Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Summer PD: Part Three
School Library Journal offered an optional second workshop, Diversity and Cultural Competency for Librarians. I very nearly passed on this workshop since I have had a practice of seeking, reading and promoting books with diverse characters most of my career. I also drop in on diversity presentations whenever I go to conferences. I am so glad I added the workshop to my shopping cart, because I now know what I didn't really know.
This day was jam-packed. While we were invited to take breaks throughout the day, the only scheduled break was lunch. Phew! The problem with that is feeling like I didn't want to leave because I'd be missing something! The workshop was run like a tight ship by three editors at SLJ, Kiera Parrot, Shelley Diaz and Mahnaz Dar.
They fluidly tag-teamed each other breaking down concepts and engaging the learners in activities that not only made us think, but also got us moving around the room.
I am still processing the information and will be for some time. Luckily, I have a folder of handouts, my conference notebook is full of jottings and I have a Diversity Toolkit. I am humbled because I realize that I still have a great deal to learn. That's a bit uncomfortable!
Here's a list of the topics discussed through the day:
What is cultural competency?
Dimensions of diversity
What is intersectionality?
Understanding and exploring privilege
What is implicit bias?
Identifying red flags
Book evaluation practice (looking at picture books armed with our knowledge of red flags)
Oppression, Allyship, and Emotional Labor
I want to say that the last segment, presented by Stacy Collins, Liaison Librarian at Simmons College was particularly powerful. She is bitingly, brilliantly funny and fierce. She curates an Oppression Guide at Simmons that is available online for anyone. This is now bookmarked on my computer. I recommend that you check it out and bookmark it on your computer.
I need to deep-dive this resource. It is remarkable. If the entire workshop did not wake me up to the work I still need to do, this guide did. She freely admitted that there is way too much packed into the guide and doesn't care. I agree, I wouldn't change a thing. This is a gift and one I will use often.
The day ended with the invitation to address an envelope to ourselves and to list a few ideas we have to implement change in our practice. They will mail the envelopes out in a month to remind us of what we want to do. Genius.
So. If you ever have the opportunity to experience this full-day workshop, please do. I am so glad I did.