Diversity is a core value and foundational concept in the Information School. Catalyzing the power of diversity enriches all of us by exposing us to a range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, define and deliver solutions. The iSchool prepares professionals to work in an increasingly diverse and global society by promoting equity and justice for all individuals. We actively work to eliminate barriers and obstacles created by institutional discrimination.
Diversity creates opportunities for people to engage, understand and respect others whose perspectives, values, beliefs, traditions, and world views have been shaped by experiences and backgrounds that may be different from their own, particularly those from historically marginalized and underrepresented groups. These differences may include, but are not limited to: race, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, socioeconomic status, citizenship, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, and physical abilities.
Diversity-related challenges faced by the information field today include the lack of equitable access to information and technology, limited participation in an increasingly digital political and economic environment, and the preservation of cultural voices.
The Information School demonstrates institutional commitment to diversity by:
- Actively recruiting and sustaining a diverse student body utilizing nontraditional pathways
- Hiring and sustaining a diverse faculty and staff, including:
- Diversity in our Diversity Programs Advisor position
- Requiring the ability to demonstrate success in working with diverse populations for all new staff hires
- Supporting and engaging an active Diversity Committee composed of students, faculty and staff
- Supporting and promoting an activist-oriented iEquality Student Group
- Integrating diversity-related knowledge, skills, and modalities into learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. These areas include:
- Identifying and addressing information issues and needs of underserved populations
- Identifying and addressing global information issues and needs of different nations
- Enabling access to information and promoting information literacy
- Organizing information for accessibility and empowerment
- Designing information systems and products for all members of the community
- Managing diverse work environments that maximize multiple perspectives
- Conducting research in areas that have impact for a diverse population. These include such topics as:
- Indigenous systems of knowledge
- Information needs of marginalized populations
- Design of adaptive, assistive technology
- Value-sensitive design
- Information and communication technology for development
- Information policy
The Information School actively welcomes and engages students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds and reflects the importance of diversity through leadership and innovation within education, research, and the information professions.