On March 16, a gunman shot and killed eight people, including six Asian women, in the Atlanta, Georgia, metro area. The next day, an Asian woman was violently attacked on the street in San Francisco. These horrific crimes are among the latest in an uptick of racist attacks against Asian people and communities across the United States. Violence against Asian communities has risen due to racist rhetoric surrounding COVID-19 that falsely attributed the origin of the virus to Asian communities. Consequently, anti-Asian racism and racist attacks have continued to increase over the past year.
Though the rise in anti-Asian violence is recent, Asian communities have historically endured targeted violence and racism in the United States. Racism and white supremacy has been and continues to be the problem. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) stands in solidarity with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities during this difficult time and will continue to center anti-racism in our work. Last year, ARL expanded our vision statement to include anti-racism as a core focus and centered the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our mission statement:
ARL—the organization—will enable and catalyze research libraries to leverage and mobilize individual assets toward the collective advancement of learning, research, and societal impact, including advocacy and action to foster values of anti-racism, equity, and inclusion in their respective communities and beyond.
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.
The violence against Asian communities must end. We will continue to challenge white supremacy and uplift anti-racism collectively and individually.
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.