AALL’s Stance on Racism
Last updated: March 21, 2023
AALL stands against racism and we fully support the Black Lives Matter movement. AALL is striving to do better as an Association to bring more awareness to the biases in the legal information profession, and to help others understand the impact of racism.
Racism has no place in our Association, policies, practices, or behaviors. As AALL’s Ethical Principles state, “We value diversity. We strive to diversify our membership by creating environments and services that promote inclusion of historically underrepresented people as colleagues and patrons.” Diversity and inclusion is part of AALL’s core values.
We are listening, and we are committed to the fight against racial injustice and discrimination. Thank you to those of you who have sent us ideas on what AALL can do better. Please continue sending your ideas to AALL.
Below are updates on AALL’s recent initiatives in the fight for change as well as helpful resources and articles on anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
AALL’s Statements & Updates
- AALL eBriefing / Vote on the AALL Resolution (May 17, 2021)
- AALL eBriefing / A Message from the AALL President (September 29, 2020)
- AALL eBriefing / Follow-Up Statement on Black Lives Matter & Anti-Racism (June 10, 2020)
- AALL eBriefing / A Message From the AALL President on Black Lives Matter (June 10, 2020)
- AALL eBriefing / AALL Responds to Violence in Charlottesville (August 15, 2017)
- AALL eBriefing / Discriminatory Policies in Texas (July 14, 2017)
On Demand Webinars & Programs
- DEIB Leadership at Every Level: Leading Your Library with Intention (February 2, 2023)
- Critical Race Theory in Law Librarianship (July 18, 2022)
- Unmasking Bias in Casebooks: From Theory to Praxis (July 18, 2022)
- Beyond “Change the Subject”: Cataloging with a Conscience for Sustainable Inclusive Descriptive Practice (July 18, 2022)
- Illuminating Robert Morris: Creating a Digital Exhibit to Celebrate America’s Second Black Lawyer (July 18, 2022)
- Stop Repeating History: Applying the Lessons of Korematsu in the 21st Century to Advance Justice for All (July 18, 2022)
- Restatement of the Law of the American Indians: A 10-Year Effort to Include Native Americans in the American Law Institute and Justice Innovations (July 18, 2022)
- From the Ground Up: Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion When You’re Not in Charge (July 17, 2022)
- Creating Belonging: The Middle Managers’ Role in Fostering Inclusive Environments (July 17, 2022)
- Diversity & Inclusion Symposium: Wellness Post-COVID: How Can Law Libraries Support the Wellness of BIPOC, LGBTQ, and Marginalized Groups During These High-Stress Times? (Sponsored by LexisNexis; July 17, 2022)
- 2022 Opening General Session (Co-Sponsored by LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters) (July 17, 2022)
- We are All Professionals: Inclusion, Othering, and the Changing Nature of Library Roles (April 27, 2022)
- We Are All Professionals: Inclusion, Othering, and the Changing Nature of Library Roles (April 23, 2022)
- PEGA-SIS Webinar: So, You Wanna Create an Inclusive Workplace? Part 2: Invisible Disabilities (March 17, 2022)
- PEGA-SIS Webinar: So, You Wanna Create an Inclusive Workplace? Part 1: Cultural Diversity (February 23, 2022)
- Legal Research in the Era of Black Lives Matter (July 22, 2021)
- The Role of Empathy in Improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives (July 21, 2021)
- The Law, Librarians, and Brown v. Board of Education (February 24, 2021)
- BLL-SIS and FCIL-SIS Webinar: The Origins and Progression of the #ENDSARS2020 Movement in Nigeria (January 22, 2021)
- Active Steps to Increase Diversity & Address Racism (Joint SIS Program) (November 12, 2020)
Are You Implicitly Biased?
Take the Implicit Association Tests from Project Implicit. Project Implicit is a nonprofit founded by research scientists and housed at Harvard. The organization designed these tests to assess bias concerning race, gender, disabilities, and more.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION COMMITTEE
The Diversity & Inclusion Committee serves to ensure the diversity of AALL membership. They have created and continue to update the Diversity & Inclusion Resource Guide, which includes an extensive array of information for academic, government/court, and firm/corporate law libraries. The Committee also hosts The Commons, an online community open to members to foster open discussion of diversity and other issues.
