Organizational Planning for DEIA: A 100 Level Course, Session Four, Identifying Organizational Areas of Inequity: October 8, 2021
Organizational Planning for DEIA: A 100 Level Course, Session Four, Identifying Organizational Areas of Inequity: October 8, 2021
https://asa1cadmoremedia.blob.core.windows.net/asset-c4900ade-ff44-4af6-bdf2-ced69ee64236/NISO Training Series%2c Organizational Planning for DEIA%2c Sess.mp4
TONI OLIVAS: I think I just jinxed myself. Let me figure out how to do it in three minutes.
JILL O'NEILL: Welcome to session 4 of the NISO training series; Organizational Planning for DEIA. As I've indicated before, if you experience technical difficulties during the course of today's event, you can contact support.zoom.us. They may ask you for today's webinar ID. That number is 894 3705 5382.
JILL O'NEILL: And as previously promised, we will be sending out links to the archived recording of today's series. And you should probably see that on Tuesday of next week, allowing for the Monday holiday. Very quickly, just let me remind you that NISO continues its educational programs throughout the course of the year.
JILL O'NEILL: In October, we have our monthly webinar that's talking about workflows across systems, specifically innovation. That's going to be interesting. And there are details on our website about the speakers. But as just one example, it includes Peter Murray if Index Data. It includes representatives from EBSCO, SUNY Albany, might be SUNY.
JILL O'NEILL: And additional details are on the website. Our Humanities Roundtable is on Wednesday, October 20. And that is something that I do believe people will want to pay attention to because the focus is the monograph in the evolving humanities ecosystem. And we've got some stellar speakers. Again, information on the NISO website. Then in November, which most of us can't even think that far ahead right now, we have a roundtable discussion in our monthly webinar on working with semantic technologies.
JILL O'NEILL: And our virtual conference is on the topic of open research. And we released our most recent issue of NISO I/O this past Wednesday. There's a lot to be seen, but this is just a glimpse of some of what you'll find in terms of the content. And again, you can find information organized tab there on our website.
JILL O'NEILL: Again, I'd be grateful if you want to sign up for our NISO communications. We've compartmentalized the information we send you. All we need from you is for you to tell us exactly what type of information you'd like to get from us. So you can use that QR code that's there in the corner or you can use the URL, which is bit.ly/subscribe-niso. But we would love to keep you abreast of what's going on in information community, but also what's going on specifically with the NISO community.
JILL O'NEILL: And at this point, I'm going to turn control of the mic over to Dr. Toni Olivas. So Toni.
TONI OLIVAS: This is scary. Turning the mic over to me, uh-oh. I'll go ahead and share my screen.
JILL O'NEILL: You should be able to do that.
TONI OLIVAS: All right. I should be, right? See, Jill, famous last words.
JILL O'NEILL: It's OK. [INAUDIBLE]
TONI OLIVAS: There we go.
JILL O'NEILL: Oh, did you-- OK.
TONI OLIVAS: Can see the slides just fine?
JILL O'NEILL: We can indeed. You're good.
TONI OLIVAS: Perfect. Perfect. Thank you so much. Once again, good morning, everyone. It is such a pleasure to be with you today. It's really cold and rainy here this morning. And I was telling Jill and Lauren that it was really hard to get out of bed this morning because my dogs wouldn't get out of bed, so why would I? But I am here because my very good friend is here, and I'm excited for you all to learn so much from her.
TONI OLIVAS: So if you were here last week or you had the opportunity to view a recording from that session, you'll remember that Alanna actively engaged with us on embracing the power of language. And she also challenged us to think about what that power actually does and the impact that that power has on all of the people that we work with in the communities and our patrons. So she really challenged us to think about our words and phrases and the power of the language that we use.
TONI OLIVAS: And our learning objectives today are going to build off of that. We're going to take a deeper dive into how white supremacy culture and the scarcity mindset hinder DEIA efforts in our organizations, whether we know it or not. So by the end of this session, you'll be able to identify unfair treatments, unfair policies, and unfair structures that affect the people in and around your organizations.
TONI OLIVAS: You'll also examine unconscious bias ranging from things such as pay discrepancies to decision making policies. Processes, excuse me. And finally you're going to learn how to identify the steps that you need to take in order to address those inequities head on. So with all of that said, like I said, I'm really excited for you to meet one of my favorite people here at Cal State San Marcos.
TONI OLIVAS: Lauren Magnuson truly embodies real allyship or co-conspiratorship or whatever word you want to use. And she does this not only through her research but through her use of thoughtful language and the actions that she takes to help improve our organization. She's someone who not only advocates for but also amplifies marginalized voices without centering herself.
TONI OLIVAS: And that's very rare, especially in someone who claims to be an ally. Lauren is head of collections, delivery, and access here at Cal State San Marcos where she works to support technologies, workflows, and initiatives in the areas of library acquisitions, metadata, and resource sharing. Her research areas focus on including supporting equitable access to information resources for students with disabilities and students who experience financial hardship, particularly students who struggle to afford textbooks or other required learning materials.
TONI OLIVAS: Lauren has a master's degree in information science and a master's degree in educational technology, both from the University of Missouri. And there's just so much more that I can go on and on about, but we're here to listen to Lauren and to learn from her. So please help me to welcome not just to my coworker, not just my friend, my co-conspirator, my ally, Lauren Magnuson.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Oh, my goodness. Thank you so much, Toni. I truly hope I will live up to that incredible introduction that--
TONI OLIVAS: You will.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: You were so kind. I'm just so grateful to be here. I'm starting to share my screen. I'm hoping that you are seeing some slides. Oops, that's not what I meant to do. Sorry. Present, sorry. I'm very nervous. I'm going to go ahead and say that. I'm very nervous.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I have learned so much from this series. I'm so grateful to Toni and to Mark and Twanna and Alanna for this incredible series. And I'm so excited to learn with all of you today because I've learned from these discussions that we've been having. So I'm really thankful to be here. So I'm going to start too by acknowledging that I live and work on the traditional lands of the Luiseno/Payomkawichum people.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Today, the meeting place of California State University San Marcos, which is where I work, and its surrounding areas is still home to the six federally recognized bands of the La Jolla, Pala, Pauma, Pechanga, Rincon, Soboba, and Luiseno/Payomkawichum people. It is also important to acknowledge that this land remains the shared space among the Kuupangaxwichem/Cupeno and Kumeyaay and Ipai peoples.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And I have some links that you can learn more about this by researchers from our campus and the Native Land website if you're not sure which native land you are on. And I also want to acknowledge that Monday is Indigenous Peoples' Day. And that day if you weren't planning on doing anything for that day, it can be a day to reflect on the history of colonialism, the impact it's had on native people.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And I know in my own personal life, I was really dismayed and disappointed to see that in my daughter's curriculum for kindergarten, there is still an acknowledgment and celebration of Columbus Day that erases and denies the genocidal impact of colonialism on Native people. And so that could be something as we approach Indigenous Peoples' Day, in your own life, to consider the impact of how we learned about history maybe in school or how you may have learned that history and how you can disrupt that history with others in your life.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: That is Monday. And if you're doing something for Indigenous Peoples' Day or you have resources to share, I would love to see those also if you want to share those in the chat. So our learning goals today, we're going to think about together how white supremacy culture and scarcity mindset undermine solidarity and equity in organizations.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: We're going to learn to identify and focus on sites of inequity in organizations. And we're going to talk about how to turn toward solidarity and equity through small, interdependent interactions distributed through the organization. And a lot of these things, some of the things we'll talk about, will seem really hard to get started on doing. Even talking about things like pay equity, they can seem these massive undertakings.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: But what we're really going to focus on is how you can start through your daily interactions to move toward equitable practices. We're going to use progressive stacking, as we have used in other sessions. So if you choose to self-identify as belonging to an underrepresented group, especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color, and you'd like to ask a question or make a comment in the chat box, you can choose to include an asterisk at the start of your question or comment, and your question and comment will be prioritized.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I think progressive stacking is especially important. I want to acknowledge my positionality here in this presentation. I am a white person. I have white privilege. I bring white privilege in the spaces that I'm in. I'm cisgendered. So all of those privileges really mean that in this presentation especially, it's so important that for comments I want to center people who are directly being harmed by the kinds of oppression that we're talking about.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So progressive stacking is especially important. And I really encourage any and all, Toni and any participant to interrupt me during this presentation and correct me if you're willing to give me that gift of setting me correctly.
