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Eccles Library Covid-19 Updates

EHSL Antiracism Statement

We, as the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library and community, are outraged, appalled and frustrated after witnessing the murder of another Black person by police officers. We are disappointed and flabbergasted at the insensitive responses, as well as the contradictory use of excessive violence employed against anti-racist protestors, in the following weeks. We recognize these horrific displays of racial injustice and white supremacy are not isolated, nor new. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others are jarring, present-day manifestations of long-standing systemic anti-Black racism. These systems have controlled and pervaded nearly every aspect of modern-day America, including healthcare, and they continually perpetuate the notion that Black bodies are expendable, interchangeable, and without value. Our collective disregard for historically marginalized people must end now. We must do better.

The Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library is committed to aligning our work with that of countless social justice advocates across the nation and throughout time. We recognize the all too common disparities and barriers that exist within academia, healthcare, and the intersection of the two. Within our library, it is no secret that our current faculty, and historically all faculty, severely lack representation from our Black and other underrepresented communities. Less than fifty years ago, college yearbooks routinely included racist imagery and content. The portraits on our walls do not reflect the people looking up at them. Our historical collections house evidence of the racism that has permeated our culture, and bear witness to the fact that we must change. It is imperative that we examine and challenge that history. It is our duty to recognize and change that culture. We must do this work internally within ourselves and externally within our institutions, and beyond, speaking out and educating those around us.

We at the Eccles Health Sciences Library pledge to continually educate ourselves about anti-Black racism and its devastating effects, and we commit to taking daily anti-racist actions to eliminate racism from all of our systems. We will challenge our biases, and most importantly, reform our systems to identify and destroy bigotry and discrimination. We encourage you to join us. Continue reading, continue listening, and continue the fight for racial justice. Incorporate topics about race and inequity into your educational content. Hold yourselves and others accountable for working to end the systemic anti-Black racism that is enshrined in all of our processes and policies.

Question the gatekeeping, bias, and anti-Black racism inherent in the health sciences, in research, and in academics. Become involved in anti-racist community organizing, both on campus and off. It will not be easy, and we will make mistakes, but we cannot let our discomfort hold more importance than the lives of those most vulnerable. George, Breonna, Ahmaud mattered. Darrien Hunt, Patrick Harmon, Cindreia Europe, Allen Nelson mattered.

BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Silence is and has always been, unacceptable. Silence is complicity. Moving forward we want to be clear that we understand the urgent need to take transformative action to dismantle white supremacy in our country, in our community, at our university, and within our library.

Join us. Take action with us. Help us dismantle anti-Black racism once and for all.

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