MINORITY LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AWARD
The Minority Leadership Development Award was created in 2001 to nurture leaders for the future and to introduce minority law librarians to leadership opportunities within the Association. Access details and application information.
GEORGE A. STRAIT MINORITY SCHOLARSHIP & FELLOWSHIP
The endowed scholarships and fellowships honor the memory of longtime AALL member and distinguished law librarian George A. Strait. The endowment was established by Thomson Reuters in partnership with AALL. Access details and application information.
AALL’s caucuses include: Asian American Law Librarians Caucus, Jewish Law Librarian Caucus, Latino Caucus, Native Peoples Law Caucus, and Research Crits Caucus. Learn more on AALLNET.
SPECIAL INTEREST SECTIONS
AALL’s special interest sections include: Black Law Librarians SIS. Learn more on AALLNET.
aall spectrum & law library journal
AALL features members’ insights on diversity, equity, and inclusion in AALL Spectrum and Law Library Journal. A selection of relevant articles is available below. For information on the submission process, please visit the AALL Spectrum and Law Library Journal webpages on AALLNET. AALL Spectrum and Law Library Journal materials featured below are marked with a caret (^).
KnowItAALL is a daily newsletter that frequently includes articles and resources covering civil rights, diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is a member benefit. Materials in this guide that have been featured in KnowItAALL are marked with an asterisk (*).
AALL New Voices
AALL is seeking member perspectives on any aspect of law librarianship, including anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Submissions should be between 100-600 words. Learn more about this project.
If you have any diversity and inclusion news to share (or activities to highlight) please submit an article proposal to AALL Spectrum for the Community section of the magazine.
SHARE YOUR STORIES
AALL is looking for positive stories of how members are helping their communities during the Black Lives Matter movement. If you have a story to share or have received any feel-good responses or feedback, please email Heather Haemker, AALL director of marketing & communications, and tell us about it. Your story may appear in a future Weekly eNewsletter.
Antiracism Resources, Texas A &M University School of Law, Dee J. Kelly Law Library. This guide will help users learn more about antiracism and how to become antiracism allies and accomplices. It also includes support and self-care resources for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Updates are ongoing.*
Black Americans and the Law, University of California Berkeley Law Library. Members Kate Peck and Dean Rowan and 3 Randall Winston created a timeline showing inequality in the Constitution, statutes, court cases, and regulations. Timeline was created in February 2021.*
A Brief History of Civil Rights in the United States, Howard University School of Law Library. Curated resources for learning more about civil rights for Blacks, women, LGBTQIA+, the disabled, and immigrants and refugees. Updates are ongoing.*
Civil Rights, North Carolina Central University School of Law Library. Includes civil rights resources, secondary resources, online sources, and the McKissick Collection. Updates are ongoing.*
Diversity & Inclusion Resource Guide, AALL Diversity & Inclusion Committee. This guide presents information for law libraries who are developing or researching policy, programs, or initiatives relating to diversity and inclusion. Although many key resources are included below, the guide is not an exhaustive list. Updates are ongoing.*
Law Enforcement and Racial Justice, University of Minnesota Law Library. Includes information sources on criminal justice; police tactics and use of force; community relations and activism; police oversight, reform, and defunding; and federal and state legislation. Updates are ongoing.*
Police Violence, University of Hawai’i at Manoa Law Library. Includes a reading list, discussion resources, and list of relevant legal and social justice organizations. Updates are ongoing.*
Race and Diversity in America, Montague Law Library, Penn State University. Features instructional resources and toolkits, films, podcasts, and government materials. Updates are ongoing.*