TONI OLIVAS: I'm going to interrupt Lauren right now to say that she means it. She means it.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Yes, I absolutely do. Please do. I would love to hear from all of you and to hear your knowledge throughout this presentation. This is absolutely not a presentation in which I'm talking about this is my expertise, and these are the things that I've done that are the correct way of doing things. That is absolutely not the case.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And what you'll see in the presentation, I have extensive citations that I think will be posted. And the citations, of course, are worth reading and not to take my word for them as I reference them here. But to go read the actual source material is really important. And if you have other sources to share, I want to hear those also. So I am neurodivergent.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I have ADHD. I'm middle class. I'm a middle manager in my organization. I'm a parent. I'm currently able-bodied. And I'm a settler and a guest on unceded land. And I believe that, and I used this quote in an earlier session in the chat, my liberation is bound together with the liberation of others.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And so what that means for me, as a person with ADHD who often struggles to be successful in a workplace environment for a number of reasons, obviously, there are changes I would like to see in organizational and workplace practices that would be more accommodating to neurodivergent folks to people who struggle with mental health issues as I do. And so when I see those aspects of my workplace, and I think about the things that would help me to be successful, I know that those changes are not-- they can't happen on their own, that they are bound together with how racism and other forms of oppression impact my colleagues.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So for example, in the research that Toni and I and other colleagues at Cal State San Marcos are doing, we're looking at how ADHD affects people who use the library, our own colleagues in the library who might have ADHD. And what we really found in that research, and there's lots of research that backs this up, is that people of color, especially Black people don't always have the support and the access to diagnosis.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: There is underdiagnosis among people of color for ADHD. And then there's lack of support systems in place for supporting people who have ADHD who are also people of color. So if I am looking at my organization and I'm saying, here are some things that we need to do to make our resources, our spaces, the way that we do things more welcoming to people with neurodivergent, then we can't do that work without undoing racism in our organization because access to the support and the resources and the respect and the welcoming is not equally distributed at this point.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And so that's the work that we all need to do to work together to get there to see a liberated reality. I believe in the inherent worth and worthiness of all people. I believe that resisting and dismantling the dehumanizing forces of white supremacy culture and scarcity is essential daily work. And I believe that I'm always learning and will make mistakes, and I have probably already made them so far today.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: But having mistakes pointed out to me is a gift that I can use to prevent future harm. And Yes, oh, yeah, and Toni is saying in the chat, we are realizing how inequitable our hiring practices are to people with neurodivergences. Absolutely. Hiring practices, in general, are very exclusionary to many people. They've been really built up that way.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And so there are lots of steps that we can take to make those practices more equitable. Absolutely. That's a great point, Toni. So the shared agreements. We have used these same shared agreements. I think we've seen them in other sessions. These are the ones for Mckensie Mack.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And I'm going to read them again and center these agreements for ourselves. We agree to struggle against racism, sizeism, transphobia, classism, sexism, ableism, and the ways we internalize myths and misinformation about our own identities and the identities of other people. We know that no space can be completely safe, and we agree to work together towards harm reduction, centering those most affected by injustice in the community even if it means centering ourselves.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: We agree to sit with the discomfort that comes from confronting the complexities of harm, repair, identity, and accountability. We agree to try our best not to shame ourselves for the vulnerability that this kind of work requires. We agree to value the viewpoints of other people that do not challenge or conflict with our right to exist nor with the right of others to exist. And we agree to do our best to embrace discomfort.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: We know we don't have all the answers, and we do this work in community. Oh, Castro is saying, is there a way to turn on captioning? I'm going to defer to Toni and Jill about how the webinar is set up in that way.
JILL O'NEILL: Closed captioning has been enabled.
TONI OLIVAS: There should be something down at the bottom that says live closed captioning. So I'm hoping it shows up. Oh no, Jill.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Should we pause or stop--
JILL O'NEILL: One moment. Let me.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Oh, I see it now. I see live captioning. Oh, maybe it was not--
TONI OLIVAS: So it is there now apparently.
JILL O'NEILL: I'm very sorry.
TONI OLIVAS: OK. Thank you so much, Castro. Thank you all.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Yes, thank you for pointing that. And I would volunteer during the recording if part has been missed for the live captioning, I can go back and provide the transcription myself for the notes or for the recording if that's possible. Or we can use a separate text document to retranscribe that. So thank you for pointing that out. And I'm glad that it's there now. Right on.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: As I said before, the resources that I'm using and I'm going to reference throughout this are absolutely the core of this presentation. And so I want to acknowledge a few resources in particular that I used. Again, none of these ideas are ideas I came up with myself. I'm learning from people who have decades of experience in anti-racist organizing and equity work.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And so these three sources-- and I will have links to those in the resources section of the slides. But Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown, many of you may have already read that book. And I have read it a couple of times, and still, I'm learning from it. Organizational Theory for Equity and Diversity by Colleen Capper.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: This is a great background on many of the theories that we can use to approach equity work in organizations, especially education resources or education institutions. And then this document Unlearning Scarcity Cultivating Solidarity: A Toolkit for the Asian-American Community by Studio ATAO. I believe that stands for All Together At Once. And this document is absolutely incredible. And I learned so much from it.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I really encourage all of you to read the entire thing. It's really available on the website. And you can also donate to the organization. But this has just an amazing characterization of scarcity and solidarity and a lot of good context to consider when you're approaching solidarity work in your institution. So we're going to talk about white supremacy culture. And I know some of you have been doing this work for a really long time and have studied this and are very familiar with what is meant by white supremacy culture.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: But I'm really curious to see what kind of words come to mind. Oh, and really quick, sorry, I'm seeing in the chat, in the shared agreement, there was not a mention of homophobia. And I absolutely hear that. And I think that's something that we can include in future sessions and people chose-
TONI OLIVAS: Absolutely.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: -shared agreement along, yeah.
