January 17, 2022

Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Supports Creation of US Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation

From an ARL Release:

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is proud to join civil society, higher education, racial justice, and other organizations dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the movement for US Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (USTRHT). The movement aims to “properly acknowledge, memorialize, and be a catalyst for progress toward jettisoning the belief in a hierarchy of human value, embracing our common humanity, and permanently eliminating persistent racial inequities.”

The truth and complexity of US history includes educational, social, legal, and political systems that perpetuate racial inequities in health outcomes, educational achievement, home ownership, income, and wealth. As part of the USTRHT movement, Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced a joint resolution urging Congress to establish a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation to acknowledge and heal centuries of pervasive discriminatory US government actions against people of color.

ARL’s member libraries have made commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including commitments to recruit and retain Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. After George Floyd was murdered, ARL outlined six strategies that our community can commit to as trusted sources of information and data, and as curators of the historical record. Our Canadian colleagues follow the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action for museums, archives, and libraries. Lisa Carter, ARL’s current chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, notes that “a US Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation can provide similar frameworks and clear steps on how to take action on these commitments, to acknowledge the harms of the past, move our profession’s practice toward analyzing and decolonizing collections, and rebalance the diversity of perspectives in scholarship.”

ARL continues to stand against white supremacy and anti-Blackness, and we welcome this opportunity to work toward racial healing and equity.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.