Race, Oppression, and Social Change Resource Guide, Duke Law Library. Materials for understanding how the government, cultural institutions, private enterprise, and technology contribute to systems of oppression, tools for allyship and educators, and subject headings. Updates are ongoing.*
Racial Justice, Ross-Blakley Law Library, Arizona State University. Law librarians have compiled national as well as local organizations dedicated to the pursuit of racial justice. These organizations advocate for change either for particular demographic groups or for justice more generally. Updates are ongoing.*
Racial Justice in the U.S., Drake University Law Library. Information tools for understanding dialogues on race, police and legal reform, social protest, mass incarceration, anti-racism, and historical perspectives; also includes resources for parents. Updates are ongoing.*
Racial Justice Resources, Ross-Blakley Law Library, Arizona State University. Includes national and local information, resources for protestors, recommended databases and journals, and federal reports. Updates are ongoing.*
^Article is from AALL Spectrum or Law Library Journal
*Material was featured in KnowItAALL
LEGAL INFORMATION PROFESSION
Diversity in the Legal Information Profession
A New Look at Diversity, AALL Spectrum. Author Nichelle J. Perry looks at how AALL caucuses and committees find common ground at AALL’s Diversity Symposium. Article is from Sept/Oct 2009.^
AALL Diversity Redelineated, Law Library Journal. Author Ronald Wheeler discusses various ways to experience different types of diversity in law librarianship. Article is from Winter 2014.^
Adaptive Technologies for the Visually Impaired, AALL Spectrum. Author Rena Seidler discusses how law libraries have a duty to know how to use screen readers and other tools that provide access to legal information for those with disabilities. Article is from July/August 2022.^
Addressing the “Emerging Majority”: Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Law Librarianship in the Twenty-First Century, Law Library Journal. Author Alyssa Thurston evaluates the implications that a progressively diverse population poses for law librarianship, reasons for low levels of diversity among law librarians, as well as past and suggested efforts within the profession to increase diversity. Article is from Summer 2012.^
Ask a Director: Creating More Diverse & Inclusive Library Teams, AALL Spectrum. Can you discuss specific initiatives/steps you are taking to create a more diverse and inclusive Library team, and is this part of a broader organizational initiative?Advice from Elaine Egan & Ronald E. Wheeler.
Barriers to Mentorship for Minority Law Librarians & the Need for Outreach, AALL Spectrum. Author Ana Rosa Ramirez Toft-Nielsen discusses why becoming a leader is key to transformational change and creating a new norm . Article is from May/June 2022. ^
Claiming Our Diversity, Celebrating Our Common Ground, AALL Spectrum. Authors Victoria De La Torre and Marcelo Rodriguez discuss how AALL’s Latino Caucus promotes diversity and inclusion and creates educational, networking, and visibility opportunities for Latino members and others. Article is from May/June 2020.^
Continuing the Conversation on Diversity & Inclusion, AALL Spectrum. Authors Nicole P. Dyszlewski, Zanada Joyner & Joshua Laporte tackle issues of diversity, equality, and implicit bias. Article is from September/October 2019.^
Creating a More Diverse Workforce, AALL Spectrum. Authors Shamika D. Dalton, Annalee Hickman & Trina Holloway discuss the AALL George A. Strait Minority Scholarship & Fellows Program is supporting future minority law librarians. Article is from July/August 2021.^
Diversity Dialogues . . . Let’s Talk About Race, Law Library Journal. Author Ronald E. Wheeler examines numerical and anecdotal data indicating that efforts to promote racial and ethnic diversity within AALL and the profession are beginning to show positive results. Article is from spring 2014.^
Diversity Dialogues: Incorporating Race into Your Legal Research Class, Law Library Journal. Author Shamika Dalton examines ways to incorporate a discussion of race into legal research courses, and suggests a number of hypotheticals to use in creating “teachable moments.” Article is from Fall 2017.^
Diversity & Inclusion Resource Guide, AALL Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Information for law libraries who are developing or researching policy, programs, and/or initiatives concerning diversity and inclusion. Updates are ongoing.
