As the Division of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access supports and affirms efforts across the University that demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we are impressed with the work of UNT Libraries. Their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is evidenced through their unwavering support of the Division of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access such as use of library facilities for Spanish-speaking employees taking the Campus Inclusion Climate Survey, the creation of a digital resource page for the Division of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access, and their support leading to the first-ever Diversity & Inclusion Fellow.
UNT Libraries’ efforts to facilitate inclusive excellence is evidenced through their continued participation in the programs, offerings, and efforts of the Division of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access. This is evidenced by early engagement in the Unlikely Allies in the Academy program, where many of your staff have served as facilitators; collaboration in planning documentary and dialogue programs such as "Drawn Together" and "Reel to Real Classics", and support of broader divisional efforts such as screening of While I Breathe, I Hope, a feature of the 20th Equity & Diversity Conference. UNT Libraries was also the first unit to pilot participation the Bias Awareness and Perceptions workshop facilitated by Diversity & Inclusion, which has become the foundational open enrollment training. The Libraries’ original programming such as "The Human Library" allows participants to “check out” real people and their stories, challenging biases by engaging in short, engaging conversations.
To that end, the Division of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access presents the 2021 Dr. Bertina H. Combes Inclusive Excellence Award to UNT Libraries. Accompanied by a monetary award of $5,000 in partnership with Hilti, the UNT Libraries’ example is both inspiring to and instructive for other departments across UNT who wish to institutionalize inclusive practices and competencies. The award was presented at our first virtual 2021 Equity & Diversity Conference, themed “Facing the Future Together: Allies, Accomplices, & Action,” keynoted by Jeff Chang on March 23, 2021.