Skip to main content
Campus Library Logo

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 Black students, faculty, and staff at UWB and CC as well as with Black communities across the country. The Campus Library recognizes its power as a historically white institution and intends to use that power for not only serving more fully but also empowering the Black people in our community. We condemn all murders of and violence against Black people, recent and throughout the history of policing and the carceral state. 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.

This statement initially emerged as a response to a letter from a coalition of UW student organizations1 after the murder of George Floyd in the spring of 2020. It is inexcusable that this institution and many others did not respond to this historic and ongoing crisis earlier, despite years of labor and outcry from Black communities here and across the country. And so, to our Black students, staff, faculty, colleagues, and community members: we promise to reckon with the ways this institution has failed you. We did not act until you explicitly 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. We have not spoken up loudly or often enough about the white supremacist structures and systems in which this institution is complicit. We commit not only to standing with you in the future but also to examining the racism in this institution and seeking to undo it. 

We know that the journey towards true equity and justice is long and that the systems we work in and with are resistant to this kind of change. We know that we will make mistakes, face limits, and fall short. But we are determined to stand in solidarity with the Black people of our community, and we commit to working against racism-- in and outside our institution-- 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, informed by community feedback, 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, UWB, UW Libraries, UW, 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 lived experiences of Black people and that combat disinformation.
  • Provide access to resources on current and historic anti-racist direct action and social 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 challenges2.
  • Expand and create new programs that deliberately incorporate anti-racist frameworks.

Communication and Accountability

  • Openly speak out against oppression and injustice.

 

Updated Nov. 13, 2020. 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. These organizations include the University of Washington’s Black Student Union, African Student Association, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, and Solidarity for Black Student Needs Coalition
  2. 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.