The Value of Immigrant Experiences: Diversity and Inclusion Efforts Across the Curriculum – A Conversation with Laila Lalami

Sponsored by ProQuest
Recorded on 08/12/2021

Posted in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility (DEIA)

How can librarians build collections that center around social justice?


Join us for this special session featuring award-winning Moroccan American author Laila Lalami. As a novelist and essayist, much of Lalami’s work, including her latest book Conditional Citizens, focuses on issues of race and immigration. Her writing has been honored with the American Book Award, the Arab-American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. She’s also been a Pulitzer Prize finalist and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.

In this interactive online author reading and Q&A, Lalami will discuss how literary forms that articulate lived, personal experiences (such as essay and memoir) can inform successful diversity and inclusion efforts across the curriculum – and inspire social change in the world beyond.

Participants will come away with:

  • Strategies for building library collections that support teaching and learning with social justice at the center.
  • Awareness of how immigration and migration studies support interdisciplinary research and curriculum development in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Understanding of the importance of creating spaces that safely engage individual, and often deeply personal, experiences to inform social change.

Be sure to read Laila Lalami’s book Conditional Citizens. Learn how to access the book here.


  • Image of Laila Lalami

    Laila Lalami

    Novelist, Essayist, ProfessorUniversity of California at Riverside

    Laila Lalami was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States. She is the author of four novels, including The Moor’s Account, which won the American Book Award, the Arab-American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent work, The Other Americans, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Harper’s, The Guardian, and The New York Times. Lalami is a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Image of Ray Pun (Moderator)

    Ray Pun (Moderator)


    Ray Pun (he/him) is a librarian in the Bay Area, CA. He is currently the President of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) and Vice President of the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA). Along with Melissa Cardenas-Dow and Kenya S. Flash, he is a co-editor of the forthcoming book, Ethnic Studies in Academic and Research Libraries (ACRL Publications).