UXPaul McAleer

The IA Institute's Letter, in a Parallel Universe

UXPaul McAleer

You may have recently read or heard about… things… in the IA community involving how to handle bad actors, amongst about 80 other things. In part due to Lynn Boyden’s open letter, the IA Institute sent its members a letter on next steps. What follows is not that letter. What follows is the letter that the IA Institute, say… in a parallel universe, may have sent.

To the IA Community:

We are grateful for your patience and consideration as we’ve worked through some important and sensitive problems over the past few weeks. We are happy to share an update on our progress with you.

First, let us be clear. There is no place for harassers or abusers at any IA Institute-led event including the IA Conference and World IA Day. We, as an organization, strive for empathy with all people; that’s why it’s more important than ever that we center our actions on the people who have been impacted by events that happened, and not the people perpetuating them.

While we want to talk about the future, we must address the past. We apologize fully for the pain and trauma that victims may have been dealing with as we worked behind the scenes on this important work.

Anyone who has been banned by the IA Conference or its predecessor conference will continue to be banned from all IAI-led events.

Our goal as an organization is to do our very best to ensure all our events are safe and inclusive. By the 2020 IA Conference, we plan to have a complete safety system in place that addresses complaint handling, processes and procedures, a revised code of conduct, and full safety training for our volunteers and board.

Immediately, we are soliciting bids on anonymous reporting systems we can use at our events, and the aforementioned safety training. We expect to make a decision on these important parts of infrastructure by March.

Going forward, our Events Director will provide monthly updates to all IAI members on the progress of each of our initiatives. This includes not only the safety-related strategies above, but also includes our work on improving the diversity and inclusion at our events. We’ll discuss that in more detail soon.

Finally, please remember our overall mission: to promote awareness, provide resources for learning, practicing, and teaching information architecture and to support and expand opportunity for practitioners. We know that none of that can happen without a safe, inclusive environment, and we are making that our top priority from this day on.

Thank you once again for your patience. If you have any questions or comments, please contact any of the board members via our website.


The IAI Board of Directors