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Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility


Mapping Prejudice: Promoting racial justice in the community

In September 2022, Mapping Prejudice launched its first Community Fellowship program, aimed at developing relationships with local change-makers who are working for racial equity and housing justice. Six fellows participated in the inaugural nine-month fellowship, working directly with Libraries staff and utilizing data collected by the Mapping Prejudice team to support their own community-based projects. Fellows included an educator, housing and transportation activists, an insights and innovation strategist, and an author.

The five 2023 Mapping Prejudice Community Fellows pose for a portrait

From left to right, Kara Cisco, TiArra “Crown” Shepard, José Antonio Zayas Cabán, Ismali Khadar, and Malik Mitchell pose for a portrait on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. (Photo/Luke Logan)

Patricia Izek is the inaugural DEIA Director

Patricia Izek

Patricia Izek (Photo/Carl Stover)

Patricia Izek joined the Libraries in January 2023 as Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). Previously, she served as the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Consultant at the U of M Office of Human Resources.

Since joining the Libraries, Patricia has implemented a number of key DEIA initiatives, including:

  • Aligning and reenergizing the Libraries Accessibility Committee (LASC) and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Committee (DEI-LC), which have collectively worked to update committee charges, investigate funding opportunities, and facilitate relationship building within and beyond the Libraries.
  • Facilitating staff-wide conversations through the Libraries Antiracism Community of Practice.
  • Collaborating with the U of M’s Office of Equity and Diversity to provide DEIA training for library departments.
  • Examining ways to improve feedback when reviewing job candidates’ presentations.
As the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility for the University of Minnesota Libraries, I spent the last few months listening, learning, and seeing where opportunities exist for collaboration with our different divisions at the Libraries and within our greater university community. This work does not happen in a vacuum and it is wonderful to see the enthusiasm and readiness for us to work together as we continue to make the Libraries welcoming, inclusive, accessible, and a place where all feel they belong and are able to thrive. –Patricia Izek

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