Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Background

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee was formed in July 2020 as part of Tulane Libraries strategic planning efforts. The committee kicked off by implementing a climate survey, which informed the charge, actions, and recommendations it charted through 2022.  

Charge

The DEI Committee works to develop and promote a diverse work force; to identify and remove barriers to a more inclusive and equitable organizational culture; to examine Library policies, practices, programming, and services critically and productively, recommending alternatives where applicable; and to partner with appropriate campus groups to both promote and support DEI and address anti-racism at Tulane. 

In concert with other committees and groups (e.g., Library Department, TULSA, and Library and University HR), the DEI Committee helps educate and support Library staff in developing a shared understanding that creating a welcoming and inclusive community is everyone’s responsibility. No one person or committee can be responsible for promoting DEI in the workplace. This responsibility belongs to all of us as members of Tulane University Libraries. 

Scope
  • The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is made of up both staff and librarians at the Tulane University Libraries. 
  • The Committee develops and participates in programs, exhibits, materials, and other forms of outreach that engage both library staff and the broader Tulane community in deepening their understanding of DEI issues. 
  • The Committee works with others to promote cultural competency development opportunities. 
  • The Committee works with Library and campus offices to identify systems and structures that may impede DEI efforts, and to identify potential DEI needs and projects. 
  • The Committee acknowledges that DEI work can at times be uncomfortable.  A foundational assumption is that all members participate to learn and commit to help one another and all colleagues in the learning process.  
Membership

The committee membership consists of: 

  • Chair 
  • Vice-chair/chair-designate 
  • 6 members from librarian and staff ranks 

Members will serve a two-year term.  

The committee's membership does not necessarily include, nor is it required to be a trained DEI professional. As we are all learning and have the interest in forwarding our cause, we defer to trained professionals regarding issues that we are not experts in. 

The group’s current members are: 

  • Neville Prendergast (Chair), Director, Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences 
  • Rachel Stein (Vice-Chair), Research & Instruction Librarian, The Latin American Library 
  • Esterlina García, Library Associate, Acquisitions & E-Resources 
  • Greer Robinson, Library Specialist, Acquisitions & E-Resources 
  • Cardell Ross Jr., Accountant II, Administrative & Strategic Services 
  • Brittani Starr, Interlibrary Loan Technician, Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences 
  • Melissa A. Weber, Curator, Hogan Archive of New Orleans Music and New Orleans Jazz, Tulane University Special Collections 
Activities & Initiatives
  • Development and implementation of climate survey (2020) 
  • All-staff events (Spring-Summer 2021) 
    • Screening, filmmaker interview, and discussion of Raven Ancar’s documentary, The Veil, about Black students’ experiences at Tulane University 
    • Facilitated discussion and assessment of workplace culture led by Elaina Norlin, the Professional Development DEI Coordinator for the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries 
    • Presentation by Petey Peterson, Director of the Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity at Tulane University 
    • Presentation by Patrick Randoph, Director of the Goldman Center for Student Accessibility at Tulane University  
    • Presentation by Satyajit Dattagupta, Tulane’s Senior Vice President and Dean of Admission for Enrollment Management and Graduate and Pre-College Strategy 
  • Library Hiring and Recruitment Task Force (2021-22) 
  • Professional Development Series, coordinated by Tulane Libraries’ Professional Development Committee, highlighting DEI-focused work already underway across the organization (2021-22) 
Contact

To find out more about the DEI Committee’s ongoing activities; discuss collaboration; or offer suggestions to make Tulane Libraries’ spaces and services more inclusive and equitable, please contact any committee member (listed above).