Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility

 
 


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Yale University Library seeks to keep diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) at the heart of all that we do and offer, including our events, spaces, resources, policies, and experiences for our campus, local, and global communities.

Our vision and goals for this area are uplifted by Risë Nelson, Yale Library’s inaugural director of DEIA. Our work is guided by the library’s mission, vision, strategic directions, and staff values, and our commitment to diversifying and making our collections more accessible is anchored by a renewed  Collection Development Philosophy. We also benefit from the ongoing work of the Reparative Archival Description Working Group and the Advisory Committee on Library Staff Diversity and Inclusion. With our director for DEIA, members of these groups—and the library’s many other related DEIA teams—play a critical role in ensuring that our community is equitable and justice-seeking, that our spaces are welcoming, and that our services and programs fully meet the needs of our library patrons.  

We invite you to explore this evolving website and share your questions, comments, and suggestions.

Read a DEIA message from Barbara Rockenbach, Stephen F. Gates ’68 University Librarian.

Library DEIA Staff

Risë Nelson, Director for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility

Risë Nelson has served as the Director for Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Accessibility (DEIA) for Yale University Library since 2022. In this inaugural role, she is responsible for developing and leading the implementation of an organizational strategy to advance the library’s expanding DEIA efforts in its services, spaces, programs, and resources with a focus on underrepresented staff recruitment, retention, and advancement; staff training and development; communications; community engagement; and assessment, evaluation, and reporting. She also works to connect and align the DEIA efforts of the division of Collections & Scholarly Communication—Yale’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Yale Center for British Art, Yale Peabody Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, Yale University Library, Yale University Press—with the campus-wide Belonging at Yale initiative. A proud graduate of Teachers College-Columbia University and Northeastern University, she has dedicated her career to empowering students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members in their learning journeys and to developing these invaluable partnerships to foster more equitable and accessible communities, on college campuses and far beyond.

Nick Wantsala, Kenya S. Flash Resident

Nick Wantsala is a librarian with over ten years of experience working in Access Services. Between 2018-2023, he worked at the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University, where he served as a Library Coordinator for Access Services, Student Supervisor, and Research Specialist. Throughout Nick’s undergraduate career at the University of Cincinnati, he worked at Langsam Library and built on his dedication to librarianship by becoming a Technical & Equipment Specialist. He earned his master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama this past May. During his graduate work, Nick was a member of the Society of American Archivists and helped create and develop “Archives & Communities,” a podcast series through which archivists from across America share how they entered the profession. With a deep passion for librarianship and student and community engagement, he uses his creative ideas and initiatives to bring those communities together.

Princess McCann, Post-Graduate Intern

Princess Zuri McCann was born and raised in New Haven, CT, and recently graduated from the Master of Library and Information Science program at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU), where she also received an MFA in Creative Writing and B.A. in English. She currently works as a special collections assistant at the Pequot Library in Southport, CT. Princess has worked for Gateway Community College Library, New Haven Free Public Library, and SCSU’s Buley Library. Some of her professional interests include accessibility and the archives and publications of historically underrepresented groups.

Kenya J. Loudd, Graduate Fellow for Accessibility Initiatives

Kenya J. Loudd is a joint doctoral candidate at Yale University in the departments of the History of Science and Medicine and African American Studies and proudly identifies as a legally blind Woman of African descent. Her current dissertation project examines segregated institutions that served deaf and blind African Americans in the Southern United States from the late Nineteenth Century through the 1970s. She organizes the Annual Symposium for Disability and Accessibility at Yale and is the producer of the documentary film  “Our Calculus: Factoring in Disability at Yale.”

 

Suvij Sudershan, Graduate Fellow for DEIA Communications

Suvij Sudershan is a Ph.D. student in English and Film and Media Studies at Yale University. His research largely focuses on comparative analyses of the modern novel, with a particular focus on the vernacular – Hindi, Urdu, and Bengali – and anglophone writings of twentieth-century South Asia. He is also interested in the international networks of Cold War era progressive, radical, and alternative cinematic cultures. His work has been published in Cultural Critique, The Economic and Political Weekly and Africa Is a Country.

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