Black lives matter. We, the Music Library Students and Emerging Professionals, wish to express our support to the cause of social justice in our respective communities and in our nations in the wake of the murders of the black men and women whose extrajudicial killings have propelled a global movement to seek out and correct systemic racism embedded in our organizations. We categorically condemn the acts of police brutality and racism that have ended the lives of so many Americans including those listed above and those whose names we will never know. As such, this is not only a statement of solidarity with the black community and all other oppressed and marginalized groups, but a statement of intent to offer meaningful change over platitudes.
As an organization that is disproportionately white, in our membership and our leadership, it becomes that much more important to recognize our own biases and preconceptions, to challenge them, and to understand that diversity and inclusion are not buzzwords required of an organization to meet a minimum level of tolerance. Diversity and inclusion are not passive acts; they are active. And so, any decision made by our organization is necessarily one that includes or excludes certain groups.
To that end, MLStEP will move forward with a heightened awareness of our responsibility to serve and assist ALL music library students and emerging professionals not regardless of, but with an eye towards being inclusive and welcoming to those of diverse racial, ethnic, religious, and national backgrounds, sexual preference, gender expression, and any other means by which one chooses to identify themselves.
As aspiring music librarians and early professionals, we are quite literally the future, and the decisions we make as part of MLStEP and in our respective institutions will serve to mend or exacerbate the institutional racial divisions in our society. We must take ownership of this responsibility. We must not wait for change to come from an outside agent. We will make a stronger and concerted effort to ensure that persons of color and other marginalized groups have a voice in this organization. We encourage all such persons to reach out to their chapter liaisons with any questions or ideas they may have, seek leadership positions in MLStEP, and generally take an active role in building and shaping this community. To reiterate, we commit to continued support and advocacy for anyone interested or involved in music librarianship–especially those in the BIPOC community.
Music Library Students & Emerging Professionals (MLStEP)