This past Sunday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day, a part of Women’s History Month. A number of events in celebration of the day took place on campus the week before, including the International Women’s Day Resource Fair, held on Thursday the 5th, in which the Leatherby Libraries was a proud participant. Librarian Shahrzad Khosrowpour, who serves on the Chapman Diversity Project and the Advisory Group on the Status of Women, joined student employees at the table. Below, she shares her thoughts on her goals for diversity on campus:
“To me, as a multilingual woman who is originally coming from a different culture and background, I feel that ‘diversity and inclusion’ is part of me! As a librarian and an educator though, I try to be inclusive and to bring awareness to the issues that we all struggle in our daily lives in several ways. As a small part, I write book reviews for the Middle East Librarians Association and its publication. I choose works of authors who are from the Middle East and their works are either translated into English or are originally written in English. Some of these works are about lives of women in these regions.
I believe that diversity and inclusion can be addressed in different shapes and directions. It means to accept and respect all the people around us no matter how they look or where they are from or what their views and opinions are, simply by not being prejudiced but open-minded and by raising the awareness against bias and by striving to have peace on Earth. And for that, we have to start from the smaller communities around us. To this end, for the past several years at Chapman, I have been the librarian liaison to the departments of Peace Studies, International Studies, and World Languages and Cultures. I have tried to be part of the special events or activities of these departments. This way I provide not only Leatherby Libraries’ support but also my support because of the beliefs and perspectives that I have and strive for.
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to be also a small part of the Chapman Diversity Project from 2015, mainly as a member of the Advisory Group on the Status of Women. This advisory group, like the other advisory groups on campus, supports the creative activities to promote campus diversity and inclusion. It addresses the issues or needs of its community (focused on our women on campus) but also inclusively collaborates with the other advisory groups, departments, and offices as needed. I have engaged in this advisory group to the best of my ability as time allows. So far, in the past few years, the Advisory Group on the Status of Women has worked on issues such as the lactation stations, gender-neutral bathrooms, and free menstrual products available in restrooms campus-wide. It also successfully celebrated the International Women’s Day (which is officially on March 8) in the past three consecutive years by hosting several events and panels to share women’s achievements and their leaderships. This celebration and all other achievements would not have been possible without the contribution of many dedicated members from several departments/offices/centers and other advisory groups on campus.”