Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Libraries

Land Acknowledgement

We respectfully acknowledge the traditional lands of the Atfalati (also known as the Tualatin Kalapuyas), who lived around what is now Forest Grove and Hillsboro; the lands of the Chafan, Chelamela and Winefelly Kalapuyas, who lived around what is now Eugene; and the lands of the Ahantchuyuk Kalapuyas, who lived around what is now Woodburn. These Kalapuyan peoples are all now part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

To acknowledge this land is to recognize its longer history and our place in that history; it is to recognize these lands and waters and their significance for the peoples who lived and continue to live in this region, whose practices and spiritualities were and are tied to the land and the water, and those whose lives continue to enrich and develop in relationship to the land, waters and other inhabitants today.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commitment

We are committed to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion, and our goal is to create a space where all learners are recognized, respected, and feel a sense of belonging. We acknowledge a legacy of historical, structural, and systemic injustices within the Libraries, University, community, and nation, that we must work to overcome in order to achieve that goal.

Libraries, and academic libraries in particular, in our country are built on a set of cultural assumptions and norms that elevate White culture and suppress the cultural wealth and ways of knowing of other groups.[1] We see this expressed in library policies, in library spaces, in the way libraries organize information, and in the ways libraries expect people to behave and engage in learning. We are part of this history, and must work to identify and reject it.

More specifically, we commit to:

  • Validating the inherent and equal value of every learner in the way we deliver our services
  • Expanding the scope of what is valued beyond a single cultural perspective by intentionally integrating and expanding access to multiple perspectives in our work
  • Practicing cultural humility, flexibility, and empathy
  • Opposing any speech or action that threatens someone’s safety, equality, or dignity
  • Actively identifying and eliminating policies, practices, actions, and attitudes that reinforce hate, intolerance, and prejudice (ableism, hate speech, homophobia, misogyny, racism, religious persecution, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia, and all other forms of discrimination and oppression)
  • Holding ourselves accountable by providing regular and transparent communication to the campus community

The Libraries have created an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Plan  that outlines specific actions we are, and will be, engaging in to support these commitments. We expect to be held accountable for the work outlined in this plan and will update it on a regular basis to indicate progress.

Our commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression is ongoing. Our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee welcomes your feedback, questions, and suggestions at libraryhelp@pacificu.edu, or through our anonymous feedback form.

[1] For additional context, see our Further Reading section at the end of this page.

Working Definitions

Equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI)

Equity is not the same as formal equality. Formal equality implies sameness. Equity, on the other hand, assumes difference and takes difference into account to ensure a fair process and, ultimately, a fair (or equitable) outcome. Equity recognizes that some groups were (and are) disadvantaged in accessing educational and employment opportunities and are, therefore, underrepresented or marginalized in many organizations and institutions. The effects of that exclusion often linger systemically within organizational policies, practices, and procedures. Equity, therefore, means increasing diversity by ameliorating conditions of disadvantaged groups. (Adapted from National Association of Social Workers)

Diversity can be defined as the sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. Visible diversity is generally those attributes or characteristics that are external. However, diversity goes beyond the external to internal characteristics that we choose to define as ‘invisible’ diversity. Invisible diversity includes those characteristics and attributes that are not readily seen. When we recognize, value, and embrace diversity, we are recognizing, valuing, and embracing the uniqueness of each individual. (Adapted from National Education Association)

Inclusion means an environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; are valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; have equal access to resources and opportunities; and can contribute fully to the organization’s success. (Adapted from Society for Human Resources Management, Hewlett Packard, and Ferris State University)

The definitions above were adopted by American Library Association Council (ALA) in 2017 per the recommendation of the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Cultural humility

“Cultural humility is a practice of self-reflection on how one’s own background and expectations impact a situation, of openness to others’ determining the relevance of their own identities to any given situation, and of committing to redress the effects of power imbalances“ (American Library Association). Cultural humility goes beyond cultural competency by focusing on an ongoing reflection of one’s own background and beliefs, rather than simply seeking a static understanding of those who we may see as “other.” For additional information on the basics of cultural humility, see 3 Things to Know: Cultural Humility.


We’ve chosen to capitalize “White” to situate Whiteness as a racialized identity, and to resist the invisibility and lack of accountability that has historically been afforded, in part, through the use of a lowercase “w” in “white.” For additional context on the ongoing conversation and push to capitalize the “W” in White, see The Case for Capitalizing the B in Black, and Why ‘White’ should be capitalized, too.

References and Further Reading

Pacific University's Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion also provides a list of anti-racist educational resources. In addition, the Libraries hosts an online guide of anti-racist resources; Pacific community members are encouraged to suggest additions to the guide.