A Statement from University Libraries Supporting Black Lives Matter

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The Ohio State University Libraries stands with those opposing white supremacy, the systemic racism reflected in the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and the recurring acts of police violence perpetrated against Black people in the United States. 

We have worked to build an organization that values equity, diversity, inclusion, access and social justice – a library that provides welcoming, supportive environments for all to pursue and share knowledge. But this is not enough. It is not enough to say that we value diversity, equity, and inclusion or speak about it in general terms. We must listen intently, and we must be clear in our words and actions. We must state unambiguously that Black Lives Matter and take concrete actions to bring about systemic change. Ending racism and other inequities in society can only begin when people with privilege commit to understanding and actively countering these realities. 

What are we going to do?

  • University Libraries will create a leadership position with the expertise and professional experience needed to advance our commitment to organizational development and social justice. 
  • We will implement recommendations brought forward by the Libraries’ EDI@OSUL initiative and IDEAS committee to confront and address inequity in our organization.
  • We will create platforms for individual and organizational learning about white supremacy, its underpinnings, and its effects to help us better understand how our profession and our work is founded on inequity and oppression. 
  • We will establish a working group to examine our collections to ensure our investments and practices advance social justice. 
  • We will identify structures and existing practices, including recruitment, that perpetuate inequity and oppression in our organization and profession.

As Dr. Andreá N. Williams of Ohio State’s The Women’s Place, recently stated, “Challenging white supremacy is everyone’s responsibility.” We are committed to anti-racism, to eradicating all forms of oppression, to listening to and amplifying Black voices, and to continuing this conversation within our organization and broader community. 

We have a great deal of work ahead and invite you to join us. Black Lives Matter.