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Anti-Racism – Resources and Support

the CILIPS logo with a background photograph from a Black Lives Matter protest

Background photograph with thanks to James Eades

CILIPS supports the #BlackLivesMatter movement and is firmly anti-racist. Our strengthened Commitment to Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion was approved by the CILIPS Trustee Board in September 2021, and below is an evolving collection of anti-racism resources from Scotland and beyond.

We welcome feedback on our ongoing EDI work from our members and the wider library and information community – if you have any comments or suggestions to share, please add them anonymously to this padlet page or email us anytime at


  • The CILIP BAME Network has been established to provide a forum for librarians and information professionals from Black Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to share their experiences, support each other and network. The Network is free to join and open to all BAME library and information professionals, both existing CILIP members and non-members – to find out more, please click here.
  • Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER): Glasgow based racial equality charity promoting racial justice in Scotland
  • Scottish Refugee Council: Scottish charity which supports refugees and helps people to navigate the complex UK asylum system and to settle into life in Scotland
  • BEMIS: Scottish body which supports the Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector and aims to address inequality and to build a more inclusive society
  • Refuweegee: A charity dedicated to giving those arriving in Scotland a warm welcome
  • Saheliya: A mental health and well-being organisation who works with BAME women in Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • The Anti-Racist Educator: A collective of educational stakeholders based in Scotland who are working to build a more equitable education system that is free from racial injustice and which is critically engaged with issues of power, identity, and privilege.
  • Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust: Charity set up following the racists attack and murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993. It works with 13-30 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them succeed, aiming to create a fairer society
  • Show Racism the Red Card: An anti-racism educational charity which utilises football and football players to tackle racism in sport and wider society, providing anti-racism workshops in schools, workplaces, and football stadiums
  • Stand Up to Racism: An organisation with local groups throughout the UK
  • Black Cultural Archives: national heritage centre dedicated to collecting and preserving the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain
  • Runnymede: An independent race equality think tank which challenges race inequality through research, debate and policy engagement
  • Black Minds Matter: Non-profit that empowers 13-25-year-olds to make the improvements they want to see and to create a more equal society
  • The Black Curriculum: a social enterprise addressing the notable absence of Black British history in UK curriculums, including learning resources for many different school subjects.
  • The Free Black University aims to transform historically racist curriculums and create a space where the healing and wellbeing of Black people is centred. ‘You cannot decolonise something that is built on colonisation itself… we exist to build a space that can produce decolonial knowledge, untethered from a colonial space.’
  • Stop Hate UK: A national organisation that challenges all forms of Hate Crime and harassment including those to do with race, sexuality and gender identity, among others
  • UK Black Pride: Celebrates LGBTQ+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent
  • Black British Women Writers: a website bringing together writers whose identities intersect as Black British Women and highlighting their drastically under-acknowledged contribution to British and world literature.
  • European Network Against Racism (ENAR): Advocates for racial equality and legal change in Europe
  • Black Lives Matter: Founded in 2013, Black Lives Matter aims to challenge white supremacy and the systematic oppression of Black people. It is a global network.
  • Color of Change: An organisation which supports people to take practical steps towards tackling racial injustice
  • Antiracist Research & Policy Center (ARPC): Works to understand and solve racial inequality and injustice issues, based in Washington DC

Reading Recommendations

If you would like to understand racism, white privilege, and other racial issues better or if you are keen to develop a reading list for library users around these topics, the following books could be a good place to start.

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Kindred – Octavia Butler
  • Ain’t I a Woman: black women and feminism – bell hooks
  • New Daughters of Africa: an International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent – Margaret Busby (ed.)
  • Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race – Margot Lee Shetterly
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot
  • Becoming – Michelle Obama
  • Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Evaristo
  • Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire – Akala
  • Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Adoption Papers – Jackie Kay
  • Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness  – Michelle Alexander
  • Freedom is a Constant Struggle – Angela Y. Davis
  • So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
  • Possessive Investment in Whiteness – George Lipsitz
  • I know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  • Black British History – David Olusoga
  • No Problem Here: Understanding Racism in Scotland – Neil Davidson, Minna Liinpää, Maureen McBride & Satnam Virdee (eds.)
  • Race, Culture and Media – Dr Anamik Saha
  • Narrative Expansions: Interpreting Decolonisation in Academic Libraries – Jess Crilly and Regina Everitt (eds.)
  • Taking Up Space: The Black Girl’s Manifesto for Change – Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi

Readers of Colour have also written this blog where they share books by people of colour that they have enjoyed.

Please get in touch if you have any books you would like to see included in the above list.

