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MLA User Experience Caucus Statement

Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible—even if you’re choking on it—until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air [1]. —Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The User Experience Caucus voices our support and joins in solidarity with the statements made by the African American Medical Librarians Alliance (AAMLA) Caucus [2], MLA [3], and the many MLA caucuses who have expressed themselves so elegantly and offered resources to create awareness of implicit bias, systemic racism, and white privilege.

We are outraged and disgusted by the recent brutal killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the deaths of countless other human beings based solely on the color of their skin. We hear and bear witness to the hurt, anger, and frustration caused by these killings and other injustices perpetrated on Black Americans in general and our fellow Black and African American librarian colleagues in particular.

With renewed awareness and resolve, we pledge to seek out and shine the light on the ways we contribute to or fight against racism inside our profession and out. We further acknowledge and pledge to fight the inherent racism of the American criminal justice system. As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar states, “As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands.” Let our statements of support not just be empty words but true preludes to action. We have a lot of work to do until everyone can breathe.

Louisa Verma, AHIP, Chair

References

  1. Abdul-Jabbar K. Don’t understand the protests? what you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge. L A Times. 30 May 2020 [cited 9 Jun 2020]. <https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-05-30/dont-understand-the-protests-what-youre-seeing-is-people-pushed-to-the-edge>.
  2. Bartley K. Statement from the African American Medical Librarians Alliance (AAMLA) Caucus of MLA. MLAConnect [Internet]. 4 Jun 2020 [cited 9 Jun 2020]. <https://www.mlanet.org/blog/statement-from-the-african-american-medical-library-alliance-aamla-caucus-of-mla>.
  3. Traditi LK. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the threads that strengthen the fabric of the Medical Library Association. MLAConnect [Internet]. 3 Jun 2020 [cited 9 Jun 2020]. <https://www.mlanet.org/p/cm/ld/fid=1122&&blogaid=2975>.

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