CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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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. We recognise the need to educate ourselves as well as to raise greater awareness in our networks and communities. In order to do this, we have gathered some links and resources from Scotland and beyond together on this page. This is not an exhaustive list and we want to learn from others and update this as needed as we realise this requires ongoing action. If you would like us to add anything please email admin@cilips.org.uk.

Organisations

The below organisations are working to fight racism, to challenge racist structures, and to support BAME communities. Most of the websites provide useful information and educational resources which you can read to better your understanding of racial injustice, racism, white privilege, and how to be an effective ally. You can support these organisations in numerous ways including donating money or resources, volunteering, or even just learning more about their work and talking about this with others.

Scottish organisations:

  • 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.

UK organisations:

  • 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.

International organisations:

Reading

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.

Books we have read that have helped us understand these issues better:

  • 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
  • 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

Books we have seen widely recommended by others:

  • 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.)

In addition to reading books that tackle these issues, it is also important to support BAME writers. You can do this by simply diversifying your own reading and ensuring that you are reading books from a wide variety of authors. Readers of Colour have written this blog where they share books by people of colour which they have enjoyed.

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

Other useful links

You can find a comprehensive list of anti-racism resources here and a list of useful resources for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement here.

If you are a white person, read about how you can be a stronger ally here.

Join the CILIP BAME Network to support and connect with BAME library and information professionals here. If you are a non-BAME professional, you can support the BAME Network by registering your interest in becoming a member of the Allies Forum.

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 cultural 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.

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.

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.

Read a helpful blog on decolonising library resources here.

This resource created by The Family Institute at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois shares advice for coping with trauma and re-traumization that come from having to encounter racist cultural content (the blog focuses specifically on film and entertainment), especially if a person has already experienced the trauma of racism. It also highlights the damage that racist content (created or shared) can cause, and the importance of not dismissing or minimizing its impact on people.

For evidence-based discussion of how racism creates and exacerbates health inequalities, as well as the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities, see this summary of work undertaken by The King’s Fund (for an introduction to the US context, we appreciated being sent this article on racial disparities that persist in US health treatment).

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.

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.

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