Association of Research Libraries Fall Forum 2016

It was a wonderful experience meeting and engaging the members of the Association of Research Libraries in Washington DC. The room was full of university faculty and administrators dedicated to fostering inclusion and intercultural understanding on their already diverse and multicultural campuses across Canada and the United States. I left very excited to see people's aspirations to make their university library a place that fosters the values of inclusion, equity and interculturality, on campus and in society.

I would like to thank all the 130 attendees for a full day of engagement and energy!  I learned that conversations about race and racism are felt to be the most difficult of "difficult conversations." As promised, please find the Prezi's used and some photos from the Fall Forum. I hope to remain connected with many of you. Please be in touch with questions, and if you are interested in having me visit and/or work with your campus. 


Photo: Alden e. habacon. View from the stage. 

My Prezi's

Intercultural Fluency

The above presentation was a two-hour workshop, originally developed in partnership with the UBC Library for the Public Service Library Assistants, Librarians and other Library Staff. It was customized specifically for the Fall Forum, in consultation with the ARL planning committee. The workshop covered the impact of culture, unconscious bias, the diversity change curve, moving towards an intercultural mindset, and basics around developing intercultural attitudes, relationships, cultural literacy and intercultural communication skills (combined to make up "intercultural fluency"). 

Fostering Thriving Environments for Facilitating Courageous Conversations

The focus of this presentation was to equip attendees with some updated concepts around "courageous conversations", provide some definition around what these conversations are, describe the differences between discussions and dialogues, and also provide practical tips around what is needed to foster more dialogue on campuses:

  • Intentionality of spaces,
  • Readiness of participants, and 
  • Preparedness of facilitators. 

Much of the content comes from Dr. Aftab Erfan, certified practitioner of Deep Democracy. The session also included a mock dialogue.