Richard E. Ashby, Jr.
Statement Condemning Increased Violence and Racism Towards Black Americans and People of Color
[NEW YORK, NY, May 28, 2020]–The Black Caucus of The American Library Association has a history of not only opposing racist acts against Black people, but condemning such acts. BCALA roundly condemns the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers within the Minneapolis Police Department.
Since George Floyd is the latest in a long line of recent and historical violence against Black people in the United States, the BCALA takes this moment to encourage BCALA members to take proactive and preventative measures in the fight against racism. To take action against injustice, BCALA encourages its members to use both the methods employed by our predecessors and those unique to the 21st century:
- Calling politicians in the Minnesota area.
- Participating in active, but peaceful protests on the streets.
- Using vlogs, blogs and other social media platforms.
- Initiating letter writing campaigns.
- Creating podcasts.
- Voting (both locally and nationwide).
- Attending policy making meetings in your area to make your opinions known.
- Running for office to be a voice for historically disenfranchised groups and librarians.
BCALA stands firm in its condemnation of the systematic social injustices of Black people and People of Color. It is necessary for the membership to be proactive not only when someone in our community is harmed, but preventative in anticipating historically sanctioned violence by participating in local efforts to counter racism and violence against Black men and women. The systemic machinery of racism does not sleep and neither should we in our efforts to counter it.
The Officers and Members of The Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
Richard E. Ashby, Jr., President (F.O.R. Sto-Rox Public Library, McKees Rock, Pennsylvania.
Shauntee Burns-Simpson, Vice President (The New York Public Library, New York, New York).
Brenda Johnson Perkins, Executive Secretary (Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, Maryland).
Brandy McNeil, Treasurer (The New York Public Library, New York, New York).
Denyvetta Davis (Immediate Past President – Retired).
EDI Ad Hoc Committee:
Conrad Pegeus, Chair (University of Tennessee at Martin).
In 1970, BCALA began its mission to serve as an advocate for the development, promotion and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African Americans. BCALA is comprised of individual members and affiliates throughout the United States.
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