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Global Health & Health Equity: A Call to Action: Read, Reflect, Include, Repeat

Submitted by Mary Shah, AHIP, Wiggans Health Sciences Library, Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, CT; edited by Lilian Hoffecker

George Floyd’s murder on May 25 set off the latest round of Black Lives Matters demonstrations as well as discussions and statements on social media and in email discussions. Our own colleagues in the African American Medical Librarians Alliance (AAMLA) Caucus of MLA published an eloquent call to action that spoke to their experience and suffering.

You may ask, “What can I do?” The answer is plenty.

Rather than just looking at lists of books, take a holistic approach to becoming anti-racist. Read and reflect on the works of people of color. Do not burden your colleagues with the progress you have made—listen, show up, and make a difference. If you have a seat at the table of the organization where you practice librarianship, use your voice to invite others: invite authors of color to speak at your grand rounds, organize book talks about these books, volunteer to do outreach to underserved communities.

Learn about the history of MLA and take steps to make sure that everyone has a seat at the table and a turn at the podium. We have made progress, but work on diversity, inclusion, and equality—like work on cultural humility—is not one-and-done or that noisome compliance workshop we have to do once a year. It is an ongoing journey that is worth the effort.

The AAMLA Caucus is committed to using our collective voices in bringing about change in the profession and the association. I am committed to helping make that change. Together, we can deconstruct implicit biases, actively advocate against racial injustice, and build a stronger and inclusive community where no one feels left out or afraid. These resources may help, but they are by no means comprehensive or complete. Some are very new, while some bear revisiting. Please connect to them and use them.


Critical librarianship


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