Reposted with permission from AALL Spectrum, Volume 25, Number 3 (January/February 2021), pgs. 39-41.
By Cynthia Bassett, Collection Management and Electronic Services Librarian at University of Missouri School of Law and Kara Phillips, Law Library Director at Seattle University School of Law Library
Below are excerpts from the article, including a section highlighting how private law librarians have participated in diversity initiatives.
Talking about racism is tough. Not talking about it is not an option when people are dying. Across our country, people are having difficult conversations about the racism they see in their communities and the effects that systemic racism—racism that is built into the very structures of our society—have on people of color.
The University of Missouri School of Law has been having intentional conversations about the many ways that people in our country are treated as “other” for many years, but the need to talk about it in a new way surfaced after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri, in the fall of 2014. Some of the University of Missouri Law School students called Ferguson home, and his death hit them hard. Others in the school simply could not see why people were protesting and blocking highways, which seemed to be counterproductive to their cause. Tensions rose and the school needed to find a way to talk about and understand how different members of our society experience the world.Continue reading