Articles, Webinars, Learning Resources and More

  • Over 150+ people registered for CILIPS’s recent extended online learning session Decolonizing Library Collections: Past, Present and Future. If you missed it or would like to watch again, the recording and slides are all available here.
  • Visit The Anti-Racist Educator’s Glossary to gain a better understanding of the language surrounding these issues.
  • Histories of Colour by Carissa Chew (illustrated by Annie Adam) is an easy-to-read yet informative website that features articles and podcasts introducing learners to areas of history too-often neglected by traditional narratives. Carissa is also the founder of the Cultural Heritage Terminology Network, a Slack online group open to all cultuLral professionals interested in Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion. The group includes access to an extensive Terminology Guide & Glossary that Carissa has produced as part of her work as the National Library of Scotland’s EDI intern – to join it, please click here.
  • The National Library of Scotland’s Struggles for Liberty learning e-resource opens modern eyes to the fight for freedom and social justice led by African American freedom-fighters in the USA and in Britain and Ireland during the 19th century. Click for informative, well-researched resources, interactive maps and further recommendations.
  • This blog summarises where you can find key resources about Black Lives Matter, from a short history of the movement and media coverage it has received to podcasts and social media accounts to follow in support of BLM.
  • Read the highlights from this interview with Scots Makar Jackie Kay about the racist bullying she experienced growing up in 1970s Scotland, what has changed and what still remains to be addressed to ‘change what we think of when we think of a Scottish person’.
  • ‘Now in [that] system, they had one number—326—that meant slavery, and they had one other number—325, as I recall it—that meant colonization. In many “white libraries”, every book, whether it was a book of poems by James Weldon Johnson, who everyone knew was a black poet, went under 325. And that was stupid to me.’ Howard University librarian Dorothy Parker challenged the racist biases embedded within the Dewey Decimal System – click here to learn more about her incredible life’s work.
  • ‘We find that ‘BAME’ (black, Asian and minority ethnic)/working class audiences are undervalued by publishers, both economically and culturally. This in turn affects the acquisition, promotion, and selling of writers of colour.’ Rethinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing (2021) is a hard-hitting report written by Dr Anamik Saha and Dr Sandra van Lente, Goldsmiths, University of London, that examines the presence (and absence) of writers of colour in publishing, emphasising the need to recognise structural inequalities and ‘understand that modern Britain consists of multiple audiences’.
  • ‘Anti-racist education empowers children and young people to engage in an increasingly diverse and globalised world where people can be united by their common humanity and enhanced by their diversity’. Education Scotland have published an overview of what anti-racism means in education and why it is such an essential component of the learning process – read it online here with a website featuring further guidance and case studies coming soon.
  • ‘Each of us can make a difference, and together accomplish what might seem impossible’ (Wangari Maathi, 1940-2011). Challenging the historic under-representation and under-acknowledgement of black voices in the sustainability movement, the Carbon Literacy Project have shared this concise yet informative blog: highlighting the extraordinary work of climate activists of colour from the 19th century to the present day.
  • Libraries Connected ran a series of webinars in August and September 2020 focusing on how to promote knowledge and education about Britain’s racial history and how to explore our past through local collections and more. View recordings here.
  • Lewis Hou (Fun Palaces Scotland, Science Ceilidh, SLIC) and Mélina (The Anti-Racist Educator) held a live discussion on Support Anti-Racism. This looked at how we can actively acknowledge, educate on, and dismantle racism across education and culture in Scotland. You can find the video on the Culture & Wellbeing Community Network Scotland Facebook page.
  • The University of Southern California’s Master of Social Work programme has developed a really useful Diversity Toolkit that can be used to help facilitate discussions. See The MSW@USC Diversity Toolkit: A Guide to Discussing Identity, Power and Privilege here. Many thanks to Sam Keller for highlighting this resource to us.
  • Find a helpful blog on decolonising library resources here.
  • Follow LIS-DECOLONISE on JISCMail to be part of important conversations around decolonisation and liberation of library collections. Decolonisation of curricula and collections is not about ‘throwing out’ work by white authors but rather thinking critically in relation to what narratives are most common, questioning who has held power and space, and introducing and amplifying work by a diverse collection of writers and researchers to ensure all perspectives are heard.
  • Can data help to drive decolonization? Researchers at Imperial College London have developed a tool to convert reading lists into machine readable code, from which you can rapidly visualise the geographic origin of citations and in so doing work to tackle the ‘preponderance of references to research from the global north’ that has historically characterised most reading lists. Find out more here.
  • ‘Put simply, if most of the resources in the library are based on Western perspectives, the process of decolonization would add more texts with perspectives from countries and cultures around the world to widen our depth of knowledge…’ This video from University of Essex Library introduces and defines the process of decolonizing the library, clarifying what decolonization is and why it matters.

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