TONI OLIVAS: Thank you, Terry.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Thank you, Terry. So we're going to go with Slido. I admit I have not used the Slido before this technology. So I'm hoping that it goes, and it will work for all of you. So if you want to go to slido.com, the code is NISO8. Thank you Holly for putting that link nicely in the chat there. We can get it. And the code is N-I-S-O-8. And so I'm just curious when you think of-- it's not a quiz about name all the elements if you know them.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: But if you do know them, go for it. But what do you think of when you think of white supremacy culture? What comes to mind? It could be words. It could be phrases. Yeah, it could be a lot of different things. And I'm seeing that it's working or it seems to be working. So I'm seeing perfectionism come to the top.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I'm seeing racism, power. I also see words like skinheads and Nazis, white supremacist organizations. I see unspoken rules, proper English ignorance. I see dismantled it, terrorism, oppression, police, our culture, status quo, anti-Semitism, hierarchy, fear, exclusion.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And it's OK to take a minute to think about this. We can sit with this for a minute. Paternalism, fragility, privilege, libraries, erasure of Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Individualism, disenfranchisement. So I think the words are starting to slow down a little bit. I really am thankful for the engagement on this. It sounds like many of us have done a lot of thinking about white supremacy culture and thinking about the ways in which it impacts our daily lives and our daily practice.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Many of you may be familiar with Tema Okun's white supremacy culture characteristics. And there is a new website, I think, that was just launched this year where there is just a new framing and capturing of these white supremacy culture characteristics that have been discussed for many years. And on this website, there's these couple of quotes that I wanted to highlight.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: First, that white supremacy culture trains us all to internalize attitudes and behaviors that do not serve any of us. And then while white supremacy culture affects us all, harms us all, and is toxic to us all, it does not affect, harm, and violate us in the same way. White supremacy targets and violates BIPOC people and communities with the intent to destroy them directly.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: White supremacy targets and violates white people with a persistent invitation to collude that will inevitably destroy their humanity. I reflect on these quotes. I think leads us into then a conversation about solidarity and how this whole system is harmful to everyone. Of course, more acutely harmful to people of color and to marginalized communities and anyone who does not meet the impossible standard of whiteness.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: But it is, I think, a responsibility for all of us to look at and investigate these elements of white supremacy culture however they interact in our own lives. Whether you are a white person, whether you're a person of color, whatever your identities are, this is a struggle for all of us. So there are several elements of white supremacy culture. And I'm not going to talk about each one, every one here. But I am going to focus and make reference to these, progress is bigger/more and quantity over quality, individualism and I'm the only one.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I'm the only one who can do this. I need to have all the authority and get the credit for myself. Urgency, so this is a false urgency where everything needs to be done right away, super quickly. Sometimes urgency can get in the way of DEIA work because everything is so urgent, all of our tasks, all the things that we're trying to do in our organizations, we keep so busy. We don't then have time.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: There's no time for the work. And qualified. And this is, I think, a new one that was added to the new website. And I think it's very relevant to when we think about things like hiring practices, and especially in our field, in the library and information and knowledge field where often degrees are being used to prevent people from joining the organization.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So the master's in library information science degree, for example, the pipeline of that degree program is very white. And so who are we excluding from potentially joining our organizations and doing incredible work just because that MLIS degree is a barrier? And so there's a lot of conversations going on right now about how do we address that issue, the fact that the programs themselves, the people who have the degrees were excluding people who would bring expertise to our organizations that our organizations really need.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So we're going to shift a little bit to the scarcity mindset, but I want to take a moment to-- we just talked about a bunch of stuff with white supremacy culture. And if people have questions about that or want to dig into any of them more or if anything was unclear, I do you want to take just a moment to pause before we start to talk about scarcity if there are questions or people want to chime in.
TONI OLIVAS: I do have a question slash maybe comment for you, Lauren, that somebody put in the private chat for me. How does white supremacy culture affect not just BIPOC people but people with neurodivergent disabilities, or even people who are transgender or from the LGBTQ community?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely. That's such a great point. Well, white supremacy culture sort of constructs this idea of whiteness that is, of course, impossible to attain, this perfection. And so when you have-- so for example, with ADHD, if I am struggling with my executive function, maybe I am struggling with productivity, I am not being as productive as I need to be and struggling with procrastination, with task initiation, some of these things that I struggle with like making an agenda for a meeting.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I really struggle with getting those done in a timely manner, things like that. Well, when you are not meeting that impossible standard, any of these characteristics that are marginalizing to you are used against you in a way that says, well, you're not competent, or maybe we shouldn't put you in a position of any kind of leadership because these things are not meeting this impossible standard.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: It's so bound up to with things like racial stereotypes where any of those features where you're not meeting this impossible standard are used to say, we are literally going to take power away from you in these circumstances. So it's absolutely true that white supremacy culture is bound together with all these other forms of oppression to say that if you're not-- we will use against you, whoever you are, wherever you're coming from, whatever you're not meeting the standard for to disempower you directly through a number of means, whether that's just exclusion, whether that's social exclusion, whether that's using things like transphobic language, deadnaming, anything that sends a signal that you're not allowed, you're not acceptable here.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So I think that's such a good point that these standards that they really set up mean that as you're white person, as a person with white privilege going through the space, the benefit of the doubt may be given to you. But then if you fail to meet these other standards, these impossible standards of whiteness, then that benefit of the doubt can be taken away at any time. So I hope that is a good way to answer that.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: But I also would like others to chime in there about how they've seen that work in their own lives or other ways of thinking about that question. And people can continue to contribute in the chat about that or think about it. And we can talk about it later also.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So we're going to move into scarcity mindset. And I think that might actually be pretty relevant to that question that was asked. So the scarcity mindset, which it surprised me endlessly that that phrase actually comes from Stephen Covey that 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which is not a source I would have thought that this phrase would come from. But the scarcity mindset is basically that there is not enough whatever, resources, time, recognition, power to go around.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So I must be in competition with others constantly to get these. I will never have and will never be enough. And that's one definition of the scarcity mindset. So another way of thinking about scarcity-- and this again comes from this incredible document from Studio ATAO. Part of what they had done in putting this document together is to hold these salons, these interactive sessions to talk about scarcity and anti-racism and what it means in the lives of Asian-Americans, in particular, with the context of exploitation with Asian-American stereotyping.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So how has scarcity specifically affected the Asian-American community? And so there's this quote in this document, "As one of our salon participants shared, operating within a capitalist society as an Asian-American has made them feel, quote, 'I need to have skills to be valuable because just as a person, I am not valuable.'" And I think that idea of whatever you're bringing as yourself to an organization to work that you're trying to do working with others that as a human being, you have to prove yourself.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And so many of our structures at work are set up to do this. And again, how that interacts with white supremacy culture is that as a white person going into these spaces, the benefit of the doubt maybe granted to you. It may not be granted to a person of color coming into that same space. And that these additional layers of having to prove oneself, prove that you belong, and we set up a number of structures to set this up.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So for example, hiring. Many of us in our organizations have these marathon hiring days that are really difficult. They're really difficult just in general. They're like 10, 12-hour days. You're expected to be on and perform the whole day. And then you're never again, if you get the job, required to have a day like that, hopefully, where you're just on the whole day.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: You're having this presentation. You're behaving a certain way. You're really being evaluated every single moment of that day. It's the idea of we build in these hurdles to say, do you belong here? Are you going to pass these tests? And then if so, you're welcome in the organization.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And so racism and white supremacy and transphobia and these other layers of oppression are used to take away that validation that you belong in the space. And so we'll talk about some other manifestations of this in general. But this idea that you have to prove yourself means things like workaholism or overwork can be actually a survival mechanism of like, I need to work 10 times as hard as everybody else just to prove that I belong here.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And I see a quote from Holly saying that thinking about the earlier question, plus 1, and then white supremacy culture serves to mostly benefit cisgender, heteronormative, neurotypical white men. Anyone feeling outside of that have to work harder to fit in, and what that looks like varies. Holly, yes, thank you so much for sharing that. Alanna is saying those daylong interviews are so oppressive for people who are neurodivergent, anxious, introverted, or have physical issues that make it hard to sit all day.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Right on, yeah. I absolutely identify so much with that perspective. It's so difficult to have those daylong days for any kind of-- again, anything that would make a day like that challenging is so amplified by these oppressive structures and through interpersonal racism and all the other interactions that might go on during that day that make that day just really, really difficult.
