As of today, August 8th 2022 we will be using a new logo and brand identity that better represents Urban Librarians Unite as an organization and does not draw from the culture of an ethnic group that we do not belong to.
Since 2011, we have been culturally appropriating the image of the Inuit knife called an ulu as our logo. None of us are Inuit, and the use of this imagery as our logo has been harmful and inappropriate. While the ulu is a practical implement it also holds a spiritual meaning, as an Inuit woman’s spirit and knowledge is considered to live on in her ulu as they are passed down through the generations. As we have done more reading on the topic over the last year, we have come to realize that this action has been harmful to a people we feel great respect for. While we did not intend to disrespect the Inuit community through the use of the ulu as a symbol, the fact that we have done so is not mitigated by our ignorance.
We are deeply sorry for the harm this has caused to the Inuit community, and want to hold ourselves accountable for that harm.
We have changed our logo to an image that does not draw from any historically oppressed cultures and moving forward we will no longer be using the ulu in any new promotional material, printed or otherwise. To help hold ourselves accountable, we have created a page on our website detailing our reasons for changing the logo to help other library workers understand the harms of cultural appropriation and the culture of the Inuit people more deeply.
We are grateful to the friends and colleagues who have helped us navigate the best way to do this, and look forward to continuing to work towards building a community of library workers in a way that is respectful to everyone.