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Commitment to Anti-Racism and Social Justice

Statement of Commitment to Anti-Racismi and Social Justice by the Undersigned Faculty and Staff at the UMD Libraries

The undersigned at the UMD Libraries join in solidarity with campus and community members who seek to promote social justice and to end racism, especially the scourge of systemic anti-Black racism in American society. We affirm the importance of our work together as a library and higher education community, and the need to co-create new knowledge and build a better society, one free from violence, hate, and fear. In alignment with the University of Maryland’s stated priorities and the Libraries’ core values, we commit to working vigorously for freedom and justice by taking the following actions, many of which are embedded in the Libraries’ Strategic Plan 2020-2023: Leading the Field, Living Our Values.

As individuals –

Anti-racist action and promotion of social justice begin with us as individuals. We affirm our intention to incorporate anti-racist awareness and action into our everyday practices and operations. As individuals, we will support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues in our institution, libraries, and archives, because if we/they exit our organizations due to failure of accountability of change or denial of systemic racism, discrimination, and microaggressions, this will contribute to the erasure of BIPOC voices and perspectives from our community.

Within our organization –

Our library mission is to enable student success, support teaching, research, and creativity, and enrich the intellectual and cultural life of the community. If we are to achieve this mission effectively, we must work to ensure that all people, including those who have been marginalized or erased from the dominant record, can see themselves reflected in, defined in, and recognized in our physical and online spaces, and in the forms of knowledge, teaching, technologies, events, and exhibits we provide. We will use anti-racist and inclusive research and applied solutions in our work and operations, and we will build and strengthen new coalitions and partnerships to enact these changes on a broader scale. We will perform regular audits to improve our organizational policies and processes, and to ensure that our practice of librarianship and library operations incorporate anti-racist and inclusive principles. We will partner actively with other organizations to recruit, mentor, sponsor, and advance BIPOC colleagues within the Libraries and throughout the library profession.

Within the university community and beyond –

We will use our library expertise, skills, and resources to join with others who seek to understand and change the systems of inequity and oppression that affect our institution, the library profession, and our society, especially forces that are anti-democratic, ahistorical, anti-humanistic, and exploitative. Through our library partnerships, we will advance academic ownership of technological platforms and systems, and will promote open science, open education, and equitable forms of scholarly communication to counter models that endanger knowledge through unsustainable cost barriers, which is antithetical to the idea of equitable representation and change. We will be courageous in advancing visible and public advocacy for reinvesting in the public sector and civic engagement, because this is aligned with changing systemic racism and oppressive systems in our society.

Respectfully yours, 

Tahirah Akbar-Williams

Drew Barker

Ben Blake

Benjamin Bradley

Nancy Caldwell

Liz Caringola

Lindsay Inge Carpenter

Nneka Chisholm

Laura Cleary

Jodi H. Coalter

Jennifer E. M. Cotton

Mark Coulbourne

David Dahl

John Davis

Zaida Díaz

Kate Dohe

Jennifer A. Doherty

Bryan L.W. Draper

Jennifer G. Eidson

Joni Floyd

Katia Fowler

Cindy Frank

Mary D. Galvin

Rachel W. Gammons

Christina Taylor Gibson

Simran Gill

Sharona Ginsberg

Kathy Glennan

Paula Greenwell

Lily Griner

Beth Guay

Kevin G. Hammett

Eileen G. Harrington

Stephen Henry

Patricia Herron

Michael Homme

Sarah E. Hovde

Lae'l Hughes-Watkins

Judi Kidd

Joseph Koivisto

Scott Leffler

Adriene Lim

Y. Luckert

Daniel C. Mack

Kate Maloney

Judith Markowitz

Pamela A. McClanahan

Celina McDonald

Thomas M. Messersmith

Jim Miller

Carla Q. Montori

Irene Münster

Brynne Norton

Terry M. Owen

Tiffany L. Rogers

Steve Quintilian

Robin Reiss

Laura Schnitker

Linda Seguin

Benjamin Shaw

Emily Spangler

James V. Spring

Nedelina Tchangalova

Hilary Thompson

Joshua A. Westgard

Jeremy Weiner

Andrea J. White

Gary White

Amy Wickner

Alan Wierdak

Joanna Wiley

Rebecca Wilson

Suzy Wilson

Lorraine Woods

Charles E. Wright

Andrew Yager

i"To be antiracist is to challenge the racist policies that plague racialized ethnic groups across the world. To be antiracist is to view the inequities between all racialized ethnic groups as a problem of policy.” (Ibram X. Kendi, How to be an antiracist. Random House Publishing Group, 2019)

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