TONI OLIVAS: Alice even says those who speak English as a first language too. There's a debate-- there was a debate in our organization if you remember, Lauren, about, quote unquote, "is it fair to give questions to candidates ahead of time?" And there was a lot of discussion about that. And it was, well, people need to be able to think on their feet. And that in and of itself is ablest language. So why is it so bad to give questions ahead of time?
TONI OLIVAS: And we've been having this discussion. So I'm really glad to see other people chiming in about this.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely. Yes, thank you so much for bringing that up, Toni. Yeah, that is absolutely a barrier to anyone who-- coming up with that, being able to speak, that's something I struggle with. That's very difficult for a lot of people. And also even hearing the questions verbally. So if you're in an interview situation and someone is asking you questions verbally and you don't have a chance to see them written down, personally, I struggle with that auditory processing.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And so it's hard for me to just hear the words without having those words in front of me so that I can read them also. It's hard to process that. So how many people then have been excluded from being successful in interview processes just because those barriers are there? I see some more chats, and I want to read them. Thank you, Alice, for chiming in about English as a first language.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely, that same sort of you're just expected to hear what's being said to you in this rapid fire, talking really quickly, and then respond immediately is such a challenge. And then let's see, Holly's saying it feels like a big test. Can you perform in our white culture for eight hours a day? Thank you, Holly. Yes.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Amy is saying, white supremacy, if I'm white, I'm assumed to be in the club. But we still see how whiteness is used as a cudgel against BIPOC folks and others. Anything that doesn't meet the narrow perfect standards means that authority and power of white supremacy culture will be turned against you, which makes it very scary to step out of line or be authentic if your identity doesn't fall in line.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So for example, queerness. Thank you Amy. Absolutely. And Jodi is saying even during a reference check, it can be hard to answer questions on the telephone without receiving them in advance. Jodi, yes. Yeah, right on. Alanna is saying exactly, Holly.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: If you can answer a pop quiz versus being more thoughtful. Castro is saying, yes, auditory processing is the worst, so hard. Milan is saying me too, Lauren. I need to read the questions to understand. Sara is saying lots of walking post-back surgery, must pretend to be fine. And absolutely, Sara, right on. I think any health issue, physical health, chronic pain, many of these issues that people are dealing with, the interview day is not at all set up to be accommodating.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Alice is saying, even if you speak fluent English but have an accent, you're discriminated against. And Toni is agreeing. And Lisa is saying that questions are also often multiple parts, and it's hard to recall if you answered everything.
TONI OLIVAS: Exactly. And we actually talked about that too. And I think that we're getting away from asking questions that determine can the person really do this job, as opposed-- we're getting away from finding out if a person can really do the job and asking questions to determine if they're really the "right fit," quote unquote. We don't want to think about that, but that's the truth. Those are the types of questions that we're starting to ask.
TONI OLIVAS: Does this person really fit into our organization? And what is that code for?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Fit is a code for whiteness.
TONI OLIVAS: There you go.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Exactly. Can be a member of the team? Are you a team player? And those phrases are very loaded, and they reflect on-- even if you have rubrics that are meant to be right, neutral, and objective, they never are. And so absolutely, these are so important things to think about when you're thinking about all of these structures that we've set up.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And Castro is saying race, and Holly is saying assimilation. Right on. And I realize I'm talking super quickly. And I'm hoping Toni or anybody else tell me to slow down. I'm sorry if I'm just way going a million miles an hour. I'm excited to talk about these things with all of you. Castro is saying I think more organizations need to sit with the discomfort of having a variety of people who don't fit.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely. So we've really addressed a lot these, some of these scarcity mindset in your work or life. So you may choose to opt out of this piece of it if you feel like you have already said what you want to say. But if you have more things to talk about. Let's go to Slido and do the next activity, which I'm hoping will show up for you.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And this question, again, if you want to engage in the chat in this way, really hoping that Slido is working. Maybe not. But the question is, have you witnessed the scarcity mindset in your work or life? And if so, in what way? And we can think about this for a second too. And if the Slido is not working, I will try and fix it.
TONI OLIVAS: And if the Slido isn't working, you're welcome to message us privately. Oh, there it is.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Oh, good Thank you, Toni. Absolutely, private messaging. Absolutely, yes. I see data-driven decisions. I see I don't have time to do this work. The focus on productivity is the only metric of worth. Yes, absolutely. People who talk the most get the most respect and awards even if what they say is meaningless. Constant competition.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Making busy work, looking busy even if you've completed the necessary work. I'm going to scroll up now. Salary equity. Specific people are given opportunities based on their job line, which only allows people in power to get more power. Inflexible hierarchy at work. I'm so busy is valued and rewarded.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely. The tenure process. In public universities, the scarcity mindset, sorry, is everywhere due to budget shortfalls. Everyone has turned cannibal. Most literally around pay. We can't afford a living wage. So the only people who can join are those who are already wealthy.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely. Quantity over quality. Speaking up seen as being difficult. Always a zero-sum game. There's no time to do EDI work. It is like something separate from everything we do in the library and not infused into all aspects of our organization. Women are a majority of the workforce, but in a small minority of the leadership.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Job creep. Competition versus collaborative. We don't have enough, and the problem is you, the BIPOC leader. Absolutely. In both my work and personal life, I was raised in a culture that feels like you never have enough for the things we want and have to work extremely hard to make that happen even if we have enough or more than enough in reality.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Only certain people have support to do writing and research even though it's the only way to get ahead. I think we're just seeing so many-- these are excellent surfacing of how scarcity is impacting our organizations. Absolutely. Our approach to economics generally is survival based. Working much harder and more hours than other colleagues who aren't part of a marginalized community and seeing them continue to get promoted to senior positions.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely. Everyone is relying on us to stay open to keep their jobs. Unnecessary bureaucracy. And then in the chat, I see Kate saying fit and diverse opinions don't need to be limited to employees. Libraries can invite viewpoints from all users and stakeholders outside of our walls. Absolutely. Great point, Kate.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Oh, and such a good point, who came to work during COVID and who got to work from home. And we're going to talk about remote work. Well, possibly if we have time, talk about remote work. Anyway, who gets to work from home? What remote work really means? What kind of flexibility does that provide?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And how did we make decisions about remote work or how are we making them? And Holly is agreeing with Kate. It's so important for [INAUDIBLE] to work. I am going to move on for the sake of time. But just thank you so much for those examples and for surfacing all of those issues. A lot of these things are things that we take for granted, and it's just how the organization has to run.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: But we absolutely can and should question all of those things. So we've talked about scarcity. And scarcity means that we're in competition with each other and constantly looking for more and maybe hoarding the resources for ourselves. So let's think about then-- great.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Toni's giving me a time check. Thank you so much, Toni. So as we think about moving from scarcity to solidarity-- and we're going to have to talk a little bit about what solidarity means to you also. But here's one definition that we can think of. So solidarity is a transformative practice and a strategy for collective power, liberation, inclusion, healing, and equity.