BIPOC in LIS Mental Health Summit – Panel Resources

Thank you for attending (and/or for your interest in) the BIPOC Mental Health Summit, which was held on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. The BIPOC Mental Health Summit — conceptualized by Kaetrena Davis Kendrick and Twanna Hodge and implemented with the further expertise and presence of Amanda M. Leftwich and Rayna Smaller — offers Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who are working in libraries a safe space to participate in a real-time conversation about how the COVID-19 pandemic may be (further) impacting their mental health, especially within the Library and Information Science workscape and culture. Particularly, our discussion centers: what our experiences may look like during this time; whose voices/ what communities are being left out;  what we can do to thrive during this time; and what support is available. 

Here is a listing of resources mentioned during the Panel Discussion. The resources are organized in speaker order.

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, MSLS (Twitter: @Kaetrena, @RenewersL; Instagram: @renewerslis)

Hathcock, A. (2015). White librarianship in Blackface: Diversity initiatives in LIS. In the Library with the Lead Pipe, October 7, 2015. Retrieved from

Kendrick, K.D. (2017). The low morale experience of academic librarians: A phenomenological study. Journal of Library Administration, 57(2): 846-78. Retrieved from

Kendrick, K.D. & Damasco, I.T. (2019). Low morale in ethnic and racial minority academic librarians: An experiential study. Library Trends, 68(2): 174-212. Retrieved from 

Kaetrena’s Call to Action:

  • Participate in the COVID-19 Low Morale Survey.
  • Reflect on the following questions: In 2015, April Hathcock asserted, “Being a nonwhite librarian playing at whiteness is an isolating and lonely practice…” Considering the Impact Factors of Stereotype Threat and Deauthentication, how has ‘playing at Whiteness’ showed up in your low-morale experience? How can you combat this ‘play’?

Twanna Hodge, MLIS (Twitter: @tkhodge19)

Places/services you can consider/use at your institution:

  • Employee Assistance Program (Magellan or ComPsych)
  • Counseling Center
  • Disability Resource Center and/or ADA Compliance Office
  • Women’s Resource Center
  • LGBTQIA+ Resource Center
  • Equal Opportunity Office/Officer or Title 7 Officer
  • Emergency Funds

Blackwell, K. (2018, Aug. 9). Why people of color need spaces without white people. [Blog post]. The Arrow. Retrieved from

Twanna’s Call to Action:

  • Establish or maintain emotional support systems
  • Personally and professionally (virtually)
  • Do daily or weekly check-ins
  • Join groups such as We Here or Ethnic Affiliates
  • AILA, APALA, BCALA, CALA, REFORMA, & National Associations of Librarians of Color (NALCo)
  • Identify allies and accomplices
  • Who do you identify as an ally or accomplice? Why? How have they aiding you?
  • Contribute and engage with others
  • Grounding activities such as volunteering, pursuing new activities such as yoga, art, poetry or open-mike nights, and etc.

Amanda Leftwich, MSLS (Twitter: @thelibmaven, @mindfulinlis; Instagram: @mindfulinlis)

Leftwich, A. (2018). Lightning Round B: Redefining the Wellness Wheel for librarians of color. Retrieved from

Amanda’s Call to Action:

  • Create a daily self-care activity; something just for you.
  • Reflect on the following questions: Audre Lorde once said,“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” What does this mean to you? How can you care for yourself authentically?

Rayna Smaller, MSW (Twitter and Instagram: @BrowngirlSPACE)

Rayna’s Call to Action:

Create your own coping skills toolkit

  • Share your own healthy Coping Skill via Instagram or Twitter.



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