Social Justice Statement


Search form

The HPL Board of Trustees, the Library Director, and Library employees are committed to structural change by taking additional actions to end systemic racism and injustice. We will continue to advocate for and implement policies, programs, and practices that promote racial and social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion, and recognize intersectionality. There is no room for racism or prejudice in our Library community. Supporting this commitment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Engaging in discussions and education about systemic racism through in-house activities and professional development.
  • Examining the presence of biased language used in catalogue labelling and oral/written communication.
  • Amplifying and engaging the voices of BIPOC staff and community members.
  • Promoting programs and collections that recognize the historic and literary contributions of BIPOC in Harvard/Worcester County.
  • Identifying any existence of potential barriers to access of the Library and materials (economic, digital, physical).
  • Exploring means to diversify volunteers and candidates for office of trustee.
  • Examining recruiting and hiring practices.
Terms and Definitions
  • Bias: A preference either for or against an individual or group that affects fair judgment. (AntiDefamation League)
  • BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, People of Color; the term “highlights the unique relationship to whiteness that Indigenous and Black (African Americans) people have, which shapes the experiences of and relationship to white supremacy for all people of color within a U.S. context." (BIPOC Project)
  • Intersectionality: the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as (ability) race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage (or privilege). (Oxford Dictionary)
  • Racism: The marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people. (AntiDefamation League)
  • White Supremacy: White supremacy is "the belief system that rationalizes and reproduces white advantage in the political, social, and cultural institutions of society. This belief system holds that white people, white culture, and things associated with whiteness are superior to those of other racial groups." (Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, page 138)

Adopted November 2020