Madison Public Library’s Black, Indigenous & People of Color Affinity Group held an anniversary networking party at Goodman South Madison Library to celebrate one year since it was founded, and to thank speakers and others the group worked with throughout the year. Madison Public Library Foundation funded the gathering, which included food from Melly Mell’s Catering and door prizes.

The BIPOC Affinity Group is a supportive platform and resource for library staff of color. It exists to provide allyship, celebrate culture and ideas, promote creativity, connect people and enrich the lives of library staff of color through networking, professional development, meaningful conversations and community service. The group’s monthly meetings center on four major themes:

  • personal development 
  • professional development
  • community/civic engagement 
  • advocacy

The group began in part as a response to the violence of summer 2020. The Racial Equity Change Team had organized some space for people to get together to talk about the George Floyd murder, and there was a session just for BIPOC staff. Those who attended realized that BIPOC staff should meet regularly. The group held visioning sessions to identify goals and determine what meetings would look like. Its leaders usually invite community partners or individuals to speak on a topic at the monthly meetings.