Sacramento State University Library’s Commitment to Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence

Sacramento State University Library’s Commitment to Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence

Sacramento State University Library supports and stands in solidarity with Black students, faculty, staff, and members of the Sacramento State community, within the university and the region of the Sacramento Valley. We extend our solidarity and advocacy to the Black Lives Matter movement and Black communities across the country. We join them in condemning the murders and use of excessive force by police, recently and throughout history, including the murder of Stephon Clark in Sacramento. Acts of injustice and violence against the Black community must end. The killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the irreparable harm done to Jacob Blake Jr. are just a handful of examples that have come to our collective attention in recent months. Countless other instances of state-sanctioned murders and injury against Black individuals must be remembered and be requited with justice.

We acknowledge that the issues surrounding police brutality, racist violence, and racist abuse have systemic, institutional, and far-reaching implications that are deeply entrenched and pervasive in American society. Anti-blackness permeates all levels of society and its institutions, but is not the only way racism functions. Recent events impel us to speak against anti-blackness, yet we also see White supremacy and oppression as the brutal reality that undergirds the lives and experiences of many, diverse peoples of color.

As an institution within American society, Sacramento State University Library recognizes the part we play and the work still ahead of us to disrupt the systems of oppression within our spheres of influence that continue to bind us. Sacramento State University Library has stated that we value equity, diversity, and inclusion. We commit to translating these values into the ways we function as an organization within a public institution of higher learning, treat our patrons and our co-workers, and work with others inside and outside our university community.

We will not be complicit by maintaining silence and inaction.

Sacramento State University Library pledges to continue the work necessary to ensure that we are a learning organization dedicated to dismantling oppression; interrogating implicit biases we and others hold, including anti-blackness; building inclusive spaces and services; and supporting difference and diversity through our practices and policies. Below, we describe the different levels of intentional actions we will undertake in order to effect positive change.

Intra- and Interpersonal Levels. To support growth and development of ourselves and others, we pledge to:

  • Make explicit our expectations that the work to dismantle oppression is expected of and shared by all who work for our organization.
  • Take charge of our own self-education on anti-Black racism, intersectionality, oppressive acts and behaviors of othering, and our collective responsibilities.
  • Empower and enable fellow library employees to take time to participate in campus community events and training opportunities relating to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

Departmental and Cross-Role Levels. To provide a high standard of anti-oppression education in our programs, services, and other offerings, we pledge to:

  • Improve and develop our research guides to include subject matter relevant to anti-racism, dismantling oppression and White supremacy, and highlighting strategies and work that nurture equity and inclusion.
  • Commit to listen to our students, faculty, staff and members of the community, by reaching out to and actively engaging with our diverse array of patrons in order to improve our practices.
  • Promote, prioritize attendance in, and support educational opportunities to become better allies.
  • Examine and transform our internal policies and rules, considering who they exclude and how they could be more inclusive.
  • Examine how we hire, communicate, train, and retain a diverse student worker body.
  • Engage in departmental conversations on when and how we call the campus police.

Policy and Institutional Levels. To support our organizational commitment to equity and inclusion, we pledge to:

  • In consultation with the Division of Inclusive Excellence, develop a land acknowledgement statement that will be read before library events.
  • Establish regular library-wide training and protocols for employees on search committees and those who provide feedback.
  • Address instances of oppressive language in our collections and catalog records, particularly in situations that we can affect.
  • Build our collections to support intersectional research and study of race and ethnicity.
  • Celebrate and recognize diversity, inclusion, and equity in the library by building DEI into the library strategic plan. Our 2021-2026 Strategic Plan will be based on the foundations of DEI, where each department will deliver an articulated plan for recognizing and breaking down practices that perpetrate bias.
  • Examine our public-facing policies and rules, consider who they exclude, and how they could be more inclusive.
  • Engage in a library-wide conversation on when and how we call the campus police.
  • Work with campus to include DEI work as an expectation in all faculty and staff reviews.
  • Conduct an organizational inventory and audit of our DEI work that can inform our assessment and goal-setting activities intended to ensure that we are indeed connecting our values with our actions and policies.
  • Examine and transform our financial allocations to ensure that our continuous transformation to realize our DEI values is backed by both our policies and financial resources.

What we have described above is not an exhaustive list or endpoint. We recognize the ongoing nature of anti-racist, anti-oppression work. We encourage further suggestions, which can be submitted though this form:

September 9, 2020