This statement is a response to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, among many others, and the uprisings in reaction to them.
We are reaching out as members of the PACSCL Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, and with the support of the PACSCL Board, to share links to tools and resources for documenting events, information for attending protests, readings on racism and anti-Blackness, organizations fighting for racial justice, and Philadelphia-specific efforts and fundraisers.
We condemn the continued acts of systemic racism, police brutality and murder, and white supremacy being inflicted on Black and Brown communities in the US and here in Philadelphia. Black Lives Matter. We demand justice. Police officers must be held accountable, including those who choose to stand by while brutal acts take place. And we support the right to protest against injustice without violent response.
As archivists and special collections professionals, we acknowledge our role in creating the historic record and the necessity of attending to the ethics of protecting confidentiality while documenting protests and police abuse. Collecting at this time demands care, and we pledge our commitment to use our resources to advance the documentation and production of information for racial, social, and economic justice. Please be conscious and take care of yourselves and others.
If you are receiving this resource guide and are part of the POC community, we stand with you and hope that you will feel comfortable contacting us with any concerns about our response, or any other concerns about PACSCL. The DEI Committee is a new initiative that was formed in order to improve PACSCL practices and policies towards diversity, equity, and inclusion, to facilitate diversity in PACSCL leadership, and to further outreach efforts to underrepresented people by recognizing the structural racism in our profession.
We know that many of you are already involved with anti-racist work so please feel free to suggest any other relevant links directly in the Google Doc. We hope that these resources can be empowering, useful, and thought provoking. Sincerely,
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries
Image, above: Dox Thrash, untitled lithograph with hand-drawn details [dead man after hanging]. Free Library of Philadelphia, Print and Picture Collection, Acc 10-00015