As an organization, ICBA is committed to consistent and appropriate action to ensure that all decisions are made without discrimination, harassment, or prejudicial treatment because of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, disability, or protected veteran's status.

While we have more work to do as an organization to advance Diversity and Inclusion, we are making concerted efforts to move the independent college bookstore industry forward. We have developed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion action plan (see below) that pursues real, meaningful actions including strategies that touch on and align with ICBA’s key areas — Education, Networking, and Vendor Programs.

We are embarking on a journey of justice, inclusion, and equity that we hope will benefit all Member Stores, Vendor Partners, and the entire ICBA Community.

We honor and celebrate the diversity of all of the Members we serve. This is your ICBA.


At our July 2020 ICBA Board & Staff Strategic Planning Meeting, the ICBA Staff and Board of Directors discussed actions we could take to support social justice and combat racism. Below is a list of actions the Board and Staff agreed would be impactful and beneficial.

We’ve structured the list to reflect steps we have taken, what actions are in progress, and what we are exploring for the long-term.

This list is a living document, and we will continue to add to and revise it over time. ICBA provided a progress report in the November 2020 edition of The Independent newsletter and continues to periodically provide updates. Please continue to refer to this page and reach out to us with any questions at Office@ICBAinc.com.

To date, we have:

  • Elected a staff member to act as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Specialist to coordinate our efforts as a team.

  • Instituted an ICBA Staff Member Service Day (a paid day for volunteering at an organization of the employee’s choice)

  • Updated the ICBA Policy Manual to include language supporting gender identity

  • Created an ICBA Diversity Statement (see top of this page)

  • Created a new section on web site related to social justice resources and initiatives (this page, plus our DEI Resources page)

  • Created an ICBA Code of Conduct and a specific Code of Conduct for virtual and in-person events reinforcing a safe and anti-harassment environment

  • Ensured ICBA’s investment strategies focus on highly rated socially responsible mutual funds

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training incorporated into ICBA’s new employee onboarding process.

  • Created a recommended anti-racist and social justice reading list curated by ICBA Member Stores (see DEI Resources page)

  • Formally observe Juneteenth as annual paid holiday for ICBA Staff

  • All ICBA 2022 Dual Conference speakers and presenters received the ICBA Speaker & Presenter Inclusive Language Policy

  • Offered Store and Exhibitor Attendees a way to share their pronouns alongside their names, institutions, and companies on 2022 Conference name badges to support how attendees identify and want to be addressed

  • Featured speaker Justin Gatlin, Olympic Champion, at the ICBA 2022 Dual Conferences. Among many topics like leadership, perseverance, and resiliency, Gatlin spoke on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion and how a diverse team can produce an all-encompassing perspective leading to a resilient and inclusive workforce

We are making progress on:

  • Meeting regularly as a staff to discuss social justice and racism in an open forum where all views are respected

  • Increasing awareness and education opportunities with ICBA staff by continuing to share knowledge resources such as presentations, videos, and articles focusing on topics covering diversity and inclusion, anti-racism, sexual harassment, and more

  • “Amplify & Share” Members’ social justice posts via ICBA’s social media channels

  • Work with Vendor Partners to emphasize “Codes of Conduct” with regard to social justice

  • Utilizing a 3rd party to eliminate candidate names and pictures when hiring new ICBA associates to reduce opportunities for subconscious bias

  • Featuring ICBA Members in networking discussions and educational webinars to share store and campus initiatives that promote diversity and anti-racism

  • Highlighting ICBA Annual & Conference Vendor Partners in educational panel webinars to communicate internal and external company Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) practices and initiatives

  • Promoting minority-owned Vendor Partners whenever possible to increase program diversity

  • Seeking Minority-owned and Black, Indigenous, & People of Color (BIPOC) Vendor Partners whenever possible to increase offering and program diversity

In 2023 and into 2024, we plan to:

  • Provide anti-racism and Diversity & Inclusion resources and training materials for ICBA Member Stores to complement or augment what may already be available on their campuses

  • Request Third Party Contractors to acknowledge, sign, and comply with the ICBA Code of Conduct

  • Explore ways to continue making the ICBA Annual Conference & PRIMEtime Meetings more inclusive through topics, speakers, marketing, accessibility measures, and more


If you are looking for resources and articles about Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, and how you can create a more inclusive environment in your store, please visit the DEI Resources page.