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And so we're thinking about where we're coming from a scarcity mindset and how just imbued in all of our organizations that scarcity mindset is. And we're thinking about how when we move to a solidarity approach. So I'm wondering now-- I'm sorry. I'm going to have you do-- Alanna's yes, my source is Deepa Iyer.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely. And that Solidarity Is website is absolutely excellent. It's in the resources. And it gives a lot of examples about solidarity. So definitely please go to that resource and look around there. There's a lot of really good organizational ideas about how to have solidarity in your organization. So let's do another discussion here about what's solidarity when you hear the word solidarity.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And there's a lot of different ways to define it. And to me, when we think about solidarity, it's so impacted by your positionality, your experiences, how you think about approaching working with others, and what that means to have solidarity with others. So let's maybe go into this next Slido. Again, the slido.com, and the code is NISO8, N-I-S-O-8.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And so what does it mean to you? And you can talk about either a definition that speaks to you, that you have heard, or just when you approach with working with others, what does solidarity look like? So I'm seeing finding strength through unity and a common purpose. Joined together for one cause. We're in it together.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Learning from respecting and defending others. Working for the well-being of all. Banding together to support one another. Having each other's back and knowing they have yours despite individual sacrifices. White people actually taking risks and making sacrifices to have BIPOC peoples back, not just mouthing the words. Hearing about something, even if it doesn't affect you.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely. Togetherness and unity. Valuing and trusting each other. We have each other's back. Collective power. [? Binding ?] my success to yours. Making sure to tell others when you agree with their position. An all inclusive united mindset. Our union.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Sharing and equalizing power. We're all connected. One's freedom and success is dependent on another's freedom or success. Absolutely. Being willing to make way for and stand up for others. Actively working to redress imbalances and be more equitable. Sacrificing comfort, power, et cetera, to stand up for others.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Working together. We're successful together. Right on. And I like the-- solidarity does mean, and transformative solidarity, in particular, really means what sacrifices we need to make, recognizing that in some cases, the privileges that are afforded to us mean that another group is suffering because of those privileges.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And so that idea of not only do we stand up for things that might not affect us, but also, recognize that if we're benefiting from the system, how do we actively actually reject some of those benefits if the system means that what I'm benefiting from is actually harming someone else? So I'm seeing making the way easier for people around you and people to come after you.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Common ground, common understanding, mutual respect, social contract. Being sympathetic, understanding, and willing to learn and grow so that we can work and live together supporting each other. Thank you so much for those wonderful definitions. I have another one to think about. This is from bell hooks. And it's talking about feminist organizing, in particular, but I think we can learn from this phrase in a variety of contexts.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So when women actively struggle in a truly supportive way to understand our differences to change misguided, distorted perspectives, we lay the foundation for the experience of political solidarity. "Solidarity is not the same as support. To experience solidarity, we must have a community of interests, shared beliefs, and goals around which to unite, to build Sisterhood. Support can be occasional.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: It can be given and just as easily withdrawn. Solidarity requires sustained ongoing commitment." And I reflect on this quote a lot when I think about-- especially we see, and I think we saw it in the chat as well. It's so easy to give your support in words to something, to say oh, I support this cause, but what actions do you actually take, and who are you actually collaborating with?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Are you building connections and relationships and being interconnected with others? Because support is really like a separate kind of thing. And Dell is saying support of the passive way of stating such but not taking any actions. It's so easy to say that you support something, not actually do any of the work or engage in the work or actually do what needs to be done to make some progress. So I like that kind of thinking differently about exactly what Dell is saying.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: It's passive to support something, but solidarity requires that action.
TONI OLIVAS: And I think that also ties in with what Alanna said last week when we're talking about land acknowledgments. It's getting to be very popular, but what are we actually doing? We're just saying it, but what are we actually doing to support it? What are the actions behind what we say?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Yes, absolutely. And Holly is saying, yes, I heard something interesting about this yesterday using the terms ally, accomplice, and co-conspirator. Right on. And Holly if you want to expand more about that, go for it. But I also don't want to put you on the spot. And this is, I think, the Future of Libraries Conference if I'm right. I think I was also in that session.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: If Holly, you want to unmute or talk or say something more, the PLP Future of Libraries Conference. Oh, thanks, Holly. Holly is going to put the link in. Alanna says you cannot name yourself an ally. Only other folks can do that. Absolutely. Because again, you can say I'm an ally for this course.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: But if you're not actually doing anything to support it, then you're really not. Only the people whose work that you need to be doing to actually improve the situation are going to be able to determine if you're an ally. That's right on. Thanks, Holly, too. So knowing that we don't have all the time potentially to get through this, I want to know-- so we're going to talk about-- or I have slides.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I'll say this. I have slides for each of these, for hiring and retention, pay, working conditions, workload and urgency, surveillance, recognition and validation, and decision-making. These are all sites. They're not the only sites. There are some examples of where inequity manifests that we can take action on.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And I'm hoping that we can get through most of them, but we might not. And so I'm thinking let's do a Slido to just see which ones are the most interesting to you. There's a ranking activity. And I really hope this works. And again, if it doesn't, the ranking, or it's not accessible to you, if you can put it in the chat either as a private message or in the chat about which ones you're most interested in, and we'll try to come to consensus about which ones.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So which of these are you most interested in discussing? We've got hiring and retention, pay, working conditions, surveillance, recognition and validation. And then again, that's slido.com and the NISO8 code. Oh, and then Holly's got the-- with the link. Thank you, Holly. Yeah, that was a really incredible session. And I want to go back and do it.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Oh, thanks, Alanna. The Slido, well, I did set the example. And so I was worried setting it up that I was not going to-- it wouldn't go as well. Oh thanks, Alanna. It's the first times too. Well, you rocked it too. You wouldn't know.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So I'm seeing recognition, validation, hiring and retention, and decision making. So that means I'm going to skip around on the slides a little bit. And if we don't get to all of them, each of the slides-- and I'll say this again probably throughout it. The ideas that we'll talk about in each of these, those are not my ideas. There's citations for them that have-- there's some great examples of how you can address these and things to look out for and practices that you can undertake and actions you can take.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So if we don't get to all of them during the session, when the slides get shared out, those resources will be there. I'm writing them down.
TONI OLIVAS: And it looks like hiring and retention is in the lead. And then recognition/validation is right behind it.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I'm just getting to-- and I will talk about surveillance at the end because we're going to talk about the difference between surveillance and accountability at the end too. So that one, we'll sneak in there at the end even though it's maybe not the one that everyone wants to hear about right now.
TONI OLIVAS: Alanna says that there was a great session yesterday at the ARL Fall Forum on hiring in an anti-racist way with four BIPOC women leaders and directors. I'm missing all of these great things.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I'm writing that down also.
