Bridge Building, Intersectionality and Inclusion
“Multiracial Americans are at the cutting edge of social and demographic change in the U.S.—young, proud, tolerant and growing at a rate three times as fast as the population as a whole.” --Pew: Multiracial in America: Proud, Diverse and Growing in Numbers, (2015, p. 5).
In the 2015 Pew study entitled, “Multiracial in America: Proud, Diverse and Growing in Numbers” the demographics of our nation is changing. Panelists have decades of experience working with these issues on both an interpersonal and an institutional level. On an interpersonal level, there is a pressing need to work toward a more nuanced and intersectional understanding of mixed-race social identities and how they may influence individual perspectives, life experiences, opportunities and choices. On a societal level, it is imperative to focus attention on interracial issues and ask ourselves: Are our school, public and academic libraries ready for these changes? Do we have the social and demographic knowledge, and do our library workers possess necessary cultural competencies to meet the needs of growing multiracial populations?
This panel will help attendees consider how their own intersectional identities frame the way they approach this work, and how to build their own cultural competencies. We will also engage attendees with how to best connect with their local multiracial communities through inclusive library collections, services and programming to better reflect the unique experiences and needs of a growing racially mixed population. The ultimate outcome is to help our libraries remain culturally relevant to our user base by reflecting the full spectrum of cultures found within our local communities, schools and campuses.