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Urban Libraries Council Wins ASAE’s Top Honor for Trigger Terms

The Urban Libraries Council has earned a 2022 ASAE Summit Award — the highest recognition bestowed by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) — for the Trigger Terms: Harmful Detours and Healing Redirects framework. This award distinguishes the association community’s valuable contributions on the local, national and global levels in going above and beyond their missions to benefit society and improve our quality of life.

“We are honored that ASAE has recognized the transformational value of ULC’s Trigger Terms: Harmful Detours and Healing Redirects resource,” said ULC President and CEO Brooks Rainwater. “Public libraries and leaders across North America are leveraging our Trigger Terms language to define key terms for use in policies and to structure vital conversations and self-reflection among staff teams and program participants. This framing recognizes that language changes continually and that advancing a more anti-racist, equitable, diverse and inclusive future is a lifelong journey.”

“Congratulations to the Urban Libraries Council for leveraging their unique resources and expertise to address trigger terms that can derail productive conversations and inclusive teamwork in the workplace and in society,” said ASAE President and CEO Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE. “This type of initiative exemplifies the Power of Associations to effect positive change in challenging times. We look forward to recognizing the Council with an ASAE Summit Award, our highest industry honor, at our gala in Washington, D.C., this fall.”

Addressing key trigger terms in the current media, social and political climates, ULC’s Trigger Terms framework is designed to help leaders grow alignment, surface misunderstandings and find paths forward through difficult conversations. “Trigger Terms” are words or phrases that spur polarization and conflict due to negative connotations, misunderstandings and competing definitions. With the language developed with the expert guidance of ULC's Anti-Racism action team, ULC’s framework names these terms as well as interpretations that can derail productive conversations (“harmful detours”) and suggested translations to foster mutual respect and understanding (“healing redirects”).

ULC will be recognized with a 2022 ASAE Summit Award during the Summit Awards Dinner on September 29, 2022, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The annual awards dinner brings together association executives, industry partners, community leaders and business and government representatives to honor award-winning programs that have made a significant impact in their community.