TONI OLIVAS: I know. Thanks, Alanna.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Right on. So let's move on to, I can see it still top, hiring and intentions. Still at the top. So just to pause again and say the following slides are meant to include examples of questions you and your organization can ask to take focused actions toward equity. And I just want to point out the suggestions that I've come up with and the resources that I found are limited by my own biases.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I have narrow experience working in academic libraries. And so I'm driven by the things that I've observed in my own organization. And these are not comprehensive. And again, the resources that I'll point to, read those whole things, the citations, and not just take my word for it. And then they're really overwhelming. As I was putting these together and going through them, I was like, this is so many things.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: It's going to seem like how could I possibly begin talking about some of these things. But I do want to just highlight this quote from Adrienne Maree Brown which, "What we practice at the small scale sets the patterns for the whole system." So taking one action toward pay equity is important because those things tend to spiral out and have a greater impact than you might think.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And Alanna has the quote, yes, thank you, that sounds awesome. I really hope that was recorded, so I can watch it. So we're talking about hiring. Ans so I'm going to skip around. You can see-- there we go. So I have a couple of sources here, again, that you can use to guide some of this work. I have two slides. One is on hiring.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And so this really starts even before you even think about inviting somebody for a position, to really think about the job description. So do the minimum qualifications include experiences that can be learned on the job? In other words, are you hiring an entry level position and saying that someone has to have two years of experience? When in fact, you don't really need that. Basically, are you building in minimum qualifications that you don't actually require and really being critical about that?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Because sometimes our job descriptions will just include things that maybe have always been there. It's just always how we've done it. We've not really looked at what that language does or what it means when someone is excluded. Because if you have minimum qualifications and you say someone has to have a couple of years experience but maybe they've never had a job, a paying job in a library, well, you're going to privilege those applicants who maybe were able to do something like an unpaid internship for a couple of years.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And not everyone can afford to do that. Are you requiring degrees that are not actually essential? And I think really having a robust discussion about the MLIS degree if that's a degree that you require. Are there other ways to evaluate the expertise of your candidates that don't require degrees that tend to be exclusionary? Are educational requirements being used as a proxy for specific skills that could be attained through some other means?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Again, having degree requirements that-- I think especially too any time something is arbitrary, you don't really need to have this. There's many things we do in our institution that if there's exceptions that people are OK with, the exceptions get made. And if that's happening, then you really need think about, are these things actually required? Does the language incorporate communication and management styles that are culturally and gender inclusive?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And this document from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, it really gives some examples of how language can be very exclusionary. If you're talking about management, some of those ways of describing management like directing and leading, rather than supporting and even nurturing can be a word that you use to talk about if you're nurturing the development of staff in the department.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Those words have power, as Alanna showed. And so how you're actually describing the work can feel very exclusionary to people also.
TONI OLIVAS: And Susan just put in the chat that all degrees are exclusionary. And that's true, yeah.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Yes, it is true. And especially when you see them in the example of the librarianship, that pipeline is absolutely preventing people from joining the fields. Then that's a degree that we need to really question about, is that really the only way that we can know that someone will be successful in our organization?
TONI OLIVAS: I think there's a lot of fear around that, Lauren, because some people think that by questioning the MLIS degree, it's devaluing it somehow. But those who are questioning the degree, we're not devaluing the degree. It's just trying to look at other ways of including more people.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely. Right. The pipeline into that library degree needs to be fixed, no doubt. That is a problem. We need to have more people going through those programs. The programs themselves need to be more inclusive, no doubt. But is that actually going to happen unless we make a statement in our hiring process and say this degree is not working for us?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: As a hiring body, what would the degree programs do in that situation? And would they say, well, we need to do more work to have more inclusive programs? I think there is an interplay there. So yeah, right on, absolutely.
TONI OLIVAS: There's also the concept of the student debt and who really gets all of the student debt.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely, yes.
TONI OLIVAS: And Alanna is talking about Sylvia Vaughn did an amazing workshop on critical management studies and examination of management versus leadership. Oh, sorry, Suz. My point wasn't that the MLIS was not exclusionary or that we shouldn't discuss it.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Yeah, totally. But they represent barriers right, and there are so many barriers to achieving those degrees. And that's absolutely a huge, huge problem overall with all higher education access.
TONI OLIVAS: Yeah, and we have someone say, oh, gosh, so many thoughts here. I will note that if we value library staff, those without degrees if we valued them more and paid them accordingly, then this wouldn't be such an issue.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Such a good point looking at pay issues and honestly the validation and recognition of non-MLIS library personnel is a huge, huge problem. So the other piece of this, of course, is retention. And actually, I should have put these the other way around. Retention comes first.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: You don't want to hire people into your organization when you have structural racism. And you're going traumatize your employees that you hire in because you haven't addressed issues that will basically allow a person to want to stay in your organization. And so you want to fix maybe these retention issues before you think about your hiring. And so here are some examples. So do you have onboarding mentoring systems in place?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: When you hire people do you actually tell them what their job is? This is something that is not always done. And there's an assumption that, well, you're here. And sink or swim is a really common idea of workplaces in general, where you just figure it out. You figure out your own job. And there's a lot of unspoken assumptions about what somebody is coming in to the job already knowing about the organization, how it works, what the norms are.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And so making those processes explicit. What are you actually expected to do? Not read between the lines about what you're expected to do. But is it clear? Are you actually saying what someone is supposed to be doing? Then there's this idea of stay interviews. I don't know that a lot of libraries have these, like an exit interview.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: But that is obviously a concept that's used in some organization where if somebody decides to leave, then you would ask them what their thoughts are about why they're leaving and could the organization have done something to keep them on. And this idea of stay interview is while someone is still in your organization, to have regular check-ins about what can we do to keep you here? What is going on that could make you want to leave?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Or are we doing everything that we can to support you? You do you have the accommodations that you need? Are you experiencing racist assaults and microaggressions? Check in with what's going on in the workplace, rather than waiting for somebody to be totally fed up with all of the discrimination they're facing, and then they leave. And maybe at that point, you do ask and figure some things out, but actually retaining people that you have who have been hired, figuring out where those barriers are and doing something about it.
TONI OLIVAS: The chat is blowing up. So I just want to read a few. What defines success in the organization and the profession also needs to be addressed. And wondering for academic libraries if we don't have advanced degrees, will our users value us less? Alanna loves the concept of stay interview. Me too. I think a lot of folks do too.
TONI OLIVAS: If you haven't seen it-- so Alice says Scholarly Kitchen blog posts are helpful for understanding the sorts of issues people are experiencing. Absolutely. Stay interviews, yes. So for those of you who are in managerial positions, deans, directors, stay interviews.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Yeah. And Alice, thank you so much for sharing those links. Those are great resources. Alanna is saying sometimes people who experience racism stay because they cannot leave, but they disengage or feel traumatized. Such a good point. Absolutely. Survival mode. And then of course, then the person who is in that survival mode is punished.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: It's not seen as an organizational failure. It's seen as that person is not, again, not fitting in, not a team player. And all of those things that focus on the organization are focused on the individual instead of looking at what the organization has done. I think that's a good point, just generally about thinking about some of these things. And we'll talk about this if we get to the recognition section too that often, we hold back on thinking we're talking about those things.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And then we don't look at the organization, what the organization is making somebody-- it's changing how somebody is reacting and surviving in the organization. And we use it then to penalize people and to punish them and to come up with professional development plans. It's what we call like-- we need to fix these things. Well, the organization needs to fix a lot of those things.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: It's not the individual's fault.
