Healey Library Statement on Violence against Black People

Healey Library mourns the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all Black Americans who have been killed during our country’s more than four-hundred-year history of deeply-rooted systemic racist violence. We condemn in the strongest terms white supremacy, police brutality, and racism in all of its forms. We stand in solidarity with and send our support to our Black students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members. The Black community is our community, and we unequivocally and unconditionally state that Black lives matter.

The Healey Library is committed to antiracism and to taking active, concrete steps toward enacting racial justice both internally, as an academic library, and in the broader UMass Boston and local, regional, and national communities.

In addition to amplifying and endorsing the Statement Condemning Increased Violence and Racism Towards Black Americans and People of Color by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Healey Library pledges to use our skills and resources to advance the sharing and production of knowledge for racial justice and provide support for this essential cultural and societal transformation by:

  • Curating and ensuring access to high-quality resources, information, and programming that help people grow in their cultural humility;
  • Ensuring that our library, archival, and special collections center the voices, stories, and lived experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and all individuals and communities who have historically been and are currently oppressed.

Recognizing that every single person and institution has a vital role to play in ending racial violence and the systemic racism that fuels it, Healey Library commits to the following actions. In the coming weeks and months (because this work should never stop), we will:

  • Develop and implement a cultural humility training plan and antiracism plan for all Healey Library staff;
  • Inaugurate an education program for all Healey Library staff to learn together about the realities of racism at all levels in our society so that we can more effectively advocate, curate, and teach;
  • Support Healey Library staff engaging in antiracism activism;
  • Curate and publish an online guide to antiracism resources in collaboration with other departments and programs on campus, focusing on amplifying the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color;
  • Continue to develop our library, archival, and special collections to ensure that the voices, impact, and experiences of marginalized people are documented and preserved in the historical record;
  • Develop a permanent online exhibit of Healey Library’s archival and special collections related to violence against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color;
  • Continue to strengthen the library systems infrastructure to ensure the equal access and discoverability of Healey Library resources and collections;
  • Intentionally listen and provide an avenue for our community members and Healey Library staff to freely voice concerns, share feedback and personal experiences (anonymously, if desired), and hold ongoing social justice conversations.

Black lives matter.

This statement was collectively written and published by Healey Library staff and student workers.

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