SLA statement against racism and unequal treatment

SLA HQ recently released their statement against racism and unequal treatment, which you can find copied below.

SLA’s Diversity Inclusion Community Equity Community (DICE) also provides many resources to promote equality in the association and the profession, as well as a space for open discussion of these topics. If you would like to learn more, the DICE website includes a slideshow highlighting librarians who have advanced social justice, and a calendar of diversity events.

At SLA Europe, we would like to affirm our support of the SLA HQ statement and voice our active commitment against and combating racism, hate, microaggressions, unequal and unfair treatment in all its forms – now, tomorrow, and in future.

Information has the power to do many things: to educate, to inspire, and to excite. It also has the power to anger and to sadden, as was the case with the news of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police last week, while we are still reeling from the recent killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and others.

As an association committed to equity-in access to information, in availability of opportunities, and in the treatment of our members, our industry partners, and all with whom we engage and interact-SLA is adding its voice to the growing chorus of calls for an end to racism and the unequal treatment and violence it fosters toward Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We urge those who share our commitment to use this tragic event as an inflection point, a moment where we change the trajectory of our mission and vision and seek a higher calling.

Going forward, we will use our voice not to echo, but to lead. Leadership is a core value of SLA, and we will work to identify opportunities to take a leadership role in eliminating racism and instilling greater respect for centering the ideas and voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who have been excluded because of systematic racism in our profession. SLA needs to reflect on how we as an association have perpetuated institutional racism.

We are in pain and mourning, yet we understand that these events place a heavier burden on some members of our community for whom this is not just “news” but a threat to their existence. Racism, intolerance, and unequal treatment of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and others who are not of the dominant culture are violations of human rights and are antithetical to the tenets of librarianship and the mission and values of SLA. We condemn racism and hate unequivocally, we assert that Black lives matter, and we resolve to use our resources to actively combat racism and white supremacy in the future and to work to reverse the effects of years of inequity.

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