Urban Librarians Unite stands with BCALA and REFORMA against the system of white supremacy and subjugation that has been baked into American society since before our founding. We condemn the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police. We condemn the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade. We condemn every heartbreaking instance, too many to name, of police brutality. We stand against unconstitutional limits on protest, free expression and free association, against police brutality, and against the use of the military to crush protests of the same.
Black lives matter.
They matter in our streets, in our libraries, in their own homes, in shops, in parks, in cars.
As we do our work in urban libraries we see the impact of four centuries of oppression and neglect in the patrons and communities we serve. Some of us are direct victims of those centuries as well. We ask our white colleagues to take the time to mark the tragedy of police brutality towards our Black colleagues and patrons, and use the resources below to educate themselves on anti racism and next steps for our communities.
As the library profession across the country is predominantly white, we call on white librarians to actively engage in anti racist practice, programs, and collection development. We call on white directors to speak out against anti-black violence, re-examine library policies to ensure they are free from bias, and hire library workers who reflect their neighborhoods. All library organizations should step up to help fix the systemic problems that are causing the loss of Black lives. This anti-Black violence it is not new and has been an epidemic that has plagued us long before the coronavirus pandemic, which has further illuminated the inequities and injustice of today.
We assert that BIPOC should be allowed to determine how to best use their resources to heal and advocate for themselves. We stand by our commitment to hold space for and amplify Black and POC voices at our conferences, events, and projects.
We thank and salute the protestors putting their own bodies on the line to make the world a better place and we thank our community leaders who continue to push for anti-racist education and social and restorative justice.
- We Here List of Resources and Actions
- Alexandria Ocasio Cortez – Guide to Protesting Safely
- St Paul Public Library – Resources on Race
- Buzzfeed News – An Essential Reading Guide For Fighting Racism
- Brooklyn Public Library – Let’s Do the Work Booklist
- Blogs and Reading Lists curated by staff of the Schomburg’s Center for Research and Black Culture and most recently, Black Liberation Reading List
- Self-Guided Learning, Teaching Tolerance
- Showing Up For QTBIPOC Students – Resource List
- Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture – Talking About Race
- The Conscious Kid
- Find your local Bail Fund
- President Obama’s Anguish and Action, Resource List and New Era of Public Safety: An Advocacy Toolkit for Fair, Safe, and Effective Community Policing
- Project READY: Reimagining Equity & Access for Diverse Youth