Cedar Rapids Public Library Honors Black History Month
The Cedar Rapids Public Library, along with libraries across the country and Canada, come together in February to observe Black History Month. As we celebrate Black History Month, it is important to recognize how far we’ve come in the fight to achieve racial equity and just as important to look ahead and see where we need to be. Perhaps most importantly, we should think about the role each of us plays in this movement.
The Cedar Rapids Public Library is doing its part to achieve racial and social equity in Cedar Rapids. Along with over 130 public library systems across the United States and Canada, we have signed-on to a statement by the Urban Libraries Council detailing our commitment to achieving racial and social equity by contributing to a more just society in which all community members can realize their full potential. We owe this much to the communities we serve, particularly the most marginalized members. During Black History Month, we encourage you to visit the library, see what we are doing to achieve racial and social equity, and more importantly, learn what you can do to help.
The Urban Libraries Council statement reads as follows:
As leaders of North America’s public libraries, we are committed to achieving racial and social equity by contributing to a more just society in which all community members can realize their full potential. Our libraries can help achieve true and sustained equity through an intentional, systemic and transformative library-community partnership. Our library systems are working to achieve equity in the communities we serve by:
- Eliminating racial and social equity barriers in library programs, services, policies and practices
- Creating and maintaining an environment of diversity, inclusion and respect both in our library systems and in all aspects of our community role
- Ensuring that we are reaching and engaging disenfranchised people in the community and helping them express their voice
- Serving as a convener and facilitator of conversations and partnerships to address community challenges
- Being forthright on tough issues that are important to our communities
Libraries are trusted, venerable and enduring institutions, central to their communities and an essential participant in the movement for racial and social equity.