Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Expanding Awareness of Systemic Racism

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Expanding Awareness of Systemic Racism

To the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees;

The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area supports and promotes the Fairfax County Public Library’s initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion, social and racial justice, and spotlighting authors from marginalized populations. The library’s resource collection “FCPL Stand on Social and Racial Equity” accelerates and enables a timely discussion on race and social justice in our own community.

To expand awareness of our nation’s history of systemic racism and discrimination, the League will publish the FCPL’s “Battling Systemic Racism” resource list in its October 2020 newsletter, the Fairfax Voter. We encourage other community groups to do the same, and in so doing, applaud the library’s commitment to promoting resources from diverse perspectives and enabling timely discussions on race and social justice.

A library is a reflection of the community it serves. We have an obligation to ensure that all members of the community find themselves there. It is particularly critical for the children’s collection to reflect a comprehensive worldview. Children encounter diversity regularly in their interactions with others at home, in school, and in the community. It is important that they learn about other cultures in a way that teaches them to be respectful of differences and reject stereotypes. It is also crucial that they see themselves mirrored in the library’s collection.

The League views our community’s difficult discourse on racial and social inequities as enlightening, not offensive. These conversations require us to listen to our neighbors and embrace respect for all people everywhere. The League will work in tandem with the Fairfax County Public Library in its efforts to support the principles of One Fairfax and ensure that our county’s residents are informed of racial and social injustices in our midst and take the necessary steps forward on the never-ending arc toward equity.

Respectfully submitted,

Anu Sahai, Co-President

League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area