2021 Virtual ALISE Academy

Moving Beyond Diversity Day: The Way to Social Justice is Through Action

LIS programs are challenged to design curricula to ensure graduates acquire a strong understanding of diversity and the skills to support equity and social justice in their careers. While some LIS programs offer courses on serving diverse users, these issues are too complex for a single course, and require scaffolding to develop skills needed for inclusive practice. Meaningful change will require that instructors and programs find ways to integrate diversity, equity, and social justice throughout the curriculum, beyond the confines of a “diversity” course or a single lesson within a course. Concurrently, we must recognize that instructors’ employment status and personal identities, combined with students’ identities and backgrounds, may present challenges in teaching about topics such as bias and oppression. What may work well for a white, tenured faculty member teaching a class of predominantly white students may not be possible for an instructor of color or a precariously employed instructor.

Separate registration from the 2021 Virtual ALISE Annual Conference is required.


About the Session

Monday, September 20, 2021
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Session Details:

In this workshop, participants will learn concrete strategies to integrate diversity, equity, and social justice content in LIS courses in different contexts and modalities, across curricular content areas, and from various positionalities. A plenary presentation will set the stage by framing considerations of instructor identity and positionality and leading participants through a power analysis to identify the affordances and constraints that would enable them to enact changes to the curriculum. The plenary will be followed by a series of high energy breakout sessions framed around topics such as instructor positionality and student identity, course content area, and instructional modality. The workshop will conclude with a forward-thinking session on moving from individual efforts to address diversity in our own courses toward program-level integration. Building on the affordances identified earlier, participants will consider how to engage colleagues and administrators to realize a holistic approach addressing diversity, equity, and social justice throughout the curriculum.

Throughout the workshop, planned activities that model recommended approaches and pedagogical techniques. Breakout sessions will be facilitated by proposal team members, and structured to maximize conversation and mutual exchange, engagement in group activities, and move toward concrete ideas and action steps.



Kawanna BrightDr. Kawanna Bright is an Assistant Professor of Library Science at East Carolina University where she teaches courses in Library Administration & Management, Services to Diverse Populations, Academic Librarianship, and Collection Development. Dr. Bright earned her doctorate in Research Methods & Statistics from the University of Denver in 2018 and her MLIS from the University of Washington iSchool in 2003. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Bright worked as an academic librarian specializing in public services. Her research focuses on assessment in libraries, equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in libraries, the application of research methodology to the study of library and information science, and the importance of the liaison librarianship role in academic libraries. 

  Monica Colon Aguirre

Dr. Mónica Colón-Aguirre is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina. She earned her doctorate degree from the School of Information Sciences, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She also has an M.S. from the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences and an M.B.A. from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. Her research areas include user services, information behavior of Latinx, academic library administration, and library management. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Dr. Colón-Aguirre worked as an assistant librarian in her native Puerto Rico.

Jaena Alabi

Jaena Alabi is a Research and Instruction Librarian for the areas of English, psychological sciences, and Africana Studies, as well as coordinator of the RBD Help Desk at Auburn University’s Ralph Brown Draughon Library.  Before joining Auburn University, she served as the English librarian at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.  In addition to her MLIS, Jaena also holds a Master of Arts in English, both from the University of Alabama.  Her research focuses on the effects of racial microaggressions on the library profession. 

  Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe is Professor/Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction in the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also an affiliate faculty member in the University’s School of Information Sciences and Center for Global Studies. A past-president of ACRL, she is current on the boards of ORCID and the Society for Scholarly Publishing. She tweets as @lisalibrarian. 

Laura SaundersLaura Saunders is a Professor at Simmons University School of Library and Information Science where she teaches and conducts research in the areas of reference, instruction, information literacy, and intellectual freedom.  She has a strong interest in the connections between information literacy and social justice issues, as well as in the impact of mis- and disinformation. 

Her most recent books include Reference and Information Services: An Introduction, 6th edition, co-edited with Melissa Wong and the open access textbook Instruction in Libraries and Information Settings: An Introduction, co-authored with Melissa Wong. Her articles have appeared in a variety of journals including College & Research Libraries, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, and Communications in Information Literacy. Laura has a PhD and a Master of Library and Information Science, both from Simmons College, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Boston University. She serves as a Trustee for the Somerville Public Library in Somerville, MA. She is the 2019 recipient of Simmons University’s Provost Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching.


Melissa WongMelissa Wong is an instructor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she teaches courses in instruction, reference, and higher education. Her pedagogy centers on engaging students through authentic content and inclusive, accessible design. Melissa is consistently recognized on UIUC’s “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students” and has been recognized with the Campus Award for Excellence in Online and Distance Teaching. She tweets as @LISAfterClass.



Registration is $25 per attendee.

Preferred Deadline: September 3, 2021


Payment is required to complete registration. Payment may be made via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or via check (payable to ALISE). Payments must be in US dollars and free of bank charges.

General Information


All cancellations must be submitted in writing and emailed to the ALISE office at [email protected]. Cancellations received before 11:59 pm ET on August 13, 2021 are subject to a $75 fee. After August 13, 2021, ALISE will give refunds only for documented medical emergencies.


Photo & Video Policy

Photographs and videos of attendees may be taken during ALISE virtual programs. By registering for an ALISE program, you are giving ALISE permission to take your photograph or video and use it with or without your knowledge and permission on ALISE promotional material, including but not limited to, our newsletters and conference materials, social media, publications, and our website.


Upon completion of the online registration process you will receive a confirmation email within minutes. Please print the confirmation for your records. The URL and login instructions to attend the ALISE Academy will be issued the week prior to the event via email.

Inclusive Participation

If you have a disability or a health concern and require assistance to ensure full conference participation, please indicate your needs during online registration. Please contact ALISE by August 13, 2021 with the details of your request.


Contact the ALISE office with any registration and conference related questions at [email protected] or 978-674-6190.