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The SFU Library stands against anti-Black racism

Black Lives Matter

Resisting anti-Black racism 

The SFU Library stands with all those who are resisting anti-Black racism and police brutality.

The killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in the United States is indicative of the white supremacy that perpetuates anti-Black racism and violence globally, including in Canada. The police violence in response to protests against anti-Black violence is further indication of the entrenchment and power of these forces in our society.

Anti-Black racism in Canadian institutions

When we experience a racial flashpoint in the USA, it is the first reaction of many Canadians to say, “we are so lucky that we live here instead of there.” There is a national narrative that we are untouched, or at least less touched, by anti-Black racism and white supremacy. We reject this narrative.

The SFU Library acknowledges the pervasive influence that anti-Black racism and white supremacy continue to have in our country and all of its institutions, including our own. We recognize that many have long imagined libraries as places of refuge for all - positioning the institution as “free, accessible, and neutral.” That narrative is also false: libraries are institutions that hold power and privilege born from white supremacy culture.

The SFU Library's commitments

The SFU Library has an obligation to dismantle white supremacy and resist anti-Black racism. In keeping with the SFU Library Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, we commit to the following actions:

  • Revising the SFU Library Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to specifically name the violence of anti-Black racism and white supremacy.
  • Reviewing and revising Library policies and procedures to ensure they do not marginalize and exclude members of our community. 
  • Reinforcing efforts to collect works that challenge anti-Black racism and support the work of dismantling white supremacy. 
  • Confronting simplistic narratives of “freedom of expression” and “intellectual freedom” when they are used to promote hate and violence at SFU. 
  • Ensuring effective training for library employees in identifying and challenging white supremacy and in meaningful allyship.
  • Continuing to learn about our complicity in anti-Black racism and white supremacy.

Black Lives Matter.

Contact for further information

Gwen Bird, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries: gbird@sfu.ca