With MLA ’19 “Elevating” at warp speed, this is the perfect opportunity to remind us all of our affirmation of and commitment to providing an inclusive, engaging, and harassment-free environment for everyone—regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, physical appearance, religion, or other group identity—while maintaining the free expression of ideas.
These principles are expressed in our Code of Conduct, which will be posted outside MLA ’19 meeting rooms. New this year to the annual meeting section of MLANET is the MLA ’19 Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility page, with information about interpreter services, the option to select personal pronouns for your meeting badge, all gender bathrooms, a nursing room, observance of Ramadan, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access, and wheelchair or electric scooter rental or delivery.
As coined by the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force: “Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the threads that strengthen the fabric of the Medical Library Association.” We all recognize that we can’t just talk the talk, we have to walk the walk. Sometimes that walk is uncomfortable, especially when we are engaging in critical conversations that we must have. As James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing will be changed unless it is faced.”
If you experience any violations of our Code of Conduct, please reach out as soon as possible to any MLA staff or board member. If you have other suggestions related to diversity, inclusion, and accessibility regarding the annual meeting, feel free to contact members of the 2019 National Program Committee or the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.
We want to ensure the respect, comfort, and safety of our members!
Warm wishes to you all!