*All sessions will be conducted via Zoom

Session 1: Creating Community in LIS

Date: Friday, October 7th, 2022 from 9 am - 11 am EST

During our time together, we will explore the creation of authentic and safe community spaces – those that encourage dialogue, critical thinking, and engagement for our patrons, students, ourselves, and other library workers. We will look at strategies like civic engagement that integrate social justice lens and sustainable community building practices and leave with resources and tools for creating your own community space inside your institution and the library profession for BIPOC library workers.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to: 

  • Be aware of spaces that support BIPOC librarians through resources, continuing education, and community
  • Foster meaningful relationships with your prospective community
  • Build their own community network within the library profession

Instructor Bio

Diana Moronta (she/her/ella) is the Instruction and Technology Librarian at New York Institute of Technology-Manhattan Library. She supports research, reference, outreach, open educational resources, service learning. She earned her MSLIS from Pratt Institute and her BA from Hunter College, City University of New York. Her research interests are critical information literacy,  anti-racist pedagogy, and open educational resources as a social justice tool. Through her praxis, Diana cares to implement social justice components within instruction services to create learning spaces that are inclusive and accessible. Her upcoming book, Practicing Social Justice in Libraries provides practical strategies, tools, reflections, and programming by practicing librarians for librarians looking to incorporate social justice practices into their everyday work. 


Managing Conversations of the Moment (2 parts)


  • Friday, October 21st, 2022 from 9 am - 11 am EST (Session 3)
  • Friday, November 4th, 2022 from 9 am - 11 am EST (Session 4)

Managing challenging conversations is a critical skill in a professional’s career. Whether you are advocating for yourself or others–being able to use your voice to start and even interrupt conversations is important. 

We Need 2 Talk is a partnership between Jessica Hochman and Tonya Leslie. Our collaboration began as professional development talks and workshops for educators and librarians, and has grown into a consultancy that supports the work of educators, information professionals, and creative professionals from the publishing and music industry. Our work is a practice that considers how professionals can facilitate conversations that support their equity work. We explore the context of your particular field through the lens of our current cultural moment to frame our work together. 

Session 2: Reframing Equity 

Date: Friday, October 21st, 2022 from 9 am - 11 am EST

Following the protests of the summer of 2020, interest in reading about race and racism soared, books by Black authors flew off the shelves, and we saw a huge uptick in colloquial usage of the word “equity.” Now, almost two years later, we are in the midst of a backlash, where book banning by Black and Queer authors is at an all-time high and the term “critial race theory” is being used to signal anti-equity agendas. During this moment of such cultural disconnect, how can we continue to work toward equity? During this interactive session, we unpack the current debate around CRT and its challenge to equity work. 

Participants will learn to: 

  • Define and center “equity” as a foundational social justice aspect of library work. 
  • Identify core tensions in their own workplace 
  • Facilitate positive dialogues around workplace tensions


Session 3: Supporting and Sustaining Anti-Racist Work 

Date: Friday, November 4th, 2022 from 9 am - 11 am EST

In our workshops, We Need 2 Talk educators always say, anti-racist work is a practice, not a destination. Some of us have been on our anti-racist journeys for many years, while for others, that journey began during the summer of 2020. How can we make this work sustainable? How can we hold the notion, in the context of a standards and achievement-obsessed culture, that anti-racism is a lifelong practice? How can we continue to show up in authentic ways to do this work? In this session, we will explore some strategies to sustain anti-racist work. In particular, we will learn to use the RIR protocol, a form of compassionate dialogue, that can help us stay in relationship through difficult conversations and conflict. Come prepared to discuss! 

Participants will learn to: 

  • Engage the three aspects of the RIR protocol–recognize, interrupt, and repair–to manage conflict and difficult conversations 
  • Develop strategies for self-care and community building to make equity work a sustainable practice 

Instructor Bios:

Our story: As a multi-racial teaching team, we offer multiple perspectives on issues related to race, class, and culture and support each other in difficult conversations. Using stories from own lives, cultural texts like movies, music, current events, and writings, Jessica and Tonya create unique learning experiences for groups that help them grow toward authentic anti-racist work. 

Tonya Leslie, PhD: I bring a love of reading, teaching experience, and 20 years in the publishing industry to this work. As the author of several children’s books, I am constantly thinking about issues around race and texts. I think it is important to open dialogue so we can disrupt patterns of oppression that show up in the texts around us and in our systems and practices. 

Jessica Hochman, PhD: I specialize in helping individuals, groups, and organizations have the conversations they'd prefer not to have, particularly on topics related to literacy, equity, and technology use. For 10 years, I was the director of Pratt Institute’s School for Information and Library Science school librarian preparation program. Now, as an educational consultant, I strive to help educators use dialogue & culturally responsive practices to build stronger, more equitable communities. 


