Library community stands together to address uptick in racially fueled violence and abuse in U.S. communities

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/17/2019

Contact:

Macey Morales

Deputy Director

CMO

mmorales@ala.org

CHICAGO - American Library Association (ALA) and its professional affiliates, including the American Indian Library Association (AILA), Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), Joint Council of Librarians of Color, Inc. (JCLC, Inc.) and REFORMA: the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, will donate funds to libraries that are on the front lines of defending equity, diversity and inclusion.  

In response to senseless and racially charged acts of abuse and violence in Gilroy, California; Dayton, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; Tallahatchie, Mississippi; and Baltimore, Maryland, ALA President Wanda Brown and ALA affiliates will each donate $500 to support library programming within the communities that address bigotry, foster understanding, and bridge the cultural divide.   

The group released the following joint statement: 

“We stand united in unequivocally condemning the senseless loss of life and the trauma of the mass shootings targeting religious institutions at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California; the African-American community in Dayton, Ohio; and the Latinx community in El Paso, Texas. We similarly condemn the continued racist acts and verbal attacks as witnessed through the vandalization of Emmett Till’s memorial in Summer, Mississippi, along with the belittlement of people of color across the U.S. These frequent incidents remind us that there are still enormous challenges ahead as we take steps to eradicate racism and cultural invisibility. 

“Hate has no place in our society. Librarians and library professionals are committed to diversity, inclusiveness, and mutual respect for all human beings, and we will work tirelessly to ensure full representation of all members of society.

“We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in Gilroy, California; Dayton, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; Tallahatchie, Mississippi; and Baltimore, Maryland, as well as the hundreds of library users who rely on their support and compassion during this time of healing. Our hope is that library professionals from across the country will join us as we support our colleagues’ invaluable work in uniting communities and fostering understanding.” 

ALA continues its mission to support Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the profession and communities at large. The association offers best practices and resources through its Libraries Respond website at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/diversity/libraries-respond.

ALA encourages its members to lend their support and send donations prior to Oct. 1, 2019, to Black Caucus of ALA, P.O. Box 174, Madison Square Station, New York, NY 10159-0174.

American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.