Embracing a Rich Diversity, AALL Spectrum. Author Shamika Dalton provides insights on promoting diversity within organizations and law librarianship. Article is from February 2015.^
Into the Breach with AALL’s Diversity Committee, AALL Spectrum. Authors Michele A. Lucero and Beau Steenken discuss law libraries’ struggle to achieve diversity goals. Article is from February 2013.^
The Law Librarian Pipeline, David Whelan: Explorations With Information and Technology. Author David Whelan shares ideas for creating a more diverse candidate pool. Article is from October 31, 2019.*
Law Libraries Answering the Call: Building Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Social Justice Resources, AALL Spectrum. Author Jessica Ugstad talks about how law libraries are stepping up in the fight against social injustice. Article is from July/August 2021.^
Law Librarians for Indigenous-Inclusive Citation, AALL Spectrum. Author Amber Kennedy Madole discusses promoting the importance of including tribal law and government in The Bluebook. Article is from January/February 2023.^
Mapping the Path to Equity, AALL Spectrum. Author Susan Azyndar discusses the Census Bureau’s data equity tools. Article is from September/October 2022.^
Perspectives: My Personal Experiences with Systemic Racism, AALL Spectrum. Member Errol Adams shares his perseverance in the face of racial injustice. Article is from Sept/Oct 2020. ^
Practicing Reference… Race and the Reference Librarian, Law Library Journal. Author Mary Whisner examines how race arises in the day-to-day work of law librarians, and discusses how law librarians can foster cultural competence and create more welcoming environments in diverse institutions. Article is from 2014.^
Scaling Mountains Together: From Difficult Conversations to Collaborative Action, AALL Spectrum. Member Christina McKennerney discusses how the PLLIP Diversity Summit examined barriers to diversity and how law librarians and legal information professionals can become more inclusive. Article is from July/August 2021.^
Talking Tech: Five Tech Platforms That Can Further Diversity & Reduce Bias in the Legal Information Realm, AALL Spectrum. Author Mandy Le reviews key tech tools and how to improve them to further diversity, inclusion, and greater access to justice. Article is from July/August 2021.^
Technology, Diversity, and Adaptation, AALL Spectrum. Members/Presenters Anne Robbins, Ryan Overdorf, Gayle Lynn-Nelson, Maribel Nash, and Joyce A. McCray Pearson discuss the 2010 Diversity Symposium. Article is from Sept/Oct 2010.^
The Rooney Rule for Law Libraries, AALL Spectrum. Member George Taoultsides discusses why the Rooney Rule can help counteract the effects of implicit bias and attract more minorities to law librarianship. Article is from July/August 2021.^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Breaking Down “Othering” Within Law Librarianship, AALL Spectrum. Member Shira Megerman and other members of the Jewish Law Librarians Caucus share their experiences of being “othered” and offer insights for creating more inclusive workplaces for everyone. Article is from November/December 2021.^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Equity & Inclusion in Remote Instruction, AALL Spectrum. Member Zanada Joyner and author Raquel Gabriel discuss equity and inclusion in remote instruction. Article is from January/February 2022.^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Finding Community with One Another at the Margin and Elsewhere, AALL Spectrum. Member Margaret (Meg) Butler shares reflections on ways to support each other and build a community of hope. Article is from March/April 2022.^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Grit, Gusto & the Greater Good: The Formation of a First-Gen Caucus, AALL Spectrum. Members Rachel Evans, Deanna Fix, Joseph D. Lawson, Sara Monalea McMahon & Aimee Pittman take a deep dive into AALL’s First-Gen Causus. Article is from March/April 2021.^
Voices Across the Spectrum / How Law Libraries Can Help Tell the Black Lives Matter Movement’s Story, AALL Spectrum. Members Phebe E. Huderson-Poydras and Ronald E. Wheeler share how law librarians can share the Black Lives Matter movement. Article is from Sept/Oct 2020.^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Combating Systemic Racism, AALL Spectrum. Author Andre Davison shares how compassion, empathy, and reaching out to others are key to addressing discriminatory implicit bias. Article is from Nov/Dec 2020. ^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Cultivating Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility in the Virtual Work Environment, AALL Spectrum. Author Jenny Silbiger discusses how empathy and macro- and micro-level actions can nurture DEIA in our personal and professional lives. Article if from January/February 2023.