Tuesday 10 August 2021

Spotlight on Antiracism Toolkit for Allies, an initiative of C4DISC

 – Shortlisted for the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing 2021

This year, the judges have selected a shortlist of six for the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing. Each finalist will be invited to showcase their innovation to industry peers at the ALPSP Awards session on Wednesday 15 September at the opening of the ALPSP Virtual Conference & Awards 2021. The winners will be announced on the final day of the Conference on Friday 17 September

In this series, we learn more about each of the finalists.

Tell us about your organization

The Toolkits for Equity project is now an initiative of the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communication (C4DISC). The Antiracism Toolkit for Allies is the first toolkit; it will be followed by antiracism toolkits for organizations and BIPOC, as well as toolkits around disability and inclusive language. The Toolkits for Equity started as a collaboration between  a handful of collaborators at the 2019 Triangle Scholarly Communications Institute, an Andrew W. Mellon-funded space for incubating projects that address pressing needs in scholarly communications, and later moved under the umbrella of C4DISC.

What is the project/product that you submitted for the Awards?

The Antiracism Toolkit for Allies provides readers within scholarly publishing with education and tools to disrupt racism and create work communities where everyone thrives.

Tell us a little about how it works and the team behind it

Our project provides tools that can be used to construct an antiracist framework for scholarly publishing. The co-leaders for the Antiracism Toolkit for Allies are Niccole Coggins, Jocelyn Dawson, Melanie Dolechek, and Gisela Fosado. We were joined by 50+ volunteers across scholarly publishing. Our volunteers included designers, copy editors, and production coordinators, who all worked with the desire to create something new and revolutionary for our industry that could accelerate change around antiracism efforts. 

In what ways do you think it demonstrates innovation?

In recent years, numerous DEI committees have started around our profession. Our project started out of a belief that the work of these committees could get a kickstart if we could provide tools and training materials.  

We also wanted to reframe the discussion - a lot of DEI efforts to date have focused on pipeline programs and recruitment. But these programs do not get at the root of the problem: the role of white supremacy in our workplace culture. 

We thought it was crucial to bring an explicitly antiracist framework to the discussion, to explicitly name white supremacy, and to talk frankly about the work that white people in our industry need to do to change workplace culture.

Our toolkits are based on antiracism work by the Racial Equity Institute and Allies for Change.

The guide is free to download and is published under a Creative Commons license, which was done with the hope that others might adapt the toolkit for their particular region or situation.

As of 1 June 2021, the page has been viewed over 9,000 times and downloaded over 3,500 times.

What are your plans for the future?

The Antiracism Toolkit for Allies will be followed by antiracism toolkits for organizations and BIPOC, as well as toolkits around disability and inclusive language. The Toolkit for Organizations, which also involved around 50 volunteers, launches in late August 2021.

For further information, please visit: 


Visit the ALPSP Annual Conference 2021 website for more details and to book your place. 
The ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing 2021 are sponsored by HighWire

About the author

Jocelyn Dawson is the Journals and Collections Marketing Manager at Duke University Press and a co-leader of the cross-organizational Toolkits for Equity project. She has served on committees of the Association of University Presses and the Society for Scholarly Publishing and is a previous member of the SSP’s Board of Directors. 

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