The Elephant We Don't See: A Diversity Dialogue
Prince George's County Memorial Library System, Md.
PGCMLS and the Prince George's County Human Relations Commission launched an ongoing monthly virtual event series called "The Elephant We Don't See: A Diversity Dialogue." The series features Michelle Hamiel of PGCMLS and Kyla Hanington of HRC facilitating adult learning through discussions of books on race, diversity and inclusion.
This virtual event series is one of PGCMLS' signature programs to provide forums for the community to engage in meaningful and challenging conversations to better combat systemic racism and discrimination in the community. The program focuses on landmark and significant books that are accessible to all adult readers, providing an entry point for adults to learn from leaders in diversity training locally and each other. This is one example of PGCMLS' commitment to advancing racial and social equity through adult education.
The series complements the library's internal and external equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism (EDIA) initiatives by complementing author appearances (like Ibram X. Kendi's), showcasing the strength of the library's collection and creating a virtual space that is safe and welcoming for differing perspectives. While this series is just one of many different elements to the library's EDIA work, it is a shining example of PGCMLS' strength in replicating the safe educational environment in branches online.
The program offers the feel of a conversation among friends and it has developed a loyal following locally and across the country, with regular viewers as far away as Hawaii and Canada. Live viewership has peaked above 1,300, which makes the series among the library's most successful virtual programs. The reach into university communities across the country has also been a phenomenal example of the quality and value of the program to learners in the home and in formal educational settings.