Anti-Racism Statement

Statement from the Binghamton Libraries Anti-Racism Coalition Keepers Initiative
— September 17, 2020 —

The undersigned faculty and staff of the Binghamton University Libraries are outraged and saddened by the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others — their deaths are the result of a white supremacist society in which violence is both enabled and effaced by structural racism. We recognize that a range of institutional norms and practices contribute to the systemic enablement, enactment and rationalization of racism; therefore, we acknowledge our institutional responsibility for addressing racism within the Libraries and leveraging our resources to advance other anti-racist work ongoing at the University and beyond.

Our first step is an anti-racism audit of the Libraries. This essential measure will produce three outcomes: first, it will generate data that will help us understand the ways racism permeates our organization; second, the analysis of this data will enable us to identify actionable reforms we can undertake within the Libraries; third, this assessment will point toward the most effective ways for us to employ our resources toward further anti-racist work.

As we commence our audit, members of our library faculty and staff are already advancing anti-racist efforts through their work at the Libraries. We are building a resource guide to help support all faculty, students and staff looking to decolonize their course curricula or learn about and research topics related to anti-racism, systemic racism and racial justice. We are planning outreach efforts that will help us elevate and convey a diversity of experiences, ideas and resources. We are reviewing library collections in order to help our patrons research, teach about and understand racism and anti-racism. And we are working within the Libraries to coordinate our efforts and to ensure everyone feels welcome and heard.

In initiating these efforts, the undersigned faculty and staff of the Binghamton University Libraries acknowledge our responsibility as representatives of a predominantly white institution (PWI) to repair the effects of institutionalized racism and advance anti-racist practices. As we develop these efforts we welcome more voices and more collaborators. Likewise, we affirm that each of us comes to this work voluntarily. We acknowledge that leadership for repairing the damage of systemic racial injustice must come from PWIs such as Binghamton University Libraries. Our core mission is to bring people and information together and to provide information reflective of the cultures, experiences and perspectives of all people. We acknowledge that in order to do this, we must pay attention to ways marginalized perspectives have been suppressed by white supremacy. We are invested in dismantling these oppressive systems to create a more equitable future for all.

Libraries faculty and staff signers:

  • Nancy Abashian
  • Adam Basa
  • Carrie Blabac-Myers
  • Megan L. Benson
  • Emily Beston
  • Barbara Blake
  • Elizabeth Brown
  • Tina Burrows
  • Nicki Chanecka
  • Barb Cotroneo
  • Benjamin Coury
  • Jeremy Dibbell
  • Jill Dixon
  • Nick Eggleston
  • Jennifer Embree
  • Sharon Fisher
  • Amy Gay
  • Neyda V. Gilman
  • Jean Green
  • Colleen Hailey
  • Laura Haynes
  • Robin Hazen
  • Stephanie P. Hess
  • Aleshia Huber
  • Curtis Kendrick
  • Laurie Kolosky
  • Timothy Lavis
  • Shannon Miranda
  • Sarah Maximiek
  • Andrea Melione
  • Erica Mosher
  • Bern Mulligan
  • Anna Norris
  • Jessica Obie
  • Cindy Olbrys
  • Bill Palmer
  • Blythe Roveland-Brenton
  • Erin Rushton
  • David Schuster
  • Marian Stern
  • Angela Taylor
  • Elise Thornley
  • Rachel Turner
  • David Vose
  • Julie Wang
  • Caryl Ward
  • Mien Wong
  • Brandy Wrighter
  • Jill Yaples

We welcome members of the Binghamton University community to show their support by endorsing our statement through this form:

Libraries Anti-racism Statement Endorsement Form