In 2020, staff in Manuscripts and Archives met to discuss our responsibility to address bias and discrimination in our work and workplace. After several lengthy discussions with the entire department, we developed a Statement of Affirmation that outlines our commitment to implementing more equitable policies and procedures, remediating prior practices and deepening our understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion issues as they relate to libraries and archives. We drew inspiration and guidance from various sources including the Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia and the Alabama Department of Archives and History, as well as the Society of American Archivists.
As part of our efforts, we also considered how to sustainably and intentionally incorporate DEI efforts into all our areas of work as described in the affirmation statement. We created a DEI Plan of Action that outlines specific tasks and projects staff are undertaking now or will undertake in the next several years. Work is divided among four categories: collections, services, spaces, and workplace.
We consider the Statement and Plan of Action to be living documents that are responsive and reflective. We recognize they will evolve as a result of our experiences and critical analysis of the work we undertake. We are committed to regular reviews of them and will modify, revise, or update them as necessary. We will continue to make both documents accessible as a means of documenting our work and commitments.
We welcome all feedback on our plan, affirmation statement, or our DEI efforts.