Los Angeles—The Joint Conference for Librarians of Color is scheduled to commence on September 19 and run through the 23rd of September in Kansas City, MO. The theme for this year’s conference is Gathering at the Waters: Celebrating Stories Embracing Communities. REFORMA is just one of the ethnic caucuses involved in the J.C.L.C., but the programs offered by REFORMA members promise to make an indelible impression and help propel the J.C.L.C. into the national limelight.
One way that organizers plan on “Gathering at the Waters” is by coming together and discussing their views and priorities for diversity, leadership, and service at the Caucus Presidents’ Plenary Session on Thursday, September 20, at 5 p.m. The Presidents of the five ethnic caucuses will wotk together to ensure future cooperation between the ethnic caucuses, and the programs and events offered by REFORMA members promise to leave their mark on the annual conference.
In addition, on Friday, September 21, at 7 p.m., REFORMA will host an event in support of freedom of speech at the Librotraficante 50 for Freedom of Speech event. This event will be held in parallel with events going on in all 50 states to support freedom of speech in the wake of the Tucson Unified School District’s decision to stop offering Mexican-American Studies and remove Mexican American literature from their libraries. Moreover, the conference will present an opportunity for like-minded librarians to collaborate, dialogue, and enhance the level of librarianship at the national level.
"Librarians can be more effective addressing issues of access, equity and advocacy when they work together for the common good" says Oralia Garza de Cortés, Presient of REFORMA from 200-2001. Likewise, Camila Alire, the REFORMA president from 1993-1994, believes “Librarians won't be disappointed in the content that we have tailored with minority librarians in mind.” In addition, Susan Luévano, the Ethnic & Women's Studies Librarian at California State University, Long Beach, believes, “For any librarian interested in diversity issues this is the best library conference to attend this year.” Last, Loida Garcia-Febo, Coordinator of the New Americans Program at Queens Library, believes that the “JCLC is a conference for all library workers. It represents an enriching opportunity to meet with like-minded professionals to exchange ideas and discuss models to serve our increasingly diverse communities.”