UHM LIS Program Statement in Response to Recent Global Protests

June 4, 2020

Aloha UHM LIS ‘Ohana,

The current events pertaining to the senseless and racist killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery (among others) alongside revelations about the unequal impact of COVID-19 on Black, Indigenous, Asian, and Latinx communities has exposed two pandemics, both undergirded by systematic and structural racism not just within American society, but worldwide. These recent events undoubtedly have us all feeling anxiety, dismay, frustration, and rage. They have also given us countless examples of people coming together to work for needed change.

We in the UHM LIS Program believe that libraries and archives help create a better and more equitable world. With that in mind, it is critical for us to affirm our similarities and embrace our differences and to continue to support an ethic that centers anti-racism and freedom from oppression within a framework of empathy and care. We, the faculty and staff of the LIS Program, stand by our practice of fostering an inclusive environment that encourages a plurality of perspectives and recognizes a plurality of experiences. That said, we’d like to remind you of the following statement from our Program website:

  • We understand that we all have lives and commitments beyond the LIS Program.  We prioritize mutual flexibility and understanding when situations arise that impact course content, assignments and modes of delivery.  Whatever happens, we communicate, and work together to find a way.
  • We encourage students, staff and faculty to put work on pause when needed to prioritize our families, our communities and ourselves, as long as we communicate those boundaries to other people, so we can all work together effectively.

As the summer session progresses, we must continue demonstrating our sensitivity, understanding, and compassion towards one another, giving gentle consideration to students and instructors alike who may be deeply impacted in various ways by violence, racism, and COVID-19. Let’s all be mindful to give people the time and space they need; educating yourself about why they need that consideration. This level of patience is a vital part of being a compassionate, reflective professional. Creating and participating in environments built on mutual support and understanding is also something that you will find valuable throughout your career as an informational professional.

We appreciate your understanding, empathy, and spirit of collaboration as part of the UHM LIS community. Feel free to contact any of us if we can be of help.

UHM LIS Program Faculty and Staff

Resources for your reference: