HIrsh Health Sciences Library workmark

In late June, the Tufts Libraries Council (TLC) published a Statement of Solidarity and Commitment in support of community protests against police brutality and systemic racism. TLC pledged to discuss and commit to a set of actions demonstrating Tufts Libraries’ commitment to antiracist values. In late October, TLC published a follow-up statement to share actions that have been taken across all the Tufts Libraries to reframe elements of our everyday work with an anti-racist lens and contribute to building an anti-racist community.

We wanted to highlight some of the Hirsh-specific actions here:

  • We have created an Anti-Racism Resource Guide which includes:
    • Information about the BLM movement
    • Resources documenting and addressing racial discrimination in health/medical professions
    • Mental health and community resources for those who identify as BIPOC
    • Educational material for co-conspirators
  • Library staff have formed an Anti-Racism reading group, which held their first discussion in October. We asked them to share a summary of their first session:

In response to suggestions from the Anti-Racism Resources Guide Tea in the summer, Hirsh Library hosted its first ever Anti-Racism Reading Group discussion in October. The goal of this first session was to foster an interdisciplinary space for people across the Tufts community to acknowledge the problem and understand the impact of anti-Black racism in the health sciences. The readings were selected by Hirsh librarians in the fields of biomedical science, dentistry, library science, medicine, nutrition, and public health. If you missed the discussion but want to take a glance at the readings, the reading list is still posted online. The discussion was rooted in the following questions:

  • What was the most impactful thing that you learned from the reading and why was it impactful to you?
  • Based on your reflections, what are ways in which you as an individual or your profession as a whole can work to address some of the impacts of anti-Black racism in your field?

The 35 registrants for the event included students, staff, and faculty in public health, dentistry, librarianship, nutrition and medicine. The greatest share of attendees were affiliated with the dental school, with the second-largest from Tufts Medical Center.

We were so excited to see people from many different disciplines and positions across Tufts come together to form this space. We hope to hold another reading group discussion sometime in the Spring 2021 semester so keep your eyes peeled for more announcements in the future!


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