Frame 4: Antiracist Leadership

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 6 Libraries and archives have an opportunity to serve as exemplars to other professions in  building and sustaining antiracist  climates, cultures, and practices, but must commit to the work of internal and systems change in the process. Antiracist leadership acknowledges the degree to which white supremacy culture is embedded in every aspect of our profession, and works deliberately and constructively to question dominant cultural norms and counter them when they are negatively impacting or harming communities of color. Leaders must understand that differential outcomes for people of color are not a product of inherent deficits to those communities, but rather are an outcome of problematic systems that create a legacy of advantage for people from majority cultures and identities, or for those who acquiesce to the phenomenon of assimilation. Leaders are committed to social justice and to creating environments where minoritized communities have agency to realize their full potential, countering–if not working to eliminate–oppressive systems and practices. Moreover, leaders recognize that solutions to systemic problems require proximity to and strategies that are focused on the challenges at hand. Effective leaders should acknowledge the importance of intersectionality and realize that coalescing around an antiracist agenda will have benefits for many marginalized groups. In addition, leaders must cultivate a comfort level with controversy so as to support the challenging conversations that are unavoidable when one is committed to antiracist  work. Transformative leaders cultivate and sustain the work of collective action, building alliances with other groups, organizations, and sectors committed to racial equity. (Museus)

4.1. – The Interconnectedness of Libraries and the Larger Institutions of ALA/ARL

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 3 The American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), have long espoused commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion. While some progress has been made by these organizations, substantive change has not been realized. Core to the challenge is that libraries, whether public, academic, school, or special, are situated within larger structures founded upon principles and histories of white supremacy with generations of policies and practices that were exclusionary in their intent. Often library boards, university boards of trustees, and other leadership entities articulate values that are inconsistent with behavior and action. An additional challenge is that no library type or category is monolithic; each organization or institution is unique with distinct missions to diverse stakeholders and, therefore, strategies for addressing racial inequity must be customized and be responsive to those needs. Conversely, messaging and approaches are often inconsistent and diffuse, without a collective voice or a common vision. Developing consistency in vocabulary, communication, strategies, and vision will help to establish universal goals that have the potential to create deeper and enduring change for the profession.  

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 3 Libraries operate independently and are not accountable to one another or to larger institutions like ALA/ARL. As such, this impacts ALA’s ability to mandate wide-spread change in the field. However, there are other ways in which larger associations can influence organizations and hold libraries accountable. 

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 1 Framework Implementation Example: It is recommended that  associations could begin by collecting and publishing relevant statistics (e.g. disaggregated demographic data, equity audits of collections, retention statistics of BIPOC employees) or including racial equity as a component of accreditation rubrics.    

4.2 – Role of the Member- Advancing Member Impact

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 2 In order to benefit from participation in ALA/ARL, it is imperative that library workers understand that while these larger institutions often influence and inform our work, we should not be solely reliant upon these institutions to move this work forward. The responsibility for educating ourselves about racial equity and upholding systems of accountability falls on us as individuals and as a collective, with deep implications for the workplace and our communities. It is important to remember that each person, regardless of title or position, has the power to influence their community by modeling antiracist practices, advocating for BIPOC communities, and becoming actively involved in committee work, leadership, and governance of library associations. 

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 Framework Implementation Example: When voting for new leadership members can choose to prioritize candidates from minoritized communities or those whose candidate statements clearly mention racial equity and EDI as a priority.

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Source: https://acrl.ala.org/RacialEquityFramework/frame-4-antiracist-leadership/