TONI OLIVAS: It says we've got a few people. So Suz says, yes, Alanna. People are so traumatized. They believe they can't get another job or they can't get therapy or they're perceived as not high-performing. They're not skilled, productive. And then some folks actually start to believe that about themselves. Some folks start to retreat.
TONI OLIVAS: And then they're not seen as those team players, right?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Yes, absolutely. That phrase needs to go away. And Dell is saying, yeah, not perceived as high-performing, skilled, or productive. And Holly's saying, yes, or have tried leaving for another job organization. And it's not any better or even worse, and it starts to feel like it's like that everywhere. Yeah, absolutely, Holly.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And then yes, so speaking of these same things, what steps are actually being taken to prevent racist abuse across the organization and microaggressions? Like trainings to dismantle white supremacy culture that really focus on the people who do have relative power and privilege in the organization to stop them from perpetuating racist assaults in the organization.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And are their mechanisms for employees to safely report racist abuse and other forms of marginalization or exclusion in the organization? And so how are those issues of racist abuse and exclusion actually followed up on? And so these are all steps, again, to take in advance of hiring people or looking at your hiring for inclusion, for diversity and inclusion to have these structures in place so that, again, people should not be experiencing racial trauma in your organization.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: If you're against that happening, then the actions that need to be taken to prevent that.
TONI OLIVAS: Yeah, and I would even extend that to not just racial microaggressions but also anything to do with race, gender, sexuality, et cetera, everything on the spectrum.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely. So it looks like the next one that people wanted to hear about according to the Slido was recognition. So give me a moment to find those slides. So organizations generally are not always good at or know how to or even actively prevent things that involve getting to know, recognizing and celebrating each other's humanity and inherent worth.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So I think there was a comment earlier in the chat that was talking about how do we look at how we're interconnected. Organizations, that idea of individualism and I'm the only one, can mean that people feel very isolated, that their only interaction with other people in their workplace is about productivity, it's about achievements. But we don't often get to know each other on a human level and celebrate each other's inherent worth. Do you recognize and talk about how you're interconnected with others?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Is there a culture of deferring to the expertise of others, to recognizing the contributions of others? Or do you have a culture of celebrating anybody who is, quote, "going above and beyond" rather than celebrating the people who are doing the work, even if it's not above and beyond, far beyond what's expected? Are you intentionally recognizing and celebrating DEIA research, labor, service, and accomplishments?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And again, not just be accomplishments, but just the labor and how much emotional labor is in there. Is there recognition for that work? In my experience as a-- I've worked as a systems librarian, the technology side of things. And technology positions in libraries are often paid really well. And there is a lot of power that comes with those kinds of positions in some cases.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: But relationship building positions is also a skill, a very, very valuable skill. And we don't always build those positions in that way or recognize that work. So do we recognize and celebrate relationship building and mentoring work? Do we recognize and celebrate working together and collaborating? Or is there this idea of like, oh, you did it alone, so you did it great.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: When really nobody accomplishes really anything alone in the organization. There's always that network that's helping people and supporting people through that work.
TONI OLIVAS: We have a comment. No one celebrates people who come to work and simply do their jobs every day.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Yeah, absolutely, Jodi. I wouldn't have stopped myself, and that's incredibly dehumanizing.
TONI OLIVAS: I think it's important, at this point, to say that when you are recognizing and validating employees, know your employee. And if this person doesn't like to have blogs written about them or big parties or giant recognitions, then don't do that. Just a one-on-one would be perfectly fine. Get to know your employees really. Ooh, chat's blowing up again. Great.
TONI OLIVAS: A former colleague calls those folks the sustainer and tries to provide recognition of the value of that work. Yes, there's a sarcastic response to congratulations. You do what you were hired to do and paid to do.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Right. As if that's meaningless or worthless which is-- absolutely, great points from everyone here. So incredibly dehumanizing these experiences and can just make you feel totally worthless. And so you have to build these in together. I think, Toni, what you said about getting to know people and relationship building is important work. We often see that as wasting time at work, building relationships.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: People are punished for building relationships in some cases if it seems like they're building those relationships, and they're maybe not doing whatever widget production they're supposed to be doing or whatever. But it's so important work. And it really is keeping our organizations alive when we have people who are very skilled at relationship building. Personally, I will say I'm not.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I witness that in others. And I think it needs to be more recognized because not everybody is actually skilled at relationship building. So then I see decision-making was the third one. And I think because we're running out of time, I'm going to go to that one, and then we'll do surveillance at the end. So we'll talk about accountability.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And then there's two other slides for pay and working conditions. And there's lots of sources on those slides that you can go look at. And then if people want to continue this conversation outside of the session, I would love to. So we can follow up on that also. So this last one, we'll look at decision-making. Does your organization provide multiple ways to participate in decision-making?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And that means like multiple forums, multiple literal ways of either talking through your feedback or providing feedback in writing. So are there multiple formats of input that are accessible to all, accessible to the way people like to contribute? And that can be through live synchronous meetings as well as asynchronous feedback forms. If you have a meeting and you make a big decision during that meeting, and there are people who, for whatever reason, are not feeling either comfortable speaking up or that way of speaking up in that meeting is not accessible to them, do you have another way before the decision is actually made for those people to contribute?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Do you recognize that all decisions are equity decisions and consider the impacts of decisions with an equity lens? So this is important. We often think and people have experienced this, that DEIA work is this separate thing that is over here, and we do that work separately. But all decisions in the organization are equity decisions, and they have equity impacts. So taking the time to really consider the impact of those decisions with an equity lens so that later on when there is an impact, because there's going to be, and you've made something that accessible or you've harmed someone in your organization that you'd prevent that from happening.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And have you ensured that there is sufficient time for informed feedback by affected stakeholders? So for example, there's phrase of nothing about us without us. So do you actually take the time to talk with people who are going to be affected by these things? And that can mean that a lot of time is added to decision-making, but when those decisions are happening really quickly, that's often when people are going to be excluded.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And I just see some other comments here. Shepherd is saying dealing with microaggressions is a form of invisible labor which decreases the person's visible productivity, and then in turn, decreases opportunity to [INAUDIBLE].. Shepherd, absolutely, thank you so much for that comment. Toni is saying dealing with a micro-- oh, sorry. Toni was just saying that. Thank you, Toni, for highlighting that one.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And then Alanna is saying, exactly, or it leads to repercussions for not being productive enough or caring enough. And this is something that I've witnessed, absolutely, in my experience that people are bringing trauma to work. People are bringing mental health struggles. Lots of reasons why someone is not necessarily the most productive every single day, every single moment. And then that is absolutely used against people.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: The person is the problem. Rather than asking or learning about what could be going on and supporting that person, finding ways for accommodations and just being understanding that the person-- people have humanity and people have inherent value, and being productive is not the only reason that you would ever interact with a human being at your workplace. And Jamie is saying my last job told me just do what you were hired to do.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: We're not interested in your thoughts about anything else. That is horrible, Jamie. And I'm so sorry that you experienced that.
TONI OLIVAS: I hope you have another job, Jamie.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I hope so too. And I hope you're not hearing those kinds of things. Good.
