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An Update From IBPA’s DEI Task Force

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by Karen Pavlicin, Publisher, Elva Resa Publishing —

Karen Pavlicin

Enabling positive, actionable, systemic change.

IBPA’s 2020-2022 Strategic Plan, developed by the IBPA Board of Directors in August 2019, includes the strategic goal of eliminating bias and enhancing diversity within the association. To help reach this goal, a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force of the board meets weekly to further IBPA’s DEI strategy. In the Sept/Oct 2020 issue of IBPA Independent, the DEI Task Force shared part of this DEI strategy in the form of IBPA’s DEI commitment, priorities, and goals. Here, we share information on how Dr. James H. Pogue, Ph.D., and his organization, JP Enterprises, will help IBPA achieve these priorities and goals.

In September 2020, IBPA contracted with DEI expert James H. Pogue, Ph.D., of JP Enterprises to help guide the IBPA DEI Task Force through next steps in reaching its DEI commitment and achieving its DEI priorities and goals. To date, the JP Enterprises team has led the task force through four key steps:

  1. An assessment of the DEI experience as understood by IBPA’s staff and key volunteers
  2. A deep-dive review of IBPA’s current policies, processes, and procedures
  3. Facilitated DEI training for IBPA’s staff and key volunteers
  4. Guidance for approving and implementing IBPA’s standalone DEI Strategic Plan


To begin its work, JP Enterprises conducted a diversity, inclusion, and bias (DIBs) assessment of IBPA’s staff and key volunteers to determine the state of IBPA leadership’s current bias and readiness to move forward with focused DEI work. Using information gained from this assessment, JP Enterprises interviewed a representative sample of IBPA staff, volunteer leaders, and members to add depth and perspective to the data. Finally, to round out the work, emerging themes informed a set of focus group conversations.

Review of IBPA’s Current Policies

Policies, processes, and procedures drive the work of a membership association. As part of its work, Pogue’s team conducted a deep-dive review of all three. They considered practices directly and tangentially associated with membership, recruitment, and nominations for leadership positions, as well as unspoken policies that may influence how IBPA operates.

Facilitated Training

In November/December 2020, a cohort comprised of IBPA board members, staff, and volunteer leaders are participating in a four-week “No Nonsense Experience” facilitated by JP Enterprises. The course will include deep and impactful discussions around race, diversity, inclusion, and bias, and provide tools to increase and deepen learning. Similar trainings will be offered to IBPA members in the coming months. Those interested in learning more are invited to email the IBPA DEI Task Force directly at dei_taskforce@ibpa-online.org.

Implementation Guidance

James Pogue, Ph.D.

A key outcome of IBPA’s work with JP Enterprises was, and is, for Pogue and his team to help IBPA find the tools and methodologies needed to engage and support underrepresented groups within IBPA’s community, facilitate DEI conversations within IBPA’s membership, and employ viable benchmarks for the association’s 2021 DEI priorities and goals.

IBPA’s vision is a world where every independent publisher has the access, knowledge, and tools needed to professionally engage in all aspects of an inclusive publishing industry. IBPA commits to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within its membership, leadership, policies, practices, and publications. The IBPA DEI Task Force is grateful for the opportunity to work with the DEI specialists at JP Enterprises as the association does all it can to move closer to realizing this vision.

Share Your Experience

Enabling positive, actionable, systemic change throughout IBPA and the publishing industry at large is a community effort—and responsibility. The IBPA Board of Directors and its DEI Task Force encourage all IBPA members to learn more, get involved, share their experiences, and reach out to colleagues. Your perspectives make a difference.

Find updates on IBPA’s DEI Task Force’s initiatives on IBPA’s website.

Get to Know IBPA’s DEI Consultants

Humera Kassem

James Pogue, Ph.D. is the CEO/president of JP Enterprises and brings over 20 years of experience in the world of bias, diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is his role—in partnership with his colleagues—to set the pace, determine the depth and breadth of any assessments, gather and apply research, and connect the theoretical underpinnings to practical applications.

Humera Kassem is a seasoned human resource professional with over 20 years of success in human capital development. She serves as a senior consultant with JP Enterprises. With experience in a variety of industries (travel, finance, retail, food and beverage), she provides a refined lens to the development of effective human capital strategies.

Parris Carter, Ed.D

Parris Carter, Ed.D is a valued member of the JP Enterprise team. He serves as the director of the No Nonsense Experience, as well as a senior consultant. His nearly 20 years of human development and strategic analysis expertise at colleges and universities is critical in identifying the various gaps and pain points in organizational units.

Karen Pavlicin is the publisher of Elva Resa Publishing, a traditional independent publisher specializing in books for and about military families. This is her third year as a member of the IBPA Board of Directors. She serves on the IBPA Executive Committee, Editorial Advisory Committee, and DEI Task Force.

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