As members of institutions that support teaching, learning, and research, the Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA) supports those peacefully protesting the systemic racism in the United States and Canada, resulting from decades and perhaps centuries of racial injustice. The most recent tragedies and needless loss of life around police brutality in the United States – George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks, as well as the systemic racism, brutality and injustice against Canada’s Indigenous peoples, have encouraged many of us to let our voices be heard and demand change. We express sorrow and support for all who face racial inequality, discrimination, and disparate opportunity. Like IGeLU, our international sister organization, we condemn all forms of racism and xenophobia.
This is not a new moment, but one with a long history of oppression, injustice, American slavery, and a lack of privilege and equal opportunity in both countries. We acknowledge the many micro-transactions (and inactions) that systematically push opportunity away from our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues, transactions where we knowingly or unknowingly participate. For those of us who are white leaders and colleagues, we must persist to listen attentively, however uncomfortable this might be, and create openings for our BIPOC colleagues to speak and be heard – within our home institutions and professional organizations such as ELUNA.
The ELUNA community is strengthened by its diversity. Our work directly benefits from the collaboration of many different backgrounds, communities, and institutions. ELUNA is committed to supporting those differences and creating a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space of expression in all our communication channels.
To that end, we are inviting our BIPOC members to assist in drafting a revised code of conduct for ELUNA with the Steering Committee. We reject racism and systemic bias, and we are open to learning and being challenged. It is only through collaboration, engagement, and understanding that we can address systemic prejudice and bias. If this is an opportunity that interests you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for the Steering Committee’s Code of Conduct Task Force.
We will also be examining the feasibility of a scholarship fund for our BIPOC colleagues. This scholarship is designed to support Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, People Of Color to attend ELUNA Annual Meetings and/or virtual educational programming. We will be releasing details this fall.
We acknowledge our responsibility to create a community that is anti-racist, inclusive, equitable, and affirms the lives and work of our BIPOC colleagues. Our goal is to create a space where everyone feels valued, represented, and encouraged to share their thoughts and work. We hope these initiatives will start a much-needed conversation within the ELUNA community. If you have any feedback or suggestions, we welcome your input. Please email the steering committee at email@example.com.