I want to ensure that YALSA members and other interested parties are aware of the discussions that have taken place by the YALSA Board and throughout ALA with regard to racial injustice.
YALSA’s mission focuses on ways to alleviate the challenges that teens face. The YALSA Board strongly condemns police brutality and racism in all its forms and stands with the work of organizations throughout the country and world such as Black Lives Matter and the NAACP that spotlight the injustices faced by Black communities. We seek to partner with these groups in ways that are in keeping with our mission. We call on elected officials to provide better funding for community programs and institutions that support Black teens.
The many peaceful youth-led protests for change and justice, in cities throughout the United States, show that teens have agency and can make a difference in their communities. The Board has taken action to embed elements of equity, diversity and inclusion in all of the work that YALSA does. In 2018 YALSA’s EDI Statement was issued and the Board began the implementation of the EDI Plan. School’s Out Washington provided training on structural racism to the Board at ALA Midwinter 2020. We are working on creating and implementing professional development on this and other vital issues for our members. We have not yet done enough, but going forward we will continue to strive to work toward a more equitable association, profession, and library services for young adults.
Affirmed by the YALSA Board, June 8, 2020
Additionally, YALSA Executive Director Tammy Dillard-Steels has included her thoughts in American Libraries‘ “Reflections on Race and Racism”
Finally, YALSA had previously affirmed the BCALA statement which was also affirmed by the ALA Executive Board and many other ALA units that condemns increasing violence towards Black Americans and people of color.
As always, thank you for your work for and with teens,
Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020