hessel Park Church in Champaign, and some other community organizations. My work in the Library focuses on building effective teams and helping identify and support effective digital services like the Library and University navigate some difficult new territory. I’m trying to learn how to approach every situation with an open, transparent, and empathetic mindset.
Team: Communications; Consultancy Support
Title: Librarian at University High School Library
Department: University of Illinois Laboratory High School
DEIA Interest: Dialogue facilitation, education in DEIA in general, universal design for learning
Bio: My passion for diversity and equity really started when I worked for the YWCA of the University of Illinois. We had a great mission statement: “The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.” So that has really informed my current views. As my dedication towards social justice has blossomed, it strikes me how true that is and how important it is to work towards equity for all marginalized identities.
I had the opportunity to think more critically and deeply about DEIA in my role as an instructor for both the EPSY program (the Intergroup dialogue) at the University of Illinois and my work with IRISE and the college of Engineering.
Team: Past Efforts Review Team
Title: Graduate Assistant
Department: Research Data Service
DEIA Interest: Universal design for online resources, equality in the data lifecycle, intersectionality, and the power dynamics of resource access.
Bio: First-year Library and Information Science student, focusing on research data management, data science, and data curation. I have a bachelor’s in sociology/criminal justice from North Central College in Naperville, IL. My passion is the intersection of data management and criminal justice, specifically regarding human rights atrocities. I enjoy cooking, baking, reading literary fiction and graphic novels, and exploring the outdoors.
Team: Assessment Committee
Title: Organization Development and Training Coordinator
Department: The Library Business & Human Resources Service Center (BHRSC)
DEIA Interest: Organizational justice, including fairness and equity in processes, policies, procedures, and interactions; universal design and access
Bio: I’ve worked for UIUC starting as an undergrad hourly. Quickly, I gravitated towards team development, project management, facilitation, and training areas. I spent 12+ years developing several teams & overhauling processes in other campus departments, and taking on voluntary roles supporting fair search/hiring practices and inclusive workplace cultures. I received an EdM in Human Resources Development and began working at the University Library as the Organization Development & Training Coordinator in 2018.
Team: Past Efforts Review Team, Consultancy Support Team
Title: Director of Library Assessment
Department: Library Assessment (reports to the Director of Teaching & Learning)
DEIA Interest: Lead transformative change informed by data and evidence that can strengthen the organization, the people within it, and the communities we serve. As a mom of mixed ethnicities and religious beliefs children, I also have a deep personal interest and commitment to DEIA.
Bio: I am originally from Taiwan. I came to the U.S. for library school (University of Pittsburgh) and settled down in the Midwest. I joined the University Library in 2012 and have been doing all things assessment. Before that, I was an Electronic Information Services Librarian/Data Specialist/Assessment Librarian at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. I call myself a “data waitress” – proudly serving data since 2001.
Team: Assessment Team, Consultancy Support Team
Title: Library Specialist
Department: Ricker Library of Architecture and Art
DEIA Interest: I’m most interested in equity in hiring and talent retention and retention of marginalized students. I am responsible for hiring and supervising Ricker’s undergrad SAs. I also manage Ricker’s social media and am interested in elevating marginalized voices.
Bio: I’m a local who graduated with a BA in 2008 from UIUC. I worked at the Urbana Public Library as a circulation clerk and information specialist for 8 years before working the deep nights (until 2:30 am) at the Funk ACES Library for about 3 years. I’ve been at Ricker since September 2019. Before coming to Ricker, I was also the Director of ReStart at Orphans Treasure Box. OTB is a non-profit used bookstore in Champaign that sells online to support orphan initiatives worldwide, at-risk youth locally, and adoption grants for special needs children. ReStart is a program that sets aside jobs in the business for homeless, single parents.
Team: Vision Statement Team
Title: Applied Health Sciences Librarian
Department: Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library
DEIA Interest: Anything to do with disability and accessibility. This is the aim of my research, as well as the bulk of my service work. I have a strong interest in retention and the improvement of working conditions for people with disabilities.
