The UNLV Libraries condemn the ongoing acts of violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities across the country. As we mark the one year anniversary of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we stand in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members as well as all individuals of color, gender identities, sexual orientations, and others who contribute to diversification of our community.
In addition, we also affirm the statements of the Asian/Pacific American Library Association and the American Library Association. We believe that all people deserve to feel safe and live without the threat of violence.
We remain committed to stamping out injustice, dismantling systemic racism and prejudice, opposing white supremacy, and creating a library, a campus, a community, and a nation representative of the diverse peoples we serve. Specifically, we are committed to:
- Increasing the representation of underrepresented voices in our region’s historical records through archival and oral history projects. Our recently launched Reflections: The Las Vegas Asian American & Pacific Islander Oral History Project has hired four AAPI UNLV students to collect oral histories from our region’s AAPI residents. This project builds on the success of previous projects, like Documenting the African American Experience in Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project, and Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada.
- Leading discussions on campus and in the community about addressing and dismantling systemic racism through our We Need To Talk series. With our partners at the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, we have produced eight episodes of this series so far addressing various topics related to systemic racism, and are in the early stages of planning another discussion in May in conjunction with Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
- Evaluating and improving hiring practices to reflect the diversity of our community. Several groups are working on recommendations on specific areas to improve and implement more inclusive recruitment and hiring policies suggested by an in-depth study and report from our Inclusion and Equity Committee.
- Supporting People of Color in their career development and advancement, including participation in leadership development programs.
- Encouraging faculty and staff to attend diversity conferences and events, and adopt diversity and inclusion objectives in annual performance goals. We also provide training and spaces for individual growth and understanding regarding systematic racism.
- Curating resources and collections that direct students toward credible information from diverse perspectives. In addition to changing the language we use to describe collections, we are expanding our Indigenous Studies Collection to provide greater representation of contemporary issues addressing American Indians, and working to curate and diversify the collections available through our Music Library.
- Fostering a sense of belonging and inclusivity within our library facilities. We have implemented outreach programs to first-generation and transfer students to connect them to the Libraries’ spaces and resources, and foster a sense of community within the Libraries. Our Flora and Stuart Mason Undergraduate Peer Research Coaches have produced a podcast speaking to their experiences as first-generation students and their efforts to create community at UNLV.
There is still much work to do, but we remain committed. To our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, please know that we see you and want you to feel safe and supported at the UNLV Libraries.