Social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are significant topics within the library science profession, but are they integrated into the fabric of the profession?
Catholic University’s School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Library and Information Science helps answer this question at this year’s virtual lecture, “Decolonizing LIS: Activating Social Justice” part of the Sister Thea Bowman Lecture Series, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 6 p.m. EDT.
The virtual lecture will explore best practices to build a foundation for what a decolonized and more equitable information profession looks like.
Presenting the lecture is Nicole Cooke, Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and associate professor at the University of South Carolina. Her research includes human information behavior, critical cultural information studies, and diversity and social justice in librarianship. She was the 2019 ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award recipient and has edited and authored several books, including Information Services to Diverse Populations and Fake News, and Alternative Facts: Information Literacy in a Post-truth Era.
The Department of Library and Information Science has embodied the principle of social justice in its teaching, research and service. In the spring of 2019, the department dedicated the lecture series on social justice named after CatholicU alumna Sister Thea Bowman, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.
Sister Thea Bowman earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in English. She taught at elementary schools and later at CatholicU, and Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana. After 16 years in academia, Sister Thea Bowman became a consultant for intercultural awareness for the Diocese of Mississippi. Her programs were designed to break down racial and cultural barriers.
Sister Thea Bowman’s efforts left a lasting mark on U.S. Catholic life in the late 20th century. The United States bishops endorsed her canonization cause in November 2018. Her case will continue for approval through severl levels of review. If approved, her cause will proceed to the Vatican for her to be declared venerable.
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