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American Association of Law Libraries




The goal of this column is to describe the process used by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Awareness (IDEA) Special Committee, which provided the foundation and resources for AALL to create the new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Policy. The committee, initially appointed and charged by the 2020 AALL President Emily R. Florio, began meeting in 2020, and started its work with discussions aimed at defining and narrowing the scope of its charge and finding consensus on what we were setting out to accomplish. During this initial stage, our discussions helped us find commonality to understand the points of view within the committee, and to build both understanding and trust within it. These facets were essential given the difficult and often personal nature of our future discussions. If we were to function effectively and proceed in a productive way, we had to have trust. All the committee members brought their passion for equity and inclusion, their desire to do good for our Association, their unflinching honesty, and their respect for difference to their work on the committee. From the very beginning of our work, differences of opinion emerged, yet these differences never became divisive or problematic due to the members’ commitment to respectfulness and professionalism, and their sustained focus on the task at hand.

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