This fall, the American Booksellers Association is presenting a full-day education session, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Addressing Stereotypes and Creating a Welcoming Environment.”
The workshop, for both owners/managers and frontline booksellers, will be led by Ilsa Marie Govan, M.A., and Caprice D. Hollins, Psy.D., of Cultures Connecting. It will be presented two times in the fall: on Thursday, September 14, in New Orleans, and on Wednesday, October 11, in Denver, prior to the start of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association trade shows, respectively.
Through video, interactive exercises, and storytelling, Govan and Hollins will illustrate how implicit racial stereotypes can influence attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs about others and create barriers to genuine relationships. The workshop also aims to help booksellers understand the factors that create a sense of welcoming in an independent bookstore, from the inventory to the diversity of staff members, as well as how implicit biases — whether about race, gender, age, or disability status — come into play in creating such an environment for staff and customers.
Through the workshop, participants will:
- Develop a shared language of cultural competence to serve as a roadmap for creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive bookstores.
- Learn and practice tools for engaging in courageous conversations about difficult issues with employees and customers.
- Increase their awareness and knowledge of the impact of stereotypes on our everyday thoughts and actions.
- Learn strategies for countering implicit bias and stereotype threat in the workplace.
- Reflect on practical applications of new skills at a personal and organizational level.
Booksellers can learn more about implicit bias and stereotypes through the New York Times video series “Who, Me? Biased?”
The first workshop will take place on Thursday, September 14, ahead of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Discovery Show at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans and will be led by both Govan and Hollins.
The second workshop will take place on Wednesday, October 11, ahead of the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association fall trade show at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel in Denver and will be led by Govan.
Registration for the workshops, which costs $75 per person, is scheduled to open in early August. Fall show registration is not required to attend the workshops. Watch Bookselling This Week for more details in the coming weeks.