Skip to main content

DEI Read & Learn

Resources for learning more about diversity, equity & inclusion topics, from the library's DEI Committee

ALA Midwinter & Racism

Several incidents of racism and personal attacks took place at the American Library Association's Midwinter 2019 conference.

This page collects information and statements for now, and will link to resources for us to unpack and discuss institutional racism and what we can do to combat it.

ALA Midwinter 2019 & Racism

The ALA Statement on Appropriate Conduct at meetings specifically includes the following:

"ALA seeks to provide a conference environment in which diverse participants may learn, network and enjoy the company of colleagues in an environment of mutual human respect. We recognize a shared responsibility to create and hold that environment for the benefit of all. Some behaviors are, therefore, specifically prohibited:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on race, religion, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, appearance, or other group status.
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact.
  • Yelling at or threatening speakers (verbally or physically)."

We have added the highlight to emphasize our own roles in recognizing and interrupting racism and harassment. Why do we wait for someone else to take the lead and put a stop to such nonsense?  We need to stand up for one another. We do not need to have all the answers or the right words, but we can show what it means to be an ally by standing up and saying:  Wait. Stop. What happened just now is not appropriate.We cannot ignore what just happened.

Other Responses

ALA Midwinter 2019: Additional incidents of racism

Other incidents of racism also occurred at ALA Midwinter 2019. Some of these have been discussed primarily on Twitter.