With the devastating murders this past week, the Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center wanted to take the opportunity to reach out to our community and condemn these acts of violence and take a moment to mourn. In the past year, we have seen a large rise in the cases of anti-Asian hate crimes. The COVID pandemic has already disproportionality impacted BIPOC communities, and in addition to this, the rise in violence against Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander persons has only added to the fear and pain our community members endure.
It is important that we not only come together to support each other through these times of devastation, but also continuously question and work towards changing the environments that have created and allowed systemic racism to thrive. What can we do to work towards asking the hard questions and taking solid action to make change?
Here at the Health Sciences Library, we know that we need to continue doing more. That is why we have created the Justice, Equity, and Inclusion Committee with representatives from students, staff, and faculty from across campuses. We have our first meeting scheduled for later this month and will be transparent with the charge once we have finalized the document. If there are any concerns, thoughts or comments you think we should know about as we strive to build more inclusive and open spaces, please email the chair, Kelleen Maluski (Student Success and Engagement Librarian).
While the library is here to support and assist in any way that we can, we also know how important mental health and being allowed a space to grieve and process is for everyone. Please take a look at our Wellness Resources Guide, which includes links to student and employee counseling resources. We also have workshops coming up on implicit bias and how it impacts the research process and on creating zines for self-care and making your voice heard. You can find more information on these and RSVP from our events calendar.
For those who are not familiar with or need to learn more about the history and continuation of anti-Asian racism in this country, we suggest reviewing the presentations and webinars from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association to expand your understanding of our current climate and see their Statement Against Anti-Asian Violence. We also suggest taking a look at the Letter to Asian Diasporic Library Workers that calls for transformative justice from We Here. You can find resources on bystander training from Hollaback to learn how to assist in confrontational circumstances and find out more ways to get involved.