Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Damita Snow and Jocelyn Dawson. Damita is Senior Manager of Publishing Technologies at the American Society of Civil Engineers. Jocelyn is Journal and Collections Marketing Manager at Duke University Press. Damita and Jocelyn are co- leads for the latest Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC) Toolkit for Equity. Here, they are in conversation with C4DISC representatives Laura Martin, Senior Manager of Project and Program Management at Wiley, and Megan Seyler, Senior Journal Publishing Assistant at Wiley, to discuss the launch of The Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations.
To celebrate the launch of C4DISC’s Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations, Damita Snow and Jocelyn Dawson sat down with Laura Martin and Megan Seyler to share why they are excited about this toolkit and what they hope it will achieve. Please check out the video of their conversation, and let us know your thoughts, questions, and reactions in the comments section below!
“I want to hear from people on how they will incorporate the toolkit into the processes of their organizations. I want to know what they are most excited about after they read it. We’ve included case studies, infographics, illustrations, and an extensive list of resources to provide further guidance, and I expect that there is something in the toolkit that everyone can use.”—Damita Snow
“If we want to continue to attract the best people to our industry, to serve our readers, our authors, and our editors, we need to make sure that we are doing this work alongside our day jobs. And I hope that organizations will make space for that.” –Jocelyn Dawson
Using this toolkit
Promoting antiracism and building equity is the collective responsibility of everyone working within an organization. The Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations — written by a multiracial group of scholarly communications professionals — is intended to help individuals at all levels within our organizations to implement inclusive policies, procedures, and norms, and ultimately transform their workplaces into inclusive and equitable spaces. The toolkit is designed not only to meet organizations wherever they are in their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts, but also to help them improve on these efforts through a transition from more general DE&I training programs to the design and implementation of antiracist policies and procedures.
The Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations is intended for everyone, regardless of the organization’s size or DE&I resources available — particularly those who are interested in driving organizational transformative change. It is meant to spark more thoughtful conversations about how each of us can both learn and apply our learnings, to create fewer barriers for marginalized colleagues, and to create a more supportive and inclusive workplace environment.
“I always hope to learn something new every day. There is no end point [for learning]. One of the goals of these toolkits is to make people realize, maybe I’m not doing anything intentional, but I need to be more mindful of some of the actions that I’m taking, and pay attention to that and see what I can do, to do better.” – Damita Snow
The toolkit has a rich range of content that is organized by topic. Rather than following a linear path, readers can search for and access the information they need to help them deliver change at any point in their organization’s DE&I journey. It aims to provide the framework for organizations to go beyond performative action and effectively address systemic inequities specific to the scholarly publishing community.
C4DISC partnered with the publishing platform PubPub to host the toolkit, and PubPub’s Dawit Tegbaru provided significant support in developing the project. Students from the George Washington University Publishing Master of Professional Studies program provided editing assistance for the guide, working with Gabe Harp, Adjunct Professor Randy Townsend, and Associate Professor John Warren.
“Our toolkit’s unique intervention is to provide actionable steps that are really founded in an antiracism framework” –Jocelyn Dawson
Actions you can take today
- Check out the toolkit and share a chapter with a colleague or leader. Ask them to consider how your organization would benefit from a change in a business policy, practice, or process.
- Remember that when you are looking to deliver change that sticks, you don’t have to do everything at once. In fact, it is much better to prioritize and focus your efforts on one deliverable at a time. You need to start somewhere—it’s okay to start small and iterate from there.
- Think of what you can do in your own role to embolden others and create a safe environment for conversations about positive change within your organization.
- Make sure you know what your organization’s existing priorities for establishing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive working environment with antiracist policies, practices, and processes.
- Consider where you personally want your organization to be in one, two, or five years and articulate that vision to raise awareness. To deliver real change, people must first be aware of the shared end goal.
- Allow for mistakes and iterate based on what you have learned. Policies, practices, and processes are meant to be used. Ask for feedback from the people who are impacted—what would help them to achieve better results in their roles?
- When you are looking at ways to make your business practices, policies, and processes antiracist, be as inclusive as possible. Invite a wide range of contributors from the very beginning to consider a) what is a priority, b) what is the roadmap for change, and c) what is in your control to change now?
