The official conference proceedings began with a panel of keynote speakers. The four speakers came from all over the world, including: Canada, the United States, Singapore, and Sweden. Each speaker focused on one segment within the conferences theme, which was “Institutional Change: Voices, Identities, Power, and Outcomes.” I really appreciated the quote that Joy Mighty, one of the speakers, made about inclusivity. She stated, “no decisions about us, without us” meaning that all voices and identities should have a seat at the table when it comes to policies, programming, and other decision-making processes. Another speaker touched on how identity can influence the amount of power or lack-there-of some people or units may have; he challenged faculty and education developers to think of their identity as a strength and to use their abilities to benefit a wide variety of people.
After the keynote session and lunch, I decided to attend a breakout session about supporting effective mentors of undergraduate research. This session provided very practical guides for incorporating undergraduate student researchers, which is one of the initiatives put forth in IU’s strategic planning. I will continue to think about how this frame work could be included in areas that librarians touch. The next session I attended was about inclusivity. The presenter started the session by introducing herself and the various identities that she carries. She described how our identities consisting of academic backgrounds, job position, career path, and personal identity can provide opportunities for powerful change or disadvantage. She also included real-life prompts that allowed participants to think through how they would handle certain situations through the lens of their own personal identities. Overall, I would consider the first day of the conference a success; although the conference is not for librarians, the theme is overarching and transferable to all disciplines. I am excited to see what tomorrow brings.