Recognizing a Grave and Egregious Pattern; Committing Ourselves to the Work Ahead

We at Rare Book School deplore racism and discrimination in all its forms. Without reservation, we condemn the lethal ignorance and hatred that animates racism and the injustices that come from it. We recognize the loss of Black lives at the hands of law enforcement as among the most grave and egregious of the patterns of systemic racism in our time. No human being should be deprived of the most fundamental of human rights, the right to live. We abhor violence against people of color in all its forms, and we mourn those who have died while struggling for racial justice. The killing of innocent people for any reason, whether on account of their race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or religion, contravenes our fundamental values as an educational organization, as citizens of a modern democracy, and as members of the human family. We stand in solidarity with all people who are striving to make a world of racial equality and justice.

Discrimination and racial inequity likewise plague our professional lives. Rare Book School pledges to continue to seek redress for the gross disparities of access, employment, and representation that have long prevailed in our cultural heritage collections and professional circles. To build a better future, we must learn not only to read the signs of our own time, but also to understand and speak courageously about our past. From libraries and archives to classrooms and lecture halls, we will continue to strive to empower and support those who create, preserve, protect, study, and disseminate the multicultural stories of our world, including the stories of our valued communities of color. Obviously, there is much work to be done, and we at Rare Book School are committed to the ongoing labor of putting our principles into action, to help bring into being a society that is more equitable for all.

For a statement of our values, see: