Students in an iSchool class

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility and Belonging

Diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging statement

We in the iSchool want our community to be diverse and inclusive; our research, teaching, and service work to advance equity and belonging; and our physical spaces and handiwork to be accessible. We are better when we are diverse and when we acknowledge, celebrate and honor our diversity. In acknowledging and honoring our diversity, we also assume a responsibility to support and stand up for each other. We acknowledge that our fields have fallen short of these responsibilities, as, institutionally, have we. We expect to continue working toward better.

Our University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, here on the shores of Waaksikhomik (or Lake Mendota), resides within the sacred homeland of the Hoocąk (Ho-Chunk) people, a place they call Teejop (or Four Lakes). In an 1832 treaty, the Ho-Chunk were forced to cede this territory. Decades of ethnic cleansing followed when both the federal and state government repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, sought to forcibly remove the Ho-Chunk from Wisconsin. Our land grant university could not have been established or sustained were it not for state and federally sponsored dispossession and displacement of First Nations communities across our state. This history of colonization informs our shared future of collaboration and innovation. Today, UW–Madison respects the inherent sovereignty of the Ho-Chunk Nation, along with the eleven other First Nations of Wisconsin.

The following includes examples that show how our students, faculty and staff engage with these issues and responsibilities.


Curriculum across all our programs aim to weave DEIAB topics throughout courses.


All UW Madison undergraduates, as part of their General Education coursework, are required to take a designated Ethnic Studies course. We offer several courses that meet this requirement, including:

  • the popular introductory course LIS 202 “Informational Divides and Differences in a Multicultural Society,” which addresses equity in information access across US society. It is sometimes offered as part of a First-Year Interest Group cluster and is a designated Ethnic Studies course.
  • LIS 461 “Data and Algorithms: Ethics and Policy,” for more advanced students and which is required in the Data Science major and certificate and addresses issues of bias in machine learning.
  • LIS 500 “Code and Power,” which is a designated Ethnic Studies course.

MA in Library and Information Studies

The MA/LIS curriculum contains a “Tier DEI” requirement, which gives library and archives students the opportunity to study how diversity and equity/inequity shapes the information professions. This requirement has been fulfilled through courses including LIS 629 “Multicultural Literature and Resources for Children and Youth, LIS 640 “Services to Diverse Populations, and LIS 640 “Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums.”

A full list of courses that fulfill the MA-LIS Tier DEI requirement may be found in the [LINK TO GUIDE]

Core courses also address DEIA-related questions and challenges. For example, LIS 601 “Information: Perspectives and Contexts,” examines how bias from the earliest days of the library and archives professions still shape these fields today.

MS in Information

The MS in Information contains a breadth requirement in ethics, which may be fulfilled with either LIS 461 “Data and Algorithms: Ethics and Policy” or LIS 661 “Information Ethics and Policy,” both of which grapple with inclusion and equity issues.

Continuing Education Services

The iSchool’s Continuing Education department frequently offers DEIA-related courses and tutorials, including:

  • Spanish for Libraries
  • Designing for Accessibility
  • Promoting First-Generation Student Success
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Information at the Library

Student experience

Student organizations

DEIA-focused student organizations in the iSchool have included:

Scholarships, awards, and conference support

All iSchool students are eligible for Diversity Internship Awards to complete internships that would otherwise be unpaid. The iSchool routinely nominates applicants to its graduate programs for Advanced Opportunity Fellowships from the College of Letters and Science. The annual Dianne McAfee Hopkins award, created in honor of the first African-American iSchool faculty member, recognizes an MA/LIS student whose iSchool and extra-curricular activities promote diversity within librarianship.

Student support

The chair of the iSchool DEIA Committee (currently Dorothea Salo) is available to help address iSchool-specific DEIA issues. Campuswide DEIA resources include:


iSchool faculty, staff, and doctoral students conduct considerable research addressing DEIA questions.  Examples include:

Faculty and staff resources

DEIA Committee

The iSchool DEIA Committee meets monthly and is composed of faculty, staff, and students. Its chair represents the iSchool in the College of Letters and Science DEI Leads group.

Resources for Faculty and Staff

UW Madison’s Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA) provides a variety of inclusion resources for faculty and staff.

Diversity & inclusion-focused shared governance committees meet monthly during the academic year.

The College of Letters and Sciences’ diversity, equity, & inclusion website includes:

  • Diversity statement and message from the Dean
  • Spotlights on student, faculty, and departmental diversity initiatives
  • The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) whose goal is to understand and improve the experiences of students, staff, and faculty from all backgrounds and identities.
  • L & S Elevate podcast, hosted by Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion DeVon Wilson, spotlights DEI champions who drive change in our community and beyond, to create a more inclusive culture and climate.