The MIT Libraries and the MIT Press stand with Black Lives Matter and all who protest against systemic and recurring acts of violence against Black people in this country. We aspire to leverage the work, values, and resources of libraries, archives, and university presses as forces for social justice. But aspirations and good intentions have never been enough, and it is past time for us to take concrete actions to dismantle systems of oppression. We recommit to prioritizing and resourcing the work we need to do within the Libraries and the Press and within ourselves to more fully live up to our values. Especially for those of us who are white leaders and colleagues in an organization and a profession that are predominantly white in both demography and culture, we have work to do close to home.
To amplify MIT President L. Rafael Reif’s words from the MIT Community Vigil, “All of us who can count on the advantages of education, money, power and even safety in our homes and neighborhoods—all of us with those advantages benefit, every day, from a society with a racist history and a racist present. And MIT is part of that society. This is our community. We believe it is a wonderful community. But it is our responsibility to make it better.” It is more important than ever that we accelerate our work.