Libraries play a critical role in presenting inclusive histories, says Neel Agrawal, digital projects librarian at LMU’s William H. Hannon Library. “Working in libraries and archives allows me to channel my passion for advancing social justice and equitable access to knowledge,” he says.
As a member of LMU’s Inclusive History and Images Project, he collaborates with colleagues to collect stories and images involving Black, Latino/a and Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Indigenous, LGBTQ+, and differently embodied members of the LMU community. The project seeks to tell a more inclusive LMU history, and is a key piece of LMU’s Anti-Racism Project.
Agrawal also leads and supports other digital archiving projects for the library, including a project to document the history of displacing Mexican-American communities from the Chavez Ravine neighborhood, now home to Dodger Stadium. “The library is at the forefront of fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and access,” he says.
Agrawal is also an accomplished musician. As a percussionist, he received the COLA Artist Fellowship from the city of L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs, toured India as a sponsored party of the U.S. State Department, and collaborated with leading bands such as Young the Giant and Lord Huron. He brings this creative passion to campus, presenting workshops and performances in collaboration with Divine Gbagbo (Ethnomusicology) and Chris Chapple (Yoga Studies).
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