Bio: Before becoming a librarian, I was an adjunct professor of English at two community colleges in the Chicago area. After 10 years of doing that, I went back to school for librarianship. I got my MSI from the University of Michigan, and the rest is history. I just had my 5th anniversary at UIUC (how did that happen). I generally enforce a strict work-life rule so that I have downtime. During my downtime, I play video games, watch movies, play with my Maine Coons, and read for fun, of course.
Team: Assessment Team
Title: Archivist of Multicultural Collections and Services
Department: University Archives
DEIA Interest: Collection development, especially with underrepresented groups, policies, outreach, and building trust.
Bio: I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I graduated from St. Olaf College with a BA in History and American Racial and Multicultural Studies. I received a dual master’s in History and Library Science from Indiana University. In 2017 I came to UIUC as an archive resident and started my current position in March 2020. I work with the cultural centers, student organizations, the Vice Chancellor’s Office of Equity Diversity and Inclusion, and occasionally collaborate with community organizations. I’ve worked in both museum and special collection settings. Archives have become a perfect fit for me as it covers my passion for history and research. In a non-pandemic world, I enjoy attending performances at Krannert, visiting museums, salsa dancing, reading and watching historical fiction, and gathering with people over a meal.
Team: Consultancy Support Team
Title: Chief Communications Officer
DEIA Interest: I hope to utilize my role as the Library’s CCO to support and advance our DEIA efforts internally and externally. My mother is from Vietnam, and my father is of English-German descent; my son (17) and daughter (14) are a quarter Vietnamese. I want to see a kinder world for them and everyone—no matter their ethnicity.
Bio: I’ve lived in Illinois all my life—in Champaign-Urbana since 1994. I am a UIUC alumna and have been in marketing and communications for 25 years (with stints at a hardware/software distributor, a local tech company, and safety certification board). I’ve been at the Library since 2008. When I have time, I love traveling, reading, baking, rollerblading, crochet, jigsaw puzzles, and spin classes.
Team: Communication Team; Vision Statement Team
Title: Library Operations Associate
Department: Organizational Development and Training/Business Information Services
DEIA Interest: Help our organization achieve the benefits of diversity by being inclusive in recruiting, hiring, retention. Also, creating equity by having an environment that employees feel safe, accepted, and valued and have equal opportunities to grow and succeed.
Bio: Professional development and training, reference, library administration and management.
Team: Consultancy Support Team; Past Effort Review Team
Title: Director of Acquisitions
Department: Acquisitions & Cataloging Services
DEIA Interest: I want to live in a world where we take DEIA seriously before tragic deaths occur, such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others. I want to work in an institution where senior administrators do not wring their hands and try and figure out why American Indians want to be treated with dignity and respect as everyone else. Instead, I want to contribute to a Library where we are all excited and invited to work for a unified vision of service to the University, to the State of Illinois and to sustain the global research infrastructure, and to do so in an environment that values all contributions of all employees, regardless of employee classification.
Bio: I have lived in Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Illinois. I have worked in fast food, retail, as a student worker for the University of Oklahoma Honors College and University Press, as a health insurance claims processor, a Jewish federation fundraising database specialist, a tape transcriptionist, a HUD contractor loan specialist, and in libraries. I love watching stand-up comedy specials because I believe comedians are some of the strongest advocates and defenders of free speech and open discourse.
Team: Assessment Team
Title: Graduate Assistant
Department: Undergraduate Library
DEIA Interest: I want academic libraries to create services and practices that are culturally inclusive.
Bio: I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I have lived in Scotland, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Before coming to UIUC, I worked as a secondary school language teacher. I hold a master’s in Applied Linguistics.
Team: Consultancy Support Team
- Sylvia Figueroa Ortiz(May 2021 - May 2022)
- Francisco Juarez(Jan 2021 - May 2021)
- Lauren Phegley(Jan 2021 - May 2022)
- Jake MacGregor(ex officio - Ex Officio, Jan 2021 - Aug 2022)
- Jessica Ballard, Co-Chair(Jan 2021 - Aug 2021)
Time commitment will be determined by the task force members but will minimally include monthly meetings.