By Loida Garcia-Febo, International Library Consultant, CPDWL Consultant, ALA Immediate Past President
Since the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, people around the globe have rallied urging the world to fight against racism, racial prejudice, intolerant attitudes, and police brutality.
Library associations in the USA and internationally have released statements condemning violence and racism towards Black people and all People of Color. They have also compiled resources for action and for continuing education including terminology, action plans, and LibGuides. This blog post includes a compilation of current and past statements by library associations and organizations working closely with libraries and resources. It also includes resources for anti-racist work. This is not an exhaustive list. Each one of us must research, read and educate ourselves about these human rights matters.
Statements and websites with resources are a significant step in fighting racism. Actions reflecting anti-racism impacting institutions’ systems holding down Black people and People of Color are the ultimate goal. The work that will truly help us to dismantle the systems of oppression includes institutions’ hiring data, discrimination claim statistics, salary tables, retention numbers, diversity policies, institutions leaders’ public actions against racism (@DrMonicaCox, 6/4/20).
Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)
Statement Condemning Increased Violence and Racism Towards BlackAmericans and People of Color
The University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica
Statement from the Vice-Chancellor: Marcus, Martin, and Minneapolis
Society of American Archivists
SAA Council Statement on Black Lives and Archives
American Library Association (ALA)
ALA Executive Board stands with BCALA in condemning violence and racism towards Black people and all People of Color
ALA statement condemning police violence against BIPOC, protesters and journalists
ALA president reminds members of professional EDI tools to address microaggressions, quash racial profiling
ALA and US library associations affirm commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
ALA condemns racism and violence in Charlottesville
Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)
APALA stands with BCALA and Black Lives Matter
REFORMA, The National Library Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos & the Spanish Speaking
REFORMA Statement on Solidarity with BCALA
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
Statement by the IFLA President and Secretary General: Racism Has No Place in the Society Libraries are Working to Build
The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Libraries
The University Libraries’ Role in Reckoning with Systemic Racism and Oppression
University of Denver, University Libraries
Where do I begin? – Anti-racist Resources – LibGuides at University of Denver
OCLC’s Skip Prichard’s
Remembering George Floyd with Reflection and Action
Trevor A. Dawes, Librarian, Educator & Consultant
Leadership and (Racial) Crisis
A Personal Message (about race in America)
Reflections on Race and Racism: ALA affiliate and division leaders speak out
Libraries Respond: Black Lives Matter
The Plan for Action featured on this resource includes detailed sections on Everyday Actions, Center and Support voices in LIS, Staff development, Library Programming, Evaluate Policies, and Terminology:
Anti-Racism: Anti-racism is “the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.” (National Education Association – Racial Justice in Education)
BIPOC: “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. The term BIPOC is used to highlight the unique relationship to whiteness that Indigenous and Black (African Americans) people have, which shapes the experiences of and relationship to white supremacy for all people of color within a U.S. context.” (BIPOC Project) We use the term BIPOC in this resource to identify opportunities that are not specifically for Black people, but Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
Black Lives Matter: #BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, they are winning immediate improvements in their lives. (Black Lives Matter)
Racial Justice: “The systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Racial justice—or racial equity—goes beyond “anti-racism.” It is not just the absence of discrimination and inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures.” (Race Forward)
White Supremacy: White supremacy is “the belief system that rationalizes and reproduces white advantage in the political, social, and cultural institutions of society. This belief system holds that white people, white culture, and things associated with whiteness are superior to those of other racial groups.” (Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, p. 138)
The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) condemns racism and stands in solidarity with our United States counterparts in condemning violence and racism against People of Colour. The Association also acknowledges Australia’s own history of violence against its First Nations people, who have experienced, and continue to experience, systemic discrimination and disadvantage.
See the full statement from ALIA