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Anti-Racism Social Justice / Education and Activism: Director's Statement

Introduction

This guide, while not meant to be comprehensive, was created to direct members of the Oberlin College community and the public to accessible anti-racist resources in order to raise awareness and encourage civil and individual action. 

You are welcome to use this guide to build anti-racist and self-care habits. These resources are meant to start a dialogue and encourage civic participation in order to raise awareness and affect change in these times of social injustice against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). 

Oberlin College Libraries' Statement Against Racial Bias

 The Oberlin College Libraries stands in solidarity with all those who condemn brutality against black people and other people of color in America and with those who are working to create a better nation.  Our libraries were founded on the principles of equitable access to information.  In 1884, we constituted our first objects-centered collection - the anti-slavery collection - with the aim of humanizing black people in the midst of the global tragedy of slavery. The collection was purposefully curated to remind the world that such crimes against humanity must never happen again.   Our work continues in 2020, 136 years later.  The anti-slavery collection is available for free to anyone on the Internet Archive and serves as one of many grave reminders of how our nation has broken its promise of justice for all.  Yet today, through the dedication of our staff, we have and will continue to elevate diversity equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) as central to our mission.  We are committed to collections and programming strategies that will address the historical erasure of black people and other marginalized communities.  We have and will continue to offer support to our colleagues’ DEIA efforts within their respective institutions.  We also believe that libraries have the power to democratize learning and strive towards this principle each day.  Our hearts are breaking as we watch America continue to struggle with racial inequality.  We know that the long road ahead is not easy. Through it all, we remain hopeful in the knowledge that tragic circumstances have often brought forth positive transformations in our nation.  Our holdings that chronicle social justice efforts from the abolitionist movement to Black Lives Matter bear witness to this truth.  We invite our colleagues around the world to join us in committing to advancing change, at this seminal time in American history.  Alexia Hudson-Ward, Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries Oberlin College and Conservatory