Skip to Main Content
Campus Library Logo

Social Justice Team: Anti-Racism Resources for Staff Discussions

Building on the charge of the Social Justice Team "to assist and advise the Library in promoting the inclusion of intersectional social justice theories and practice in our daily work, culture, and organizational values, through the design and implementation of a Library staff development program" and support commitments expressed in the Campus Library's Statement of Solidarity, the Social Justice Team and Community Reads partnered on a series of anti-racist staff readings and discussions. 

This page is a selection of community and national resources, as well as reflection questions, to further your professional development and to refer students and colleagues to. 


Defund the Police


Listen: The Case for Defunding the Police or read the transcript - from The Daily

Watch: What Does It Mean to Defund or Abolish the Police? - from The Daily Social Distancing Show

Read: The ‘Defund The Police’ Movement Is Sweeping the Country - Here’s What It Really Means - from Forbes

Read: What a World Without Cops Would Look Like - from Mother Jones


Discussion Prompts

  1. What does the call to defund the police mean?
  2. How have your thoughts on policing changed since the beginning of the protests?
  3. What thoughts did these resources inspire in you that are new or different?
  4. Do you feel any discomfort at the idea of defunding the police? What is the source of that discomfort?
  5. What other steps need to be taken to support Black communities and other marginalized groups to make defunding the police effective?

Anti-Racist Teaching Practices


Read: Pedagogy as Protest: Reimagining the Center - from Hybrid Pedagogy

Listen: Effective Anti-Racist Education Requires More Diverse Teachers, More Training - from NPR

Read and Watch: Being an Anti-Racist Educator is a Verb - from National Council of Teachers of English


Discussion Prompts

  1. Where do you see opportunities to bring anti-racist teaching practices to your work including work online?
  2. How can you imagine bringing anti-racist teaching practices to spaces outside of classrooms, especially in libraries?
  3. How can we as library employees further center students’ voices and lived experiences with practices centered in anti-racist pedagogy?

Racist Structures and Culture in Higher Education


Read: Is Your University Racist? - from Inside Higher Ed

Read: Working from Home While Black - from Harvard Business Review

Read: Are Your Zoom Meetings on Middle Class Standard Time - from Medium

Listen: Dismantling Racism in Higher Education - from Heinemann Podcast

Watch: Why Hugging Out Racism In Education Just Won't Cut It - Ted Talk by Laura Mae Lindo

Discussion Prompts

  1. Which group or groups feel most at home on the campus and which ones feel like (unwanted) guests?
  2. Whose norms, values, and perspectives does the institution consider to be normal or legitimate?
  3. Whose does it silence, marginalize, or delegitimize?
  4. Who inhabits positions of power within the institution?
  5. Whose experiences, norms, values and perspectives influence an institution’s laws, policies, and systems of evaluation? Whose interests does the institution protect?
  6. How does our current, mostly remote, work environment impact the answers to these questions - or not impact them?

Policing and Safety


Read: Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop - from Medium

Watch: Police: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Read: Police punish the ‘good apples’ – from The Atlantic

Watch: Decriminalize UW meeting with students, faculty and Ana Marie Cauce


Discussion Prompts

  1. How has your understanding of policing and safety in the United States changed in the last month and after engaging with any of these resources?
  2. How has your understanding of policing and safety on college campuses, schools, and specifically UW, changed? 
  3. What is your understanding of the concept, “All Cops are Bastards” (ACAB)?  How does this concept inform your understanding of policing and the current protests?  
  4. What would you like to see the UW, UWB, and Cascadia College do to create a safer environment for our Black community members, and other  people of color?
  5. What steps would you like to see the Campus Library take to create a safer environment for our Black community members? What can we as library workers do to support and enact these changes? 

Trauma Informed Care as Anti-Racist Practice


Read: What is Trauma-Informed Care? - from the University at Buffalo School of Social Work

Watch: Beyond the cliff - Ted Talk by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky

Watch: Rethinking how we hold space for grief and loss - Ted Talk by Michele Pearson Clarke

Watch: Being informed to trauma - Ted Talk by Jeff Wallace

Discussion Prompts

  1. How can Trauma Informed Care inform Anti-Racist work?
  2. How can using a Trauma Informed Care lens change our work?  Our interactions at public service points? In the classroom?  In our service delivery? Our interactions with each other?
  3. Do you have any examples you would be willing to share about how using Trauma Informed Care worked in a situation?  Or how you think it could have worked, had you known about Trauma Informed Care?

Community Agreements for Discussions

BE   Be present. Be open to new forms of knowledge.

SPEAK   Speak from your own experiences.  Don’t speak for others even if you share the same identity.

LISTEN   Listen respectfully and intently to other perspectives.  Let people finish sentences before responding.

RESPOND   Respond to what has been said, not the person saying it.

DIALOGUE   Hold space for dialogue instead of debate. It’s not about winning an argument.

COMMUNICATE   Challenge yourself to communicate in new ways.

EXPECTATIONS   Expect and accept discomfort and non-closure. Allow feelings to emerge in yourself and others without trying to “fix” them.

CONFIDENTIALITY   Respect confidentiality. Personal information/comments should not be shared outside the space.

PROCESS   Grant yourself and others permission to express ideas and thoughts imperfectly.