Early in fiscal year 2020, Becker Library began establishing an internal program to directly address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. Then the tragic killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020 rekindled awareness of police brutality and discrimination faced by Black people in the United States.
Like so many others did and continue to do, the library posted a statement in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement after much thought and consideration. Statements, however, are meaningless unless backed by real actions and policies, and Becker Library is more committed than ever to continuing and strengthening its diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) efforts.
TAPPING INTO WASHU DE&I EFFORTS
For the first time, Becker Library appointed a liaison to the Washington University Libraries Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. The liaison prepares a monthly staff newsletter and shared calendar highlighting freely available DE&I trainings and resources. Becker Library also held the first in a new series of in-person trainings with a facilitator from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
FORMALIZING DE&I IN THE BECKER MISSION
In examining the library’s guiding principles, library leadership sought to enshrine the central importance of diversity, equity and inclusion to the library in the library’s official mission. The statement now includes the following:
Becker Library strives to respect all dimensions of human differences and foster a diverse environment that is inclusive of all persons, regardless of racial or ethnic background, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, religious beliefs, ability, age or socioeconomic status. We are committed to exposing and dismantling institutional racism and unearned privilege, particularly where we have influence in our workplace, in our professions, and in our university.
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