ACRL/NEC Statement on Racism and Violence Against Black People and People of Color
We, the Board of Directors of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ New England Chapter (ACRL/NEC), unequivocally affirm that Black Lives Matter. We stand with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) [webpage temporarily unavailable], and other groups in condemning racism, hate crimes, and police brutality. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, compounded by the tragic loss of countless other Black lives, are the culmination of centuries of oppression and violence directed against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We further denounce the brutal and unwarranted violence directed against protestors by militarized police forces.
As library workers, we stand for racial equity and social justice. We commit to speaking up when we witness injustice, listening to and amplifying the voices of Black people and People of Color, and educating ourselves. We commit to combating systemic racism in our teaching, cataloging, hiring, collection development, and other practices. Libraries are not neutral. We acknowledge the role of libraries in perpetuating inequality. We will reflect and do better in fostering equity, diversity, inclusion, and antiracism in ACRL/NEC and the New England library community.
In particular, we urge our White colleagues to educate themselves and take action.
- Check in on and support your colleagues, students, and neighbors who are BIPOC. Do respect their emotional space and do not center your own feelings.
- Reflect on your own privilege, check your biases, and consciously act to counter them.
- Listen compassionately to those around you and lift up the voices of BIPOC.
- Consider what you yourself can do in your work and personal life to combat oppression.
- Examine your institutions’ policies and practices and fix them if they reinforce inequities.
- Seek greater understanding through readings and dialogue. Follow #BlackInTheIvoryon Twitter, where Black academics are sharing experiences of racism in higher education.
- Learn from books recommended by the New York Public Libraryand Ibram X. Kendi.
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- How To Be An Antiracist Ibram X. Kendi
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo
- I'm Still here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
- How to Be Less Stupid about Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide by Chrystal M. Fleming
- The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education
- Diverse Issues in Higher Education
- Curate resource lists for your communities. (Need an example? Check out the Anti-Oppression guide from Simmons University.)