- Broaden your network. Who do you follow on social media? Who do you listen to on podcasts? Which authors do you support by buying their books or reading and sharing their articles and posts? Expand who influences and informs you as an individual — as well as who you lend your influence and connections to — so that you can benefit from different perspectives and experiences as you create change in your organization.
- Join the conversation — share your thoughts in the comment section below and/or get in touch with C4DISC to learn more about how you can get involved.
Check out the other toolkits in this series
The Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations is the second in a series of three antiracism toolkits for scholarly publishing:
- The Antiracism Toolkit for Allies (published in August 2020) promotes awareness and understanding of white advantage, as well as information about how to disrupt racism and create workplace communities where everyone thrives. The toolkit includes a chronology of white supremacy in the United States, sample equity and inclusion programming, a sample list of affinity and inclusivity groups, and a list of recommended racial equity training organizations.
- The Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations (published August 2021) provides tools for understanding institutionalized racism, broadening hiring and recruiting practices, working to correct bias, including historically excluded perspectives in decision-making, measuring the impact of DE&I efforts, and creating affinity groups and mentorship programs.
- The Antiracism Toolkit for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (forthcoming) will provide advice on safely navigating predominantly white spaces that may feel exclusionary, building mentorship relationships, expanding career paths, advocating for change, and self-care.
Contributors to The Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations
Axelle Ahanhanzo, Elsevier; Elizabeth Ault, Duke University Press; Avtar Banse, Elsevier; Linda Bathgate, Washington State University Press; Elizabeth Beltramini, Association of College Unions International; Gabrielle Bethancourt-Hughes, George Washington University; Gwendolyn Blue, American Society of Civil Engineers; Phillip Bogdan, Research Square Company; Ellen C. Bush, University of North Carolina Press; Khalfani Cargill, Knowledge Futures Group; Amanda Clark, George Washington University; David Congdon, University Press of Kansas; Jocelyn Dawson, Duke University Press; Matisen Douglas, George Washington University; Beth Fuget, University of Washington Press; Christine Gendy, George Washington University; Sarah Godlin, George Washington University; Corrine Gosling, George Washington University; Jade Grogan, Bloomsbury Academic; Stephanie Lovegrove Hansen, Silverchair; Gabe Harp; Christie Henry, Princeton University Press; Maxine Herman-Oakley, Elsevier; Erin Landis, American Gastroenterological Association; Kiarah Lee, George Washington University; Arielle Lewis, George Washington University; Babe Liberman, Digital Promise; Wendy Lochner, Columbia University Press; Sunni Losito, MSMI, American Gastroenterological Association; Cason Lynley, Duke University Press; Sadie Markley, George Washington University; Brenna McLaughlin, Association of University Presses; Olivia Mills, George Washington University; Vanessa Morris, Elsevier; Laura Niven, Annual Reviews; Abby Norton, George Washington University; Elliott Parris, Elsevier; Penny Penic, Jones Lang LaSalle; Karen Phillips, SAGE Publishing; Eva Podgoršek, Elsevier; Stephanie L. Pollock, American Psychological Association; Mark A. Puente, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies; Sarah Ritchie, Wiley; Lily Rodriguez, Wiley; Bill Rowan, National Asphalt Pavement Association; Diana Samuel, The Lancet; Kim Shankle, American Society for Microbiology; Graham Smith, Springer Nature; Damita Snow, CAE, American Society of Civil Engineers; Madelene Sutton, AIP Publishing; Dawit Tegbaru, Knowledge Futures Group; Jamaal Thompson, Panorama Education; Randy Townsend, MPS, American Geophysical Union and George Washington University; Ambriah Underwood, George Washington University; Erin Valentine, J&J Editorial; Elizabeth Von Mann, George Washington University; Jeri Wachter, Independent Producer/Consultant; John W. Warren, George Washington University; Sarah Williamson, MA, American Gastroenterological Association; Emily Zoss, National Gallery of Art
“We had an excellent group of volunteers who put their hearts and soul into this project. I certainly thank them for all of their hard work and the many many insightful questions that they had throughout this project.” – Damita Snow