Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations Now Available to Help Build Equity and Promote Antiracist Workplace Culture in Scholarly Publishing

Toolkits for Equity

Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications

August 25, 2021

A new diversity, equity, and inclusion resource for scholarly publishing professionals, the Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations was published today by Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC) and Toolkits for Equity in Scholarly Publishing project volunteers. A cross-organizational effort, the toolkit is the second in a series of three focused on antiracism; additional toolkits focus on antiracism resources for allies (launched August 2020) and for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (forthcoming).

The Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations focuses on helping organizations transform their workplace culture through the lens of antiracism and equity. This toolkit is for organizations to understand institutionalized racism, to better support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) staff, to model antiracist leadership, build structure around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) work, and create policies and procedures that address inequities, disparities, and racist systems. 

Project co-leader, Damita Snow adds, “There are many organizations working on DEI and we wish for the toolkit to be a resource for them no matter where they are in the process. We do not answer every question out there, but we hope to assist in some way. We certainly considered our audience in the writing of the toolkit. We had an incredible group of more than 40 diverse volunteers who did so much to complete the document and who determined the topics to be addressed as well as completing the research to present accurate information and reading what others wrote to ensure that we had a unified voice. I am beyond pleased at how the final document turned out.” 

Building equity and promoting antiracism at organizations are not the jobs of specific individuals but are collective responsibilities. This toolkit, written by a multiracial group of industry professionals, is intended to help organizations of all types within scholarly publishing implement inclusive policies, procedures, and norms.

“By presenting key equity insights, best practices, and actionable recommendations, we intend to shift the focus from ‘diversity’ to equity and inclusion. The process must involve all and happen on an individual, interpersonal, and community level,” said project co-leader, Jocelyn Dawson.

Modeled after the American Alliance of Museums’ guides for transgender inclusion, this toolkit and its predecessor, The Antiracism Toolkit for Allies, which has been downloaded over 3,500 times, provide a common framework for analysis, a shared vocabulary and history, and best practices to address racial disparities specific to the scholarly publishing community. While a growing awareness of racial disparities has resulted in a groundswell of support for inclusivity in scholarly publishing, industry-specific training materials are necessary to help transform our workplaces and organizational cultures. 

With the support of C4DISC, project leaders Damita Snow (American Society of Civil Engineers) and Jocelyn Dawson (Duke University Press) kicked off the project January 2021 and recruited volunteers from across the industry to assist with the project in various ways.

C4DISC partnered with the publishing platform PubPub to host the toolkit, facilitating greater collaboration, and offering a robust toolset for accessibility. 

Speaking to the collaboration, Dawit Tegbaru from Knowledge Futures Group said, “Because our values aligned with C4DISC’s toolkits for equity project, the PubPub team provided in-kind services which included the onboarding of volunteers and site design and production support. Together with the C4DISC volunteers, we pushed the collaborative editing process to the max, using annotations, labels, and versioning to refine and communicate in between drafts. I hope everyone has an opportunity to work with such determined volunteers as I have had the pleasure to work alongside.” 

Students from the Master of Professional Studies in Publishing program at George Washington University provided some of the editing for the guide, working with Gabe Harp, Associate Professor Randy Townsend, and Director and Associate Professor, John W. Warren.

“The Toolkit for Organizations provided a great opportunity to involve students in the development of a valuable resource that will have lasting impacts on the publishing industry,” says Warren. “It also introduced them to a massively collaborative and respectful approach to facing DEI in their publishing careers. I was very proud to see their enthusiasm for the toolkit and how responsible they took their roles.” added Townsend.

Published under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license, the toolkit is intended to be used freely by individuals and organizations in the community for their own personal development or more structured organization-wide training programs. It is hosted by the Coalition for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (C4DISC) and can be downloaded from its website. Users are encouraged to redistribute, customize, and build upon the toolkits for their own use.

The Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations will be the subject of several upcoming industry articles, webinars, and virtual events. Opportunities to learn more about the toolkits and hear from the project leaders include presentations through the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors and the Council of Science Editors, as well as the George Washington Ethics in Publishing Conference. The Antiracism Toolkit for Allies was shortlisted for the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing 2021, which will be presented to the ALPSP community on September 17.

For more information, contact:
Toolkits for Equity in Scholarly Publishing