The New York Public Library and BCALA Partner on Meditative Programming for Library Staff on Race Relations

The new program series called Patience and Fortitude, named after the Library Lions, will offer a safe space for BIPOC employees to process and reflect on race in America and their role in it.

July 27, 2020—The New York Public Library is unveiling a new series of conversations and programming for staff about race led by its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force on Race and Race Relations. The first program Fortitude: Brave Conversations and Mediation is in collaboration with the Black Caucus American Library Association (BCALA) and will cover the impact of racial trauma, race-related stress, and how racism impacts the health of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. The weekly conversations and healing sessions will be facilitated by psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor, whose work focuses on BIPOC mental health and stress management, and Robert Brace who is known as “The Mind Body-Soul-Connector.” This program will run for 12 weeks from July 27 through October 26.

“Through our 125-year history, the New York Public Library has always strived to be inclusive and respectful of all the cultures and ethnicities of our patrons and staff,” said Terrance Neal, vice president of Human Resources. “Partnering with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association for programming centered on the racial healing of Black, Indigenous, People of Color is just another way we are adding this legacy of progress. The Library is an active facilitator continually developing diversity policy and programs to improve relations among their workforce. The better we are as an institution, the more equipped we are to serve the community at large.”

The Library will also host a second program Patience: ALA/Kellogg Foundation Racial Healing Circle, a small and private dialogue for staff to talk openly about race, historical or personal experiences with racism. These discussions will take place twice a week from August 4 through October 9th, with the goal of bringing about transformational and sustainable change through the recognition of past wrongdoing. Participants will be encouraged to share their stories, connect with colleagues, and work through ways to bring positive change to their communities.

About The New York Public Library
For 125 years, The New York Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library receives approximately 16 million visits through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.

About the Black Caucus of the American Library Association
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association was founded in 1971 and serves 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 American librarians. Learn more about how to support BCALA at https://www.bcala.org/

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