Message of Solidarity to Research Caucus Members
Dear RC members,
For members of the Research Caucus who are members of the Asian, Asian-American, or Pacific Islander communities, I join the chorus of voices expressing solidarity with you this week. The leadership of the Research Caucus affirms and echoes the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)’s recent statement, which condemns the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes across the United States over the past year.
To those of us wondering what they can do to get involved and show up for our Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander community members, I would encourage you to learn how you can speak out and step in when you see anti-Asian bias, harassment, and violence happening in your local communities. If you’re looking for places to start, I would recommend Hollaback!’s training resources on Bystander Intervention, available here: https://www.ihollaback.org/bystander-resources/. If you want to learn more, they are also offering several synchronous online training programs over the next several weeks, which you can register to attend for free here: https://www.ihollaback.org/harassmenttraining/.
Beyond bystander training, it is critically important that as medical librarians we continue to interrogate how our professional practices may reinforce systemic racism in ways that can contribute to acts of racialized violence. When drafting a statement of solidarity to our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues this past summer, I encouraged members of the Research Caucus to use research to ask questions about systemic inequities within medical libraries. I renew that charge to all of us today:
How do our systems and services reflect and reinforce systemic inequality, and what can we do to reform those systems to create more equitable libraries, institutions, and communities? These questions are challenging; asking them will require courage and will lead to discomfort. But if we want to live up to the spirit of “I Am MLA,” which MLA Past President Beverly Murphy describes as “the collective understanding...that it is up to us, as members and as volunteers, to do what needs to be done for our association,” we must rise to meet that challenge.
To our Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander colleagues: we see you, and we hear you. The Research Caucus is committed to fostering a safe and equitable community for all our members, and if we can support you in this time, please know that we are here for you.
Alexander J. Carroll, MSLS, AHIP
MLA Research Caucus Chair 2020-2021