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Philipstown DEI Survey: The Results Are In

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey
Finds Bias/Racism/Discrimination Present in Philipstown 


Through a collaborative effort, the Desmond-Fish Public Library, Julia L. Butterfield Memorial Library, Garrison Union Free School District and Haldane’s PTA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee have released the results of a Philipstown-based survey in English and Spanish designed to collect information on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, bias and discrimination in the community.

People who live and/or work in Philipstown and are age 13 or older were eligible to take the survey, which was available online and in paper format, from March 4, 2022 through May 15, 2022. Four hundred and forty-three (443) respondents completed the survey; four of these were completed in Spanish. The purpose of the survey was to provide information to the collaborating libraries and schools that will inform future programming.

More than half of respondents indicate that they have experienced and/or witnessed bias/racist/discriminatory acts, words, and/or attitudes in Philipstown; yet it is encouraging to find that 78% indicate an interest in deepening their understanding of these issues in the town. In addition to answering the survey, respondents were asked to make suggestions for books and resources they felt would be useful to further understanding and discussions around diversity, equity and inclusion. The community responded with a wide array of titles and other resources that can be found on the websites of the schools and libraries, along with the full report on the survey. (Visit: butterfieldlibrary.org, desmondfishlibrary.org, gufs.org, and ediathaldane.com.) The original survey can be seen here.  

Some key findings from the survey include: Two-thirds of respondents say bias/racism/discrimination is very or somewhat present (21% very present; 43% somewhat present); while 11% say it is not present at all. More than half say they have witnessed biased, racist or discriminatory acts, words or attitudes Almost 20% indicate that they have been subject to biased, racist or discriminatory treatment. Multiple kinds of bias are revealed, including race-related, income-related, “outsider-related,” religion-related, and related to politics.

Most important for the anti-bias efforts of the schools and libraries: more than 75% of survey respondents indicated they were interested in deepening their understanding of bias/racism/discrimination in Philipstown and society; more than 75% indicated interest in learning more about actions individuals and communities can take to increase diversity/equity/inclusion in Philipstown.

  “We are grateful to the members of our community who participated in the survey to provide these insights. As we review the findings and comments from the community and consider future programs, we will be better able to ensure that Philipstown and, in particular, our library, are welcoming places for everyone who lives, works or comes to enjoy the beauty in our community,” said Dede Farabaugh, Director, Desmond Fish Public Library. Observed Jocelyn Apicello, GUFSD Trustee and co-author of the survey: “Our working group, the Philipstown DEI Committee, will continue to explore ways in which our four institutions working together can develop programming that will improve the climate for all Philipstown residents.”

The members of the Philipstown DEI Committee are Carl Albano, Jocelyn Apicello, Erik Brown, Dede Farabaugh, Kyle Good, Nadia Mokhtar-Lee, Kaycee Oakes, Anita Prentice, Johanna Reinhardt, Sara Stevenson, and Janice Soler-Ortiz.

For more information, contact:
Dede Farabaugh, Desmond-Fish Public Library Director: [email protected]
Johanna Reinhardt, Julia L. Butterfield Memorial Library Director:  [email protected]

Survey Results

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