^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Feeling Inivisble, Feeling Exposed, Feeling Seen: The Paradoxes of Accomodations, AALL Spectrum. Author Anne Robbins takes a closer look at the requesting process and how accommodations can help create more inclusive workplace environments. Work is from July/August 2021.^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Neurodivergence & Librarianship, AALL Spectrum. Authors Alexis Branham & Lauren Wortman offer tips and advice for building a more inclusive and productive workplace by embracing neurodiverse individuals. Article is from November/December 2022.^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Olive Pits in Allyship, AALL Spectrum. Author Casandra Laskowski discussess overcoming your unquestioned assumptions by listening to others, rather than centering on yourself. Article is from May/June 2021. ^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Our Path Forward: The Power of Intersectionality, AALL Spectrum. Authors Abby Dos Santos & Christina McKennerney discuss the second annual Diversity Summit, and how it delved into intersectionality and its importance to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility efforts. Article is from the September/October 2022.^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Representation Matters: Only Collective Recognition Can Lead to Collective Action, AALL Spectrum. Author Jaime Valenzuela how to use your library as a platform for positive change by creating exhibits and sharing stories that highlight diverse voices and themes. Article is from July/August 2022.^
Voices Across the Spectrum / #STOPAAPIHATE: A Law Librarian Call to Action, AALL Spectrum. Author Mandy Lee shares tips and advice on how to stop anti-Asian Pacific Islander violence. Article is from September/October 2021^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Tough Conversations About Race: Let the Book Start the Discussion, AALL Spectrum. Authors Cynthia W. Bassett & Kara Phillips discuss how librarians can use their knowledge of books and reading to help communities change. Article is from Jan/Feb 2021. ^
Voices Across the Spectrum / Unmasking AALL’s IDEA Special Committee, AALL Spectrum. Authors Ronald Wheeler and Clanitra Stewart Nejdl take a closer look at the committee’s process for creating AALL’s new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Policy. Article is from March/April 2023.^
A Bad Fit?, Inside Higher Ed. Article summaries a study that finds the concept of faculty fit in hiring is vague and potentially detrimental to diversity efforts. Free study is from The Journal of Higher Education. Article is from July 14, 2020; study is from September 2019.*
Creating and Publicizing a Diversity Plan, Inside Higher Ed. Detailed guidance on developing, updating, and sharing a diversity plan with impact. Article is from November 20, 2019.*
Diversity & Demographics, National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Includes NALP’s annual Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms, representation data on lawyers with disabilities, LGBTQ lawyers and law school graduates, minorities, and women. Updates are ongoing.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Scorecard for Library and Information Organizations. American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Diversity. The DEI Scorecard for Library and Information Organizations is an evaluative tool that focuses on accountability and transparency in determining organizational effectiveness in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of people of color. The Scorecard also covers areas that impact these factors (e.g., training, budgeting, and data practices). This resource was created in April 2021 and shared by ALA in July 2021.
Five Ways Intersectionality Affects Diversity and Inclusion at Work, World Economic Forum. Understanding how employees who belong to two or more underrepresented categories experience oppression and lack of opportunity in the workplace. Article is from July 22, 2020.*
Four Ways To Make Your Workplace Equitable for Trans People, NPR. Guidance and recommended books, podcasts, and organizations for enhancing your understanding. Article is from June 16, 2020.*
How Workplaces Can Invite Dialogue on Race, MIT Sloan Management Review. Advice on creating psychologically safe spaces for employees to discuss systemic issues in productive ways that lead to substantive change. Article is from June 16, 2020.*
Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project, The Association of American Law Schools. Resources for listening, leading, audit reporting, and iterating. Updates are ongoing.*
Salary History Bans Help Narrow Racial, Gender Wage Gaps, Boston University. New study by Boston University Law School looks at the effectiveness of salary history bans in eliminating wage gaps. Full study is free. Article is from July 8, 2020; study is from June 2020.
