In our individual capacities as citizens and our collective roles as educators, we are appalled by the recent event in Minneapolis that tragically and brutally ended George Floyd’s life. Sadly, such events are not isolated in our nation, where racism and other forms of bigotry resurface, and which undermine our ideals of personal dignity, individual and collective freedoms, and rights to life and happiness.
Situated at the heart of the university, the Libraries must serve as a strong beacon for Mason’s motto of “freedom and learning” and support our academic community’s continual movement to advance racial equality and social justice, and enhance socio-economic mobility for our students through access to excellent education and learning resources. We take seriously our responsibility to the Mason community to aggressively address these societal ills by intensifying our efforts to foster a diverse, accessible, and inclusive environment. The Libraries has always been a place where all are welcome, served, and supported yet we are mindful that more could be done. We understand that commitment without deeds rings hollow, and we are examining our own programs, structures, and areas where we can be more proactive in addressing any inequities.
We join the many voices against racism, oppression, and injustice in all of its forms and manifestations. And, we endorse those statements of our professional colleagues and member organizations, including the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, American Library Association, Virtual Library of Virginia (and SCHEV Library Advisory Committee) and Washington Research Library Consortium (forthcoming), and others.