Dear CSUSM Campus and Community Members,
The CSUSM University Library is outraged by and unequivocally condemns the unjust and senseless murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and George Floyd, as well as the unjust violence against and deaths of countless innocent Black people, both seen and unseen, at the hands of the police and others who engage in any form of racism, discrimination, and bigotry. Our hearts go out to the individuals, their families, and to our local campus community members affected by these hateful acts.
For real change to take place, we must openly acknowledge the structural inequities and systemic oppression of Black lives pervading higher education and the world beyond. It is especially vital for non-Black colleagues, particularly those who identify as White, to join in explicitly avowing and enacting anti-racism in our work. This is a collective responsibility that all of us must undertake, and our Black communities in particular must be supported to engage in this critical task without shouldering the burden. All forms of oppression are intersecting; the lives of Black people are compounded by the various forms of adversity they face, ranging from racial profiling to broken windows policing to educational funding gaps to substandard housing options to health inequities to continual economic injustice. Every single one of these factors is connected in a complex network of daily injustice that has been perpetuated for hundreds of years. Meaningful allyship means holding accountable the violent institutions that serve to brutalize Black people while silently protecting Whiteness.
As your University Library, we commit to actively practicing anti-racism. We will do this through our library resources and collections, research and instruction activities, services and programs, our hiring and retention practices, and the policies we create. In our initial discussions to determine next steps, we have identified the following actions. We encourage you to share additional ideas that we can take to support the Black community, practice anti-racism, and stand in solidarity with marginalized groups and individuals. Our next steps include, but are not limited to:
- Commit to examining White supremacy culture in the Library organization in order to address its impacts and our own positionality in confronting it.
- Develop our library materials to be more representative and anti-racist, as well as address instances of racist language in our collections and catalog records.
- Examine the racial composition of our leadership team and identify methods to increase organizational leadership by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as well as representation of marginalized voices in Library decision-making (positionally and in terms of influence).
- Examine our recruitment and retention practices across the board to enact more inclusive practices for BIPOC and other marginalized groups.
- Commit to ongoing organizational dialogues with a focus on institutional practices that perpetuate the systemic oppression of BIPOC.
- Continue to pursue Library-wide learning opportunities provided by known and respected anti-oppression & anti-racism experts, including ally workshops and training led by CSUSM employees.
- Create more co-curricular programming for the campus community on anti-racism, systemic oppression, and similar topics.
Finally, we encourage you to increase your understanding of the Black Lives Matter Movement by exploring the Library’s resources, including the curated #BlackLivesMatter information guide, and join us in taking action to work toward equality and racial justice.
In solidarity and respect,
Your University Library
The #BlackLivesMatter information guide is intended to provide general sources and research information about the Black Lives Matter movement and social justice issues to the CSUSM Community. This guide is by no means exhaustive and will be continuously updated and added to.
For questions, comments, and feedback regarding CSUSM’s message in support of Black Lives Matters or the Anti-racism Resource Guide, contact Library Dean Jennifer Fabbi at firstname.lastname@example.org