We Built a Diverse Academic Department in Five Years. Here’s How, Harvard Business Review. Article is from July 1, 2020.*
We Need To Talk About Diversity and Neutrality In Libraries, Hack Library School. Article is from June 8, 2020.*
What Makes a Workplace Diversity Program Successful?, Greater Good Magazine. Understanding and addressing the unintended consequences of diversity initiatives. Article is from January 21, 2020.*
^Article is from AALL Spectrum or Law Library Journal
*Material was featured in KnowItAALL
RESOURCES FOR PERSONAL AWARENESS, GROWTH & ACTION
Anti-Racism Resources for All Ages, Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, University of South Carolina College of Information and Communications. Compiled resources for understanding implicit biases, effective anti-racist actions, and more. Updates are ongoing.*
The Best Part About Working From Home Is Fewer Microaggressions, Fast Company. Article is from June 18, 2020.*
BLM Recommended Reading List, California Judicial Center Library. Includes book recommendations for all ages, research journals, online resources, podcasts, blogs, scripted films, and documentaries. Published in July 2020.
Championing Diversity and Allyship to Celebrate Black Future, HALLmarks: Houston Association of Law Libraries. Member Andre Davison shares insights and resources for effective allyship. Article is from February 25, 2021.*
A Diary of a Lonely Librarian, Part Eight, MoreUs: University of Virginia School of Law. Author Ben Doherty, who is White, shares his thoughts on working against the system of White supremacy. Article is from June 7, 2020.*
11 Anti-Racist Actions You Can Take at Work—Today and Every Day, The Muse. Article is from June 25, 2020.*
Give People the Space to Step Back: Casandra Laskowski, In Seclusion With Greg Lambert. With the murder of George Floyd and the civil unrest to protest police brutality and systemic racism, Casandra Laskowski (chair of AALL’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee) says that people need the space to step back, access their personal situation, and to have time to think, speak, and hopefully heal. Podcast episode is from June 12, 2020.*
A Guided Meditation for Turning Awareness into Action, Mindful. Foundational awareness practice designed to help bring about three key insights: clarity of intention; understanding of personal power, presence, and impact. Article is from June 17, 2020.*
Has Anything Changed for Black Women at Work?, Women at Work Podcast: Harvard Business Review. We hear from four Black women about work experiences over the last several months and their concerns and hopes for the future. Then, we talk with an expert in diversity, inclusion, and belonging about the progress companies are (or aren’t) making and the type of support we can give women of color. Episode is from November 30, 2020.*
Honest Feedback Plays A Critical Role In Building Cultural D&I, Chief Learning Officer. Recommendations for ensuring your workforce maintains trust in the underlying fairness of your organization’s promotion decisions. Article is from November 24, 2020.*
Implicit Association Tests, Project Implicit. Project Implicit is a nonprofit founded by
research scientists and housed at Harvard. The organization designed these tests
to assess bias concerning race, gender, disabilities, and more. Updates are ongoing.
Making Amends, TED Radio Hour. What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler). Episode is from July 10, 2020.*
Racial Justice: Some Reading Recommendations, The Library at Washington & Lee School of Law. Member Andrew Christensen provides suggestions on a range of topics. Article is from August 7, 2020.*
Racism: Further Considerations From Psychological Science, Association for Psychological Science. The most recent research on the implicit biases and the social processes that maintain them, structural and institutional racism, and the social, psychological, and physical consequences of various forms of racism. Includes possible paths of action to reduce and eliminate racism. Updates are ongoing.*
Talking Racial Equity? Make Sure You Understand These 17 Words, Technical.ly. Article is from June 10, 2020.*
Toward Anti-Racist Technical Terminology, The Association for Computers and the Humanities. Information on racially-charged technical terminology embedded in technology tools and guidance for using different language. Updates are ongoing.*
^Article is from AALL Spectrum or Law Library Journal
*Material was featured in KnowItAALL