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UWB/CC Campus Library Commitments to Anti-Racism: Statement of Solidarity

Statement of Solidarity

The University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College Campus Library stands in solidarity with our Black students, faculty, and staff as well as Black communities across the country. We condemn all murders of Black people by the police, recent and throughout the history of police brutality. We condemn the systems of oppression and institutionalized racism that allow and perpetuate these atrocities. We condemn inaction and silence from individuals and institutions meant to support and serve community. Black Lives Matter.

You told us about the trauma your community experiences from being targeted by historically anti-Black institutions, disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and persistently terrorized and killed by state-sanctioned violence. Students, we see you and have heard your demands, including those presented during our 5/28 Community Reads Student Activist Panel and the 6/1 open letter signed by the (UWS) Black Student Union, African Student Association, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, and Solidarity for Black Student Needs Coalition. 

It is inexcusable that our institution and many others have required so much of your time and labor before we responded to this crisis. We see you, hear you, and are committed to a faster response and better support in the future. 

We are not empowered to make the decisions that only faculty can make regarding finals, grading, and credit. But in response to your recent demands, we see the ways that our institution has failed you, and we commit to using our position as an academic support unit to support Black students in the following ways:


Policing & Safety in the Library

  • Examine our own roles and responsibilities in creating a community-based approach to safety in our library spaces.
  • Identify and implement concrete actions related to policing and safety in the library.
  • Initiate and continue discussions with Campus Safety to address questions and concerns about policing that occurs in our spaces.
  • Identify and make intentional connections with Cascadia College, UW, UW Libraries and other campus groups addressing campus safety relationships at the institutional level.

Anti-Racist Information Literacy & Digital Scholarship

  • Publish resources and digital scholarship that report and illuminate the injustices Black people experience and that combat disinformation
  • Provide access to resources on current and historic anti-racist direct action and activist movements to empower students, staff, and faculty 
  • Facilitate and support the work of faculty and students who are creating anti-racist open and digital scholarship
  • Center diverse voices in building library collections
  • Implement anti-racist teaching practices in the classroom and throughout all public services

Critical Operations Reform

  • Commit to ongoing examination of library policies, procedures, and practices to identify and eliminate exclusionary language and harmful precedents

Leadership Team Commitments 

  • Incorporate perspectives from EDI and anti-racist readings and trainings into all aspects of our Leadership Team discussions. 
  • Create space to critically reflect on how we inhabit our individual and collective leadership roles.  Reflect on the implicit and explicit power dynamics that exist within our leadership group, the Library, and our campus.
  • Share out with all Library staff key learnings that apply to our work in the Library and campus community.
  • Support EDI and anti-racist learning and self-education opportunities for all staff and student employees.  Examples include participation in workshops, training, webinars, conferences, UW and Cascadia College campus events, and unit-based readings and discussions.  

More information about the UWB/CC Campus Library Leadership Team 


Staff Development and Training

  • As a staff, collectively engage in ongoing anti-racism training and education

Community Programming

  • Convene and facilitate conversations and partnerships to address community challenges1
  • Expand and create new programs that deliberately incorporate anti-racist frameworks

Communication and Accountability

  • Openly speak out against oppression and injustice
  • Strive to build solidarity by creating space for and integrating your feedback
  • Be transparent in our library operations and in upholding these commitments
     

Silence is complicity. Inaction is complicity.

 

Black Lives Matter.  We see you, we hear you, and we stand with you. We are committed in our support of you now and in the future.

 

 

This statement is a living document. The list of commitments is in no way exhaustive. We are committed to identifying programs we can expand or create, new actions we can take, and ways that we can build on work that we do to make our library an equitable and just place.

 

 

  1. Inspired by Urban Libraries Council. (2020). “Statement on Race and Social Equity”. Retrieved from https://www.urbanlibraries.org/initiatives/statement-on-race-and-social-equity

Contact Us

Comments about this statement and committments are welcome and can be submitted to Sarah Leadley, Library Director, at leadley@uw.edu.

Anonymous submissions can be made using the Library’s feedback form.  These submissions are reviewed by the Director, the Head of Public Services, Head of Collections & Course Support Services, and the Budget & Operations Administrator.   Comments are forwarded to other library and campus staff if the content is relevant to their work.