TONI OLIVAS: Yay.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Absolutely awful. I would suspect that many of us, people here in this session relate to comments like that. I remember being told at a job, one of my first library jobs when I think we were trying to-- some of us were trying to say, well, the timeline or this timeline is unrealistic. And it just so resonates with me being told no excuses, there's no excuses. And I just remember thinking that's just such a dehumanizing cruel way to look at getting things done.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And Jason is saying that's the way most of my time in the trades was. Part of workplaces are built up that way. And I know we're running out of time here in 10 minutes. I could talk about this--
TONI OLIVAS: I feel so bad, Lauren. I feel like I know I'm stressing you out. [INTERPOSING VOICES]
LAUREN MAGNUSON: No, you're not. You're not. You are keeping me going, and I love it. Thank you, Toni. So I'm going to talk really quickly about surveillance just because it's going to shift a little bit. So then talking about how accountability can work in a humanizing way. So does your organization, when you are thinking about surveillance, does it require everyone in the organization to report on their work and productivity in the same way, or some positions and units required to provide more in the case of libraries?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: But this can manifest in other ways, data, statistics, reporting, showing your work. Is everyone required to show their work in the same way or others being given the benefit of the doubt? Does your organization hover or micromanage marginalized employees or departments, again, make sure that the work is being done? Is there doubt?
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And that of course, breeds mistrust. And then do you have armed police and security patrolling the workplace? And is that adding to a climate of fear and surveillance for your employees and your users? And I have some sources. There's lots of sources out there looking at abolitionist. Well, this source, this particular abolitionist is de-escalation in the library, about how do libraries look at alternatives to policing in organizations.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And then Holly is saying, yes, having to respond to microaggressions is exhausting and takes time. When addressing it, the person who performed the microaggression is often offended. And then the individual doing the calling in or calling out is the person who ends up dealing with the negative repercussion. Absolutely. And this is totally exhausting, and it's just unacceptable that this is happening in our workplaces.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So how do we cultivate accountability? I have ADHD. And so sometimes what I find is that I can only get things done if I have an accountability buddy or an accountability partner. And what I see as accountability is a partnership in which each person brings some vulnerability to a situation. And so if I'm saying this timeline, whatever, this project that we're doing is getting delayed and it's not being done according to the timeline we thought it was and others are working on that kind of project, I could say, hey, I'm really struggling with these deadlines also.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And I'm having trouble keeping up, will you be my accountability buddy that we can work together on this? And then I think in a larger sense, this quote about accountability really also spoke to me about building relationships and how essential it is to having accountability in a workplace. So this quote, "In our vision of a racially just world, we understand accountability is an ongoing and fluid process of building and sustaining authentic relationships across constructed divides of race, class, gender, and geography.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: We collaborate in the project of decolonizing our hearts and minds, grounded in an understanding and analysis of the intricate weave of power dynamics that shape and socialize us. We acknowledge our essential interdependence as we collectively live into the principles that help us act effectively and with compassion to build the solidarity required for a different pie for justice." And that pie is referring again to that idea of scarcity culture, our scarcity mindset that there's this pie of resources of things that are needed.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And people are competing for a slice of the pie. But we can think about this different world of solidarity where we can work together more effectively, and not compete with each other in that world of scarcity. I think I have just a couple more minutes. And I think sometimes what accountability brings up is holding people accountable when mistakes are made in the organization. And this is something that I-- just steps of accountability of if you make a mistake, if I've made a mistake, I've made a mistake, I've said something that harms somebody that is racist or dehumanizing, and someone has given me a gift of actually calling me in on that or calling me out on that or telling me that, this can be a practice to do.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: I am so terrible at things like meditating. But this is something that you can practice on your own about looking at something that is maybe really difficult, hearing something difficult about yourself, hearing that you have things that you need to learn, to practice this, taking a breath, receiving the information, believe. Believe the person who has been brave enough to tell you that you did something wrong.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Believe them. Apologize. And then take the time-- don't continue to traumatize the person that you've hurt, but take the time afterward to reflect on that and do some learning. And Jamie is adding to this list, which I love. Say something nice internally to yourself for trying to practice this.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: White supremacy culture will try to convince you that if you're not perfect, that you're worthless. And that is not the case. If you make mistakes, you still have worth, and you still have something to contribute, and you have something to learn. And learning is a gift. And Alanna is saying if someone is kind enough to tell you you did something oppressive, as Lauren says, it is a gift.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: They did not have to take the time. And as Holly was pointing out too that is absolutely leads to repercussions for the person who is doing the calling out. That is often not received well and is emotionally traumatizing again for that person. So for somebody to actually take the time to talk to you about this is something that needs to be immensely grateful for.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So Castro says, I was in a forum yesterday where we talked about that accountability isn't something that you can impose on something else. It's something each person has to do themselves. Love that, Castro. Marsha is thinking for the new information. So much to reflect on and implement. And Rhonda saying, I was in a session on microaggressions yesterday.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And the instructor suggested that when we were called in, we should forgive quickly and apologize even faster. Yeah, apologize, apologize. Right on. I think I have one-- oh, five minutes. So just some closing thoughts. Equity is not the same as equality. Context matters. I also want to point out this phrase that I've heard many times that when someone is looking for a better pay or better work conditions that to provide that better pay or better work conditions creates an equity problem.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: So that is impossible. A person doesn't create an equity problem. There's an equity problem. If giving them a better pay or better conditions means that it would create a situation where other people also would want those things and cannot get them, then you have an equity problem. It is not that person who is needing those things or deserving of those things, they are not creating that equity problem.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And then solidarity requires unlearning individualism that I'm the only one. And that interdependence is iterative. And that is a quote from Adrienne Maree Brown that we need to work on interdependence with each other. It's not something that we're going to get right every single time. We're going to iterate, and we're going to get better at doing it every time.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Holly is adding again to that list of what to do when you make a mistake. Use your own time and effort to learn so that you don't make that same mistake, rather than putting that burden on a person telling you that you have made the mistake. Absolutely, Holly. That is absolutely awesome. Jamie and Toni and Alanna are agreeing.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: And Shepherd is saying if you are not able to respond in the moment, it doesn't mean you've missed your chance. You can always follow up later. That's true.
TONI OLIVAS: Lauren, I just want to say thank you. I think I cut you off. I'm so sorry. Go ahead.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: No, you did not. Go ahead. Yes, you're right on.
TONI OLIVAS: OK. But you see what I mean, folks? I get to work with this beautiful human being. And don't ever try to take her away from us because I will hurt you, OK? So now you see why she's one of my favorite people. Again, thank you so much, Lauren, for being with us. Thank you so much for sharing your vulnerability with us and for trusting us with the information that you shared about your own struggles.
TONI OLIVAS: So thank you. Thank you. Thank you I just wanted to remind folks to come back next week because we're going to start talking about gathering the data. And Dr. Kawanna Bright will be with us. And she's actually going to be with us for two weeks. So please come back next week.
TONI OLIVAS: And I'm just seeing the chats blow up with all of these wonderful thank yous. Again, thank you, Lauren. And thank you everyone for coming today.
LAUREN MAGNUSON: Thank you all.
JILL O'NEILL: Our thanks to both Toni and Lauren for the work they've contributed in this series. Thank you so much for what you've brought to our attention today and for helping us wrestle with some of these challenges. And with that, I am going to say goodbye to all of our attendees today. And I look forward so much to next Friday's event.
JILL O'NEILL: Thank you all.