The Board of the Greater Philadelphia Law Library Association wishes to express its support of the Black Lives Matter movement against oppression and state-sanctioned brutality. As legal information professionals, we must acknowledge that racism has deeply influenced the U.S. legal system from colonial times through the present day. We believe that the U.S. Constitution is not serving its purpose to ensure due process and equal protection. From slavery through Jim Crow, the MOVE bombing, and the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, the law has often been used as an instrument of oppression to deny the value of Black Lives while exploiting the value of Black labor.
It is up to all of us to renounce this history and set a just path for the future. We call upon all of our members to take action however they can, personally and professionally, against racism, state violence, and white supremacy in all its myriad forms. We particularly encourage our members to examine and confront the ways in which exclusion and conscious or unconscious bias has shaped our own libraries and workplaces.
GPLLA exists to promote librarianship and foster a spirit of cooperation in the profession. As a chapter of AALL, our ethical principles call for us to oppose discrimination and value diversity. The Board will be considering ways in which GPLLA can help to foster a racially inclusive vision of law librarianship, and we invite all of our members, especially those from marginalized communities, to offer suggestions about how GPLLA can play a productive role. We are here to listen.