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ARL Supports Creation of US Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation

megaphone graphic with text: Demand Truth, Demand Justice, #UnlockTheTruth
image courtesy of The US Truth, Racial Healing,
and Transformation Movement

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is proud to join civil society, higher education, racial justice, and other organizations dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the movement for US Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (USTRHT). The movement aims to “properly acknowledge, memorialize, and be a catalyst for progress toward jettisoning the belief in a hierarchy of human value, embracing our common humanity, and permanently eliminating persistent racial inequities.”

The truth and complexity of US history includes educational, social, legal, and political systems that perpetuate racial inequities in health outcomes, educational achievement, home ownership, income, and wealth. As part of the USTRHT movement, Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced a joint resolution urging Congress to establish a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation to acknowledge and heal centuries of pervasive discriminatory US government actions against people of color.

ARL’s member libraries have made commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including commitments to recruit and retain Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. After George Floyd was murdered, ARL outlined six strategies that our community can commit to as trusted sources of information and data, and as curators of the historical record. Our Canadian colleagues follow the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action for museums, archives, and libraries. Lisa Carter, ARL’s current chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, notes that “a US Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation can provide similar frameworks and clear steps on how to take action on these commitments, to acknowledge the harms of the past, move our profession’s practice toward analyzing and decolonizing collections, and rebalance the diversity of perspectives in scholarship.”

ARL continues to stand against white supremacy and anti-Blackness, and we welcome this opportunity to work toward racial healing and equity.


About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise; advances diversity, equity, and inclusion; and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.

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