Brown University Library: Next Steps in Response to Racial Injustice

The leadership and staff of the Brown University Library join the national outpouring of anguish at the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and numerous others that continue the centuries of violence against Black people in our country.  Black Lives Matter to the Brown University Library.  We also deplore the devastating impacts of systemic racism that are also found in the pandemic of COVID-19, which has resulted in disproportionate death and suffering in communities of color.

The Library stands firmly in opposition to racism and racial violence, and laments the nation’s long history of murderous and systematic oppression of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.   This opposition comes with recognition that persistent structures of racism in the U.S. have benefitted and shaped privileged institutions like ours.  We want to be in the vanguard of change.

We also recognize that statements ring hollow if they are not grounded in substantive actions. We commit to becoming actively anti-racist through an intensive interrogation of our work, practices, policies, and collections.  We will engage in programmatic and resource planning to ensure that we are continually uncovering and dismantling our participation in systems of structural racism. Through our partnerships with the University’s departments, centers, and institutes, we will also contribute to advancing education and scholarship to confront racism and racial violence in our society.  We will provide more information about specific actions in the coming weeks.

We hold ourselves accountable to this work. The Brown community should hold us accountable as well.