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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

Educating Ourselves about Whiteness and Anti-Black Racism

Resources to critically examine whiteness and anti-Black racism and take action as anti-racists

Salem State University Library's Statement Against Racism

June 9, 2020 
The Salem State University Library condemns the recent brutal murders by police of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others, and we condemn the ongoing injustice of structural racism in the United States. We assert that the library is not neutral, and we assert that Black Lives Matter.
We stand in solidarity with our Black students, colleagues, neighbors and families. We denounce racism, police brutality, and white supremacy. We reject any actions that degrade or destroy the human spirit. The library affirms its commitment to recognizing, addressing, and working to eradicate all forms of racism and ethnic oppression.  
As a staff of predominantly white professionals working in higher education, we recognize the intersections of our privilege. We admit that our experiences are not the same as Black people and we acknowledge that despite our vehement opposition to racism and white supremacy, we still benefit from white privilege. We are using that privilege to call in our white colleagues and students to join us in our commitment to making our campus inclusive and welcoming, particularly to our Black students and all of our students of color. 
We recognize that words mean nothing without action. We acknowledge that responses to situations on our campus that have harmed students of color have often been tone deaf and insufficient. We know that to move forward to build an inclusive community we need to do the work. We pledge to hold ourselves accountable for the following action items:
1. We will support the SSU community with resources to critically interrogate racism and commit to do the work to help end it.  
2. We commit to creating physical and virtual environments that are welcoming to all.  
3. We will continue to feature diverse voices in the Library’s IDEA Den
4. We will prioritize the purchase of books and materials authored by and about Black experiences and the experiences of people of color.   
5. We will prioritize and increase our participation in training and education offered by our University’s Inclusive Excellence program
As part of #1 above, we have compiled this guide to highlight resources available online and through the library on white privilege, institutional racism, and anti-Black racism.  We recommend books, articles, videos and podcasts on anti-racism, equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice. We hope these resources will help our white community members educate themselves further and inspire us all to take actions for the greater good. 
We acknowledge we have so much more work to do to eliminate racial and social equity barriers on this campus and beyond. We need to listen, to learn and to act. This resource is not meant to be comprehensive and almost certainly reflects blind spots, oversights, and resources with some flaws. It is a work in progress. If you have any questions or suggestions for other resources for this page, please contact us using the form on the guide. 

In solidarity,

The Salem State University Library Leadership Council

Systemic Racism Explained