AzLA Statement Condemning Systemic Racism

Dear AzLA Members,

Please see the following statement:

The Executive Board of the Arizona Library Association (AzLA) stands in solidarity with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA []) and endorses the American Library Association’s (ALA) statement [] condemning violence and racism toward Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). 

The Arizona Library Association strongly condemns the institutionalized violence and racism that has been exposed, yet again, in our society. We mourn for the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner, among others, and press for reflection and action. As the professional organization representing libraries of every type (academic, public, school, and special) across the great State of Arizona, we believe in working together with our communities, with those looking to expand opportunities, improve quality of life, promote public safety, enhance learning and access to information, but we cannot carry out this work without directly confronting racism wherever it resides and proactively working to bring about its end. We are committed to leading and supporting Arizonans as we reflect on the realities of race and privilege and encourage activities that remove barriers and promote inclusivity.

We must as individuals and organizations reflect on ways we can take responsibility for challenging racial inequity, implicit bias, and achieving positive change in our Association and communities. AzLA calls upon its membership to combat systemic racism. Below is a non-comprehensive list of what you can do:

1.     Peacefully protest or support those who [] do. 

2.     Contact your elected officials [] to demand justice for BIPOC.

3.     Amplify the Black Lives Matter message and create podcasts, blog posts, editorials to combat racial  injustice.

4.     Vote locally and nationally []

5.     Listen, learn and become active in the fight against racism. Libraries Respond: Black Lives Matter | Advocacy, Legislation & Issues []

6.     Do what libraries do so well [].

Libraries have an obligation to condemn systemic social injustices endured by Black people, Indigenous, and People of Color. Protests have sparked a dialogue that we can channel into meaningful change. The Executive Board of AzLA joins in grief and outrage at the deaths of Black Lives and condemns violence and racism toward Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Arizona Library Association Executive Board

June 19, 2020     

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