What’s Ahead for TIE

Illustration of a Black woman making an announcement for TIE against a pink background.

Three years ago, we launched Toward Inclusive Excellence (TIE) with the ambitious goal of elevating the discourse around DEIA initiatives in higher education. The channel debuted during COVID and the Black Lives Matter movement, which, among other national events, dramatically changed the course of policies and operations within the academy.

Speaking to the potential for higher education to lead the way in solving the issues plaguing our country, TIE editor in chief Alexia Hudson-Ward wrote in her very first post:

I am convinced that higher education is the sector best positioned to solve major issues for the benefit of humankind, with a good track record in doing so despite legitimate criticisms of its messiness. As supported and strengthened by the administrative infrastructure, academic and research pursuits have positively transformed lives and industries. We have the capacity to both pilot and produce solutions to advance diversity inside and outside of the academy. There are people undertaking significant programmatic initiatives and research, yet they are not receiving as much coverage as they deserve. Others are seeking help and successful concepts that will aid in transforming their respective organizations.

Introducing ‘Toward Inclusive Excellence’ (TIE)” by Alexia Hudson-Ward

Alexia has been instrumental in establishing TIE’s editorial center of gravity and leading its growth over the last few years, tirelessly bearing witness to the academy’s and, frankly, the nation’s challenges in centering social and racial justice—both through research and willful initiative. Her commentary has steered readers toward important published research and exposed areas where there is more work yet to be done.

Now, more than three years later, Alexia has decided to step down from her post as TIE’s editor in chief. While we are incredibly sad to see her go, Choice will continue to operate the channel as a resource for academic librarians and the library community to learn how to advocate for, implement, and advance DEIA-related initiatives at their institutions. We will preserve and add to Alexia’s vast, evergreen body of commentary in this space. Indeed, we have several podcasts on deck in which Alexia interviews:

  • Ekow Eshun, curator and author of In the Black Fantastic, for a discussion Afrofuturism, the vast array of Black creative works included in his book, and Black speculative thinking as a form of resistance and possibility
  • Martha S. Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor, Professor of History, Professor at the SNF Agora Institute, Johns Hopkins University, about her work on Hard Histories at Hopkins, which looks at the history of racism, discrimination, and slavery at Johns Hopkins University and its impact on the institution and Baltimore communities, in a follow-up to her original TIE podcast episode
  • Camille T. Dungy, University Distinguished Professor, English, Colorado State University, for a conversation about how people of color inhabit nature spaces and covering themes of environmental racism in relation to her most recent book Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden

As usual, the podcasts will have a video accompaniment, available on Choice’s YouTube Media Channel. The episodes will post in February, March, and April, respectively.

All of us at Choice are grateful for Alexia’s leadership of TIE. Her guidance has been as much of an education for us as it has been for you. We aim to uphold that same dedication at TIE to these vital issues going forward.

Sign up for Toward Inclusive Excellence (TIE) new post notifications and updates.

Interested in contributing to TIE? Send an email to Deb V. at Choice dvillavicencio@ala-choice.org with your topic idea.

Header image is a detail of This is Harlem by Jacob Lawrence. Courtesy of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. © 2021 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. For more information, click here.