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Graduate School of Journalism

219 West 40th Street

New York, NY 10018

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Following the 2016 LACUNY Institute on the theme of libraries, racism, and anti-racism, this day-long unconference aims to continue the local conversations, learning, and organizing happening around race and anti-racism in librarianship.

We believe that race matters to both library workers and patrons; it is incumbent upon us to have tough discussions and find a way to address structural racism in our profession, our spaces, and our institutions.

So come and talk about these important issues with librarians and library workers. Share your experiences. Learn. Set an intention and make a difference.

Unconference Goals

During the Unconference, we will offer multiple channels for participants to engage in discussion, learning, and collaborative work to dismantle structural racism in our professional lives.

We put forth the following questions as a starting place and invite you to share your ideas:

  • What strengths do we, as library workers, bring to the movement for racial and social justice?

  • What are our challenges, and how do we overcome them?

  • What can we do in our professional lives and in the spaces we maintain to de-center whiteness and dismantle oppression?

  • How do we work towards racial justice with the communities our libraries serve?

  • How can we foster more inclusive hiring and professional development practices?

  • How should we train and support the next generation of library workers and integrate more critical theory into our curricula?

  • How do we recognize and tackle microaggressions in the workplace?

  • How can library leaders and administrators work to include support staff (who are often from underrepresented groups) who are interested in librarianship?

  • How do we push past the sometimes placating rhetoric of “diversity” in order to fundamentally re-focus and restructure our practice, the viewpoints represented, and the processes of decision making and governance?

We intend for every attendee to leave with a positive change or idea for action. For more information about The Race Matters Unconference, check out our website.

Conference Schedule

Please check out our website for a full schedule. Our day includes a facilitated session to help us get started, a panel discussion to see how these topics are addressed in adjacent industries, and two break-out sessions led by you, our community members.

One Conference, One Reading

Our conference planning committee will select a reading, video, or podcast to be a starting place for our discussion. We will announce this media soon to all conference participants.

Leading a Discussion

Please consider leading a discussion at our unconference. We will hold 2 separate break-out sessions of 45 minutes apiece. If you have a topic in mind, please indicate it on our RSVP form. We will also take topic ideas on site on March 10.


We will meet on the 3rd floor of CUNY Grad School of Journalism. Please bring your ID to check in with the security guard.

Snacks will be provided throughout the day, but lunch will be on your own. You are welcome to bring your own lunch or go out to a nearby restaurant.

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Graduate School of Journalism

219 West 40th Street

New York, NY 10018

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