VLA Statement on Racism and Violence

The recent murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY, and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA are only the most recent examples of the ongoing problems with systemic racism in American society today.

The Virginia Library Association (VLA) stands in solidarity with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) in condemning violence and racism toward Black people and all people of color, and endorses BCALA's statement condemning increased violence and racism towards Black Americans and people of color.

VLA stands with Black people and all people of color from across the globe in protest of the racism, discrimination, pain and sorrow marginalized communities have experienced for too long. We recognize that we must acknowledge our own biases and be open to change, always considering the impact of our words and actions, regardless of intent. Only by acknowledging our discomfort can we truly effect change and bridge differences. The pervasive racism present in our nation denies its residents equal rights and equal access and as such is a barrier to the goals of this association and to everything that libraries stand for.

We honor and offer our support to library workers, library users, and members of the communities we serve who are susceptible to acts of prejudice, threats of violence, and even death based solely on their race or ethnicity. VLA is planning to hold a moderated town hall on race and libraries in the near future. We have also collected a list of anti-racism resources that was curated by the attendees at a recent VLA Zoomversation meeting. If your library has also created a resource list, please email a link to [email protected] so we may add it to our page.

VLA pledges to work towards a more equitable future for all. We have faith that we can come together and meet the challenges that lie ahead.

-June 2020