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Diversity & Inclusion

Embrace Diversity

Atkins Diversity Statement

Atkins Library is committed to cultivating an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome and differences are valued and respected. We embrace and support the spectrum of human and social identities and strive to create and maintain equity for all employees and users. 

Our statement was inspired by Florida State University Libraries and University of California Irvine Libraries diversity statements.

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Other Statements & Acknowledgements

Statement by J. Murrey Atkins Library in response to the recent violent brutality against Black Americans

Our hearts, minds, and souls extend our deepest sympathy over the agony that Black Americans are suffering. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery represent some of the most recent episodes in a pervasive tradition of racial injustice in our nation. Our country is suffering as the democratic values we hold dear are shredded before our eyes. The right to peaceful protest and speech has been trampled on. The right of all People of Color to be treated with dignity and respect and an assumption of innocence has yet again been destroyed. We must stand together against police and political brutality and the attempt to destroy our freedoms and rights to fair and equitable treatment for all. Atkins Library condemns all forms of racism and violence against People of Color and stands resolute in declaring that Black Lives Matter. Atkins Library is committed to cultivating an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome and differences are valued and respected. We embrace and support the spectrum of human and social identities and strive to create and maintain equity for all employees and users. Atkins Library pledges to subject its own conduct and collections to a deep, searching scrutiny and take significant steps to become the truly inclusive and diverse institution that it aspires to be. The employees of Atkins Library invite you to join us in this challenging and important work. The first step for all of us is education.

Here are some recommended resources:

Additional Resources

Celebrating Cultures   

  • UNC Charlotte Celebrates Indigenous People's Month - TED Talk from Brittany Hunt 


Diversity Includes Many Things

We acknowledge that diversity includes any combination of identities and experiences based upon:

Gender expression is a person's behavior, mannerisms, interests, and appearance that are associated with gender in a particular cultural context, specifically with the categories of femininity or masculinity. This also includes gender roles. These categories rely on stereotypes about gender. Gender expression typically reflects a person's gender identity (their internal sense of their own gender), but this is not always the case. Gender expression is separate and independent both from sexual orientation and gender assigned at birth. A type of gender expression that is considered atypical for a person's externally perceived gender may be described as gender non-conforming. 

Race refers to physical differences that groups and cultures consider socially significant. For example, people might identify their race as Aboriginal, African American or Black, Asian, European American or White, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Māori, or some other race. Race refers to a person's physical characteristics, such as bone structure and skin, hair, or eye color. 
Ethnicity refers to shared cultural characteristics such as language, ancestry, practices, and beliefs.  Ethnicity, however, refers to cultural factors, including nationality, regional culture, ancestry, and language. ... You can have more than one ethnicity but you are said to have one race, even if it's "mixed race."

Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attractions to men, women or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex. However, sexual orientation is usually discussed in terms of three categories: heterosexual (having emotional, romantic or sexual attractions to members of the other sex), gay/lesbian (having emotional, romantic or sexual attractions to members of one's own sex) and bisexual (having emotional, romantic or sexual attractions to both men and women). This range of behaviors and attractions has been described in various cultures and nations throughout the world. Many cultures use identity labels to describe people who express these attractions. In the United States the most frequent labels are lesbians (women attracted to women), gay men (men attracted to men), and bisexual people (men or women attracted to both sexes). However, some people may use different labels or none at all.

Sexual orientation is distinct from other components of sex and gender, including biological sex (the anatomical, physiological and genetic characteristics associated with being male or female), gender identity (the psychological sense of being male or female)* and social gender role (the cultural norms that define feminine and masculine behavior).

Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as if it were solely a characteristic of an individual, like biological sex, gender identity or age. This perspective is incomplete because sexual orientation is defined in terms of relationships with others. People express their sexual orientation through behaviors with others, including such simple actions as holding hands or kissing. Thus, sexual orientation is closely tied to the intimate personal relationships that meet deeply felt needs for love, attachment and intimacy. In addition to sexual behaviors, these bonds include nonsexual physical affection between partners, shared goals and values, mutual support, and ongoing commitment. Therefore, sexual orientation is not merely a personal characteristic within an individual. Rather, one's sexual orientation defines the group of people in which one is likely to find the satisfying and fulfilling romantic relationships that are an essential component of personal identity for many people.

Faith traditions are religious associations or affiliations in which individual members indicate they identify. Examples include: African Methodist Episcopal, Church of God, Jewish Orthodox, Muslim, Presbyterian, and all other affiliations.

Nationality is the status of belonging to a particular nation, whether by birth or naturalization. 

Ability is the possession of the means or skill to do something.

The legal definition of veteran under Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations is “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

Cultural Heritage is an expression of the ways of living developed by a community and passed on from generation to generation, including customs, practices, places, objects, artistic expressions and values.

Age is the length of time or the  amount of time during which a person, animal, or thing has lived or existed. Ageism is a type of discrimination that involves prejudice against people based on their age. 

Atkins Library Diversity & Inclusion Committee - Moving Forward

The Atkins Library Diversity and Inclusion Committee focuses its initiatives on developing concrete steps for staff to increase their understanding of diversity issues and facilitating opportunities for broadening awareness of diversity as an essential way of creating a fair and open-minded work environment. The Diversity/Inclusion Committee provides leadership and guidance to the Library by encouraging awareness about and discussions of diversity and inclusion.

  • Diversity Day
    • Atkins Library hosted Diversity Day 2019 on February 28, 2019. This day-long event, held on the campus of UNC Charlotte, featured a keynote presentation by Mark Puente, Director of Diversity and Leadership Programs at the Association of Research Libraries. The program also included a series of presentations by educators and professionals from the community and across the nation.
  • Atkins Diversity Book Club
    • The Atkins Library book club focuses on diversity and cultural topics to spark conversations around inclusivity, equity, and awareness of human differences embedded in our society and culture. Originally part of the Atkins Library Self-Selected Group Development, Staff Development program, this book club is open to all faculty, staff, and students, an initiative recommended by the Provost. The Atkins Library Diversity & Inclusion Committee sponsors this event and welcomes participation from the campus community to lead book discussions and to make book recommendations.


Additional Resources

LGBTQ information, terms, and topics. Identiversity

Helpful information about pronouns  All about Pronouns