Session 4: EDI Principles: Doing the Work and Making Them Work for You

Date: Friday, November 18th, 2022 from 9 am - 11 am EST

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) as principles (and as an acronym!) are thrown around as important for the field, but most have little understanding of what DEI principles entail or where they can and should fit within the work they do. This session will discuss the principles of EDI and how to engage in work guided by these principles. Additionally, suggestions for how to make sure EDI principles are working for you throughout your career will be included.

Participants will learn to:

  • Clearly state what the concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) mean within the context of library work
  • Identify EDI principles relevant to library work
  • Recognize how EDI principles can be applied to both the work of individuals and libraries as an organization

Instructor Bio

Dr. Kawanna Bright is Assistant Professor of Library Science at East Carolina University. Dr. Bright earned her PhD in Research Methods and Statistics from the University of Denver in 2018. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Bright worked as an academic librarian for twelve years, with a focus on reference, instructional services, and information literacy. She earned her MLIS from the University of Washington iSchool in 2003. Dr. Bright’s current research focuses on assessment in libraries, equity,diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in libraries, the application of research methodology to the study of library and information science, and the importance of the liaison librarianship role in academic libraries. Her work with Dr. Amy VanScoy (University at Buffalo) to investigate the reference and information services experience of librarians of color received a 2014 ALA Diversity Research Grant and was awarded the 2017 Beta Phi Mu-Library Research Round Table Research Paper Award. Dr. Bright is also a co-PI on a recently funded IMLS grant project that will utilize survival analysis to determine when and why BIPOC librarians are likely to leave the profession. Dr. Bright is a 2021 recipient of an ECU College of Education Profiles in Diversity Award and a recipient of a 2021 NCLA Round Table for Ethnic Minority Concerns’ LIS Instructor Roadbuilder Award.


Session 5: EDI Manifesto: Leaning into the Social Justice Shift in Libraries as a BIPOC

Date: Friday, December 2nd, 2022 from 9 am - 11 am EST

As librarians of color, you are a coveted few. Libraries across the field that have adopted principles of inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity are committed to the invitation of librarians of color to join their teams, manage their collections, and instruct their users. How do we leap into these new roles with confidence and a sustaining agenda? What are some strategies to step into new EDI focused roles as a leader, as a knowing person, and with the tools you need to succeed? What are some ways that we would like to participate in the social justice shift in libraries?

For this session, participants will identify their personal mission in engagement projects, committee work, and/or library initiatives through locating ourselves in ancestral connection, decoding our silences with the exploration of field-specific language, and advocating for oneself through evaluation of diversity statements.

Participants in this session will:

  • Identify their personal mission in engagement projects, committee work, and/or library initiatives through locating ourselves in ancestral connection
  • Use field-specific language to generate a professional personal statement
  • Advocate for oneself through evaluating and drafting a content-rich diversity statement

Instructor Bio

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz is an Assistant Curator and Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Engagement at New York University Division of Libraries where she serves as the Faculty Diversity Search Liaison for the Division and works with her colleagues to support NYU Libraries Cluster Hiring Initiative and other initiatives to increase diversity in the library faculty. Shawn is also a visiting assistant professor at Pratt School of information, teaching Reference & Instruction, and has sat on the School of Information DEI committees and faculty council. Shawn is a co-coordinating volunteer archivist at the Lesbian Herstory Archives and through her work archiving Black lesbians is the recipient of the 2020 WGSS Award for Significant Achievement in Women’s & Gender Studies in Librarianship from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Shawn is a co-leader of the Reference & Instruction Special Interest Group at the Metropolitan Library Council where she co-curated the Critical Pedagogy Symposium and Case Studies in Critical Pedagogy series. Shawn has a BS in Queer Women’s Studies from the CUNY Baccalaureate Program, an MFA in Creative Writing/Fiction, and an MLS with a focus on Archiving and Records Management from Queens College.


Session 6: Innovative Approaches to Serving Vulnerable Patrons

Date: Friday, December 16th, 2022  9 am - 11 am EST

As spaces that seek to support all community members, libraries are increasingly seeking the assistance and perspective of social workers. In this session, Rob Simmons, Director of Social Services and Public Safety at Oak Park Library will share insights on what's worked best in his library, including free mental health assessments and counseling services, educational support for low-income students, supportive housing advocacy, and employment assistance. Rob will highlight best-practice engagement strategies such as Trauma-Informed Care and strategic partnerships that have played a crucial role in serving the library's most vulnerable patrons. 

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understanding how a public library system can integrate a social services model into its organization
  • Learn best-practice engagement strategies such as Trauma-Informed Care that are effective with vulnerable patrons
  • Learn ways to engage community-based partnerships to help serve vulnerable patrons

Instructor Bio:

Rob Simmons started his role as Director of Social Services and Public Safety at Oak Park Public Library (IL) in March 2016.  Rob is one of the first social workers hired to integrate a social services and public safety model into a public library system in the U.S.  His innovative work has resulted in programs that provide resources such as: free mental health services, educational support for low-income students, supportive housing advocacy, and employment assistance.  He earned a Bachelor's degree in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University and Master's degree in Social Services Administration from the University of Chicago.