“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
June 3, 2020
Dear Plainfield Library Community and Friends,
The Plainfield Public Library board and staff are saddened and heartbroken by the events taking place locally and nationally. As a public library, we’re committed to building a better world and making our community and the individuals within our community feel welcome, seen, heard and appreciated. We strive to make sure every person we interact with is treated fairly and that our collection is diverse, so that everyone’s unique beliefs and backgrounds are represented. As a community, we stand with all of those who demand an end to systemic racism and oppression. Public libraries are founded on the belief of open exchange of ideas and freedom of speech.
The Library’s role is to encourage understanding of the current civil unrest by educating ourselves about the history of racist ideas and policies and how they influence today’s world. So we’re starting with what we do best, curating materials which support learning, exploration and conversations for positive change.
To see resources for kids and teens on this topic, please visit #OwnVoices – Black Narratives (scroll to bottom).
Some terms to know:
- BIPOC Black, Indigenous People of Color
- Discrimination the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex; recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.
- Privilege a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group
- Racism prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.
For some additional words and terms, please see https://www.racialequitytools.org/glossary
- Anti-Discrimination League
- Black Lives Matter
- Campaign Zero
- Center for Anti-Racist Research
- Movement for Black Lives
- Southern Poverty Law Center
Chicago Area Organizations
- Anti-Racism Resources for White People
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Chicago
- White Nonsense Roundup
- Whiteness Project
Guides and Syllabi
The following contain additional pertinent information about anti-racism and oppression. Bibliographies included.
- Guide to Anti-Oppression Simmons University
- The Black Lives Matter Syllabus (2016) Prof. Frank Leon Roberts
- The Charleston Syllabus African American Intellectual History Society
- The Ferguson Syllabus Sociologists for Justice
- Civil Rights Resource Guide (Library of Congress)
- Racial Bias Test
- 1619 (New York Times Podcast. The transformation of slavery in America)
- Code Switch (NPR) Includes various podcasts on different racial issues.
- Momentum (Race Forward) Racial justice issues
- Seeing White Whiteness and white supremacy in America, 14 part series
- Black Lives Matter Instructional Library
- Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Talking About Race
- Talking Race With Young Children (audio) NPR
- Social Story for George Floyd
- How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race TED Talk.
Who Gets to Be Afraid In America? Ibram X. Kendi