September Diversity Series: Issues Impacting the Native Community

September Diversity Series: Issues Impacting the Native Community

September Diversity Series: Issues Impacting the Native Community

The American Indian Resource Center & Issues Impacting the Native Community” is the title of the next OSU Institute of Technology virtual Diversity Learning Series event on September 29 at 3 p.m.

The OSUIT Diversity & Inclusion Committee is proud to welcome guest speaker Teresa Runnels, the American Indian Resource Center coordinator at the Tulsa City-County Library. The center provides educational resources that highlight American Indian culture.

This is a free event available to all OSUIT students, faculty and staff via Zoom.

Runnels will discuss what services that AIRC offers and some of the issues facing the Native community. She aims to spread the word about the center and provide the OSUIT community with insight into problems that Native students and staff could be facing.

“Given Oklahoma’s cultural and political history, any issues and information involving Native Americans are always current, essential and important to everyone in our state. The more people understand and relate to these issues, the better,” said Dana Sterling, co-chair of OSUIT’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

“The last couple of years have seen some major developments in Native American issues nationwide and even continent-wide, including the McGirt Supreme Court decision about tribal sovereignty and a renewed realization of the enduring scars left by the forced boarding school system. The Diversity Committee felt this was a great time to turn our attention to Native American issues specifically.”

Throughout her 15 years with the Tulsa City-County Library, Runnels has focused on Native languages, cultural programming, outreach and building a book collection for the AIRC. She also helped form a grassroots network between tribal librarians in Oklahoma, which later became the Tribal Librarians Committee in the Oklahoma Library Association.

Her latest focus is devoted to bringing awareness to Plains Indian Sign Language, an endangered language she plans to promote through programming at the AIRC.

Runnels has a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Oklahoma State University.

For more information about the event or to RSVP, visit the Diversity & Inclusion website page.