Commitment to Antiracism

January 16, 2024

UNL Libraries Hosts Cookies, Conversation, and Racial Healing Event for the National Day of Racial Healing.

The UNL Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Committee hosted a discussion event for Libraries faculty and staff and open to the public, for the National Day of Racial Healing. The event was held from 11:30am to 1:00pm on Tuesday, January 16th. Cookies and coffee were provided. The committee invited all to join to discuss what healing looks like in our community and highlight various research in the Library. Faculty and staff members intentionally engaged in conversation and reflection around racial healing.

From the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the National Day of Racial Healing – always held the Tuesday after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – centers around experiences rooted in truth-telling, offering people, organizations and communities a day set aside for racial healing, bringing people together to take collective action for a more just and equitable world.

The University Libraries participate in the National Day of Racial Healing as part of our journey toward anti-racism, racial equity, understanding, and justice. We seek to reflect and engage with each other to seek deeper understanding, connection, and healing with our colleagues and community.

June 19, 2023

UNL Libraries Hosts Second Annual Juneteenth Commemorative Program

The program featured students from Dr. Katrina Jagodinsky’s summer research course. Drs. Will Thomas and Jagodinsky provided remarks.

The students, coming to UNL from colleges and universities around the United States, were part of a cohort of students in the Digital Legal Research Lab and had been studying and encoding legal cases of freedom petitions from Maryland, Missouri, and Nebraska. They shared the stories of the people and situations involved in the cases as part of their research. Discussion focused on the importance of building research models that bring these types of stories into a broader conversation about American history.

View coverage of the program on the KLKN news site: ‘It means pride’: Lincoln remembers the history behind Juneteenth

June 20, 2022

‘Hidden in Full View’ screening and discussion June 20, 2022

In recognition of Juneteenth, the University Libraries hosted an online screening of the short film, “Hidden in Full View”, and a discussion with the film’s producer and co-writer, Dr. Charles Chavis, Jr., Director of the John Mitchell, Jr. Program for History, Justice, and Race at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University.

Dr. Chavis is also the national co-chair of the US Movement for Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (US TRHT). As part of its work, the US TRHT is calling for an Archive of Racial and Cultural Healing (ARCH), an effort supported by the Association of Research Libraries, of which the UNL Libraries is a member. The discussion will include the role of community archives and libraries in preserving local history and events.

“Hidden in Full View” reconstructs the story of the lynching of 23-year-old Matthew Williams in Salisbury, Maryland. This film is the first in a series that follows the story of brave descendants and witnesses willing to use the truth to fuel restorative justice.

Chavis, Jr. followed the film with his book, “The Silent Shore: The Lynching of Matthew Williams and the Politics of Racism in the Free State” (John Hopkins University Press, 2022) where he draws on his discovery of previously unreleased documents to meticulously reconstruct the full story of Mr. Williams’s murder and the legacy of “modern-day lynching.”

The discussion included the role of community archives and libraries in preserving local history and events and in advancing truth and racial healing.

For more information about the documentary, visit the Hidden from View website.

January 18, 2022

Libraries Responds: 2022 National Day of Racial Healing

UNL Libraries hosted a lunch hour community discussion on Tuesday, January 18, to observe the day of reflection and action. The call to action was issued by the American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, and the Society of American Archivists.

Visit the National Day of Racial Healing Vebsite

November 17, 2021

Libraries’ Commitment to Antiracism

The University Libraries supports the University’s statement of action on its Journey Toward Anti-Racism and Racial Equity. We commit to taking active steps towards inclusive excellence by deeply integrating diversity, equity, inclusion and access in all our everyday work. We weave this commitment through the overarching goals set forth in the Libraries Strategic Plan for 2020-2022.

Call to Action & Commitment

We accept the call to action. The Libraries is committed to antiracism and to seeking a path to racial equity. We will invest in learning and acknowledging the truth about systemic barriers within our histories, so that we can remove them as we: critically teach information and understand data discrimination and algorithmic bias; design and deliver services for UNL communities; collect and generate resources created by and representing ethnically and racially diverse voices; seek out and sustain diverse primary sources and materials; and preserve and promote underrepresented histories and perspectives in our archives and special collections. We will invest resources to increase access to and visibility of nontraditional resources to support the research needs of emerging interdisciplinary areas and so that every member of the UNL community can readily find their identities and histories, and imagine their futures, in our materials. We are committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff that demonstrate through their actions a commitment to inclusive excellence.

As a profession and an organization dedicated to intellectual freedom and equitable access, we are aware how often we fall short of these ideals and how our own systems and actions perpetuate harm. We participate in descriptive practices rooted in white supremacy, and collecting practices that extract from, rather than support, communities that can and do speak with their own voices. We are active participants in the current dominant system of scholarly publishing and communication that overwhelmingly favors the already powerful, and which is built on a historically white system of prestige and recognition. We seek to create a new future that truly promotes information justice, and we commit strongly to actions that remove barriers and promote equitable access for all.