Starting in 2020, the PNCMLA Scholarship Committee advocated for changes to the MLA scholarships to help remove barriers to access. In response to this, there are now substantive changes to the MLA Scholarship application process!
In the 22-23 cycle even more changes have been made, including removing the requirement for letters of reference. This decision was driven by many stakeholders providing feedback about how this requirement often presents a barrier to underrepresented groups!
An update from the MLA scholarship committee provides the new questions, which have broadened the scope to include academic goals rather than being focused exclusively on career.
Changes like these are intended to help make access to these scholarships more equitable - thank you to the PNCMLA Scholarship Committee for advocating for more inclusive applications!
The PNC-MLA Diversity Committee invites you to an upcoming webinar as part of the new Health Equity and Diversity Speaker Series.
The committee is excited to announce that we have put together a series of speakers to present on issues of health equity and diversity.
Diversity Speakers Series
Timeline of Oppression Project
The Diversity Committee has been working on ways to create opportunities for education, outreach, and support in service of DEI.
One project we're working on is creating an interactive timeline of historical examples of oppression and discrimination in the medical field. This project will be a work in progress, and is intended to serve as an awareness building tool for folks to get a sense of the injustice and discrimination that is hiding in plain sight in our history.
The Diversity Committee is also working on other events and resources to further educate our profession about issues relating to diversity, inclusion and health equity.
Statement of Support
In light of recent events, the PNC/MLA Group recognizes and strongly condemns anti-Asian hate crimes that have spread across our country over the past year. The PNC/MLA Group aligns itself and affirms the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association’s (APALA) recent statement that condemns the increase in anti-Asian hate crimes across America in the last year.
PNC/MLA stands in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. We encourage our library community to stand with the AAPI community by publicly condemning anti-AAPI racism through action. The PNC/MLA group highly recommends these resources compiled by the APALA.
PNC/MLA Diversity Committee
On June 1st, 2020, the African American Medical Librarians Alliance (AAMLA) released a statement about police brutality and systemic racism and violence. We at the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association (PNC/MLA) fully support and stand in solidarity with AAMLA and all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in this fight against systemic racism and police brutality.
In light of recent events and the need to diversify the predominant “whiteness” of our library profession, the PNC is committed to establishing a Diversity Committee that will help our Chapter to fulfill our values of diversity, equality, and inclusion. This committee will provide our members with educational opportunities to improve our understanding and practice of anti-racism and amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color within our community.
For anyone who needs help getting started, here are some valuable resources specific to the Pacific Northwest region:
Thompson, Carmen P. “Expectation and Exclusion: An Introduction to Whiteness, White Supremacy, and Resistance in Oregon.” Oregon Historical Quarterly, Winter 2019, 120:4
Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project. African Americans and Seattle's Civil Rights History.
Oliver, M. (2006). Idaho Ebony: The African American Presence in Idaho State History.The Journal of African American History,91(1), 41-54. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
Montana Historical Society. Montana’s African American Heritage Resources.
Hartman, I.C. (2020). Black history in the last frontier. National Park Service: University of Alaska Anchorage.
BC Black History Awareness Society
In the words of the honorable Martin Luther King Jr:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
Kathryn Vela, MLIS and Nancy Shin, MLIS, on behalf of the PNC/MLA Executive Board