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LRC Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee

LRC’s Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Accessibility

As librarians and staff of the Pardee Legal Research Center, we acknowledge that systemic biases in the legal system, higher education, and society can inhibit or prohibit meaningful access to legal knowledge and education. These biases include, but are not limited to: racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism, cissexism, homophobia, classism, ageism, and ableism. We recognize that we can combat these systemic biases in service of the LRC’s mission by acting on frameworks rooted in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. We will not allow acts of intolerance and hate to diminish the rights and safety of those who visit our spaces and use our resources and services. We therefore commit to:

  • Incorporate and promote a diversity of cultures, backgrounds, and viewpoints in our collections and programming
  • Pursue equity in all of our services
  • Ensure inclusion of library users regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or other inherent identity
  • Make library collections, services, and spaces accessible to library users regardless of disability or language skills

Signed by:

Melissa Abernathy

Derek Antler

Carrie Barton

Bee Bornheimer

Niran Fattohi

Michele Knapp

Rob Lee

Judith Lihosit

Ana Montes

Inna Muradyan    

Sasha Nuñez

Julianne Odin

Liz Parker

Fatemeh Zafarani

Nahid Poustinchi

Committee Charge

The Legal Research Center Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Committee develops and promotes DEIA efforts in Library policies, practices, programming, services, and hiring. The mission of the committee is to provide consistent leadership, awareness, and support to the USD community and Library staff in creating a welcoming and caring environment for our students, faculty, staff, and other library patrons. To support this mission and the Library’s stated goals in the LRC’s Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Accessibility, the DEIA Committee will:

  1. Recommend professional development for all library staff on DEIA concepts and best practices
  2. Offer DEIA programming and education for all library users
  3. Assess library policies, services, space, collection, and website to be more inclusive of DEIA frameworks
  4. Partner with existing offices and student organizations to support campus and law school DEIA initiatives and work to support USD’s Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusiveness
  5. Take an active role in the recruitment, hiring, and retention of a diverse and engaged library staff
  6. Develop statements, policies, and programming for library staff and library users in response to instances of discrimination, inequity, exclusion, and inaccessibility. We aim to celebrate those who work to create more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible communities and to call out bias and exclusion in the many communities in which we live and work.

Committee Members: New members will be appointed by the Director and Associate Director. New appointments to the committee should ideally come from the same department or team as leaving committee members to maintain representation of all library staff. In considering whether to remain on the committee, committee members should be conscious that new members will bring a diversity of thought to the committee that is necessary to achieve the goals laid out here.

Members of the LRC DEIA Committee for 2023-2025 (L to R): Michele Knapp, Liz Parker (co-chair), Melissa Abernathy (co-chair), and Rob Lee