Dear Teaneck Public Library patrons and community members,
Like many of you in our community, I have been horrified by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other African Americans.
As a white male, I understand that I can never truly know what it feels like to be Black in America. But I am deeply upset by the pain, anguish, and hardships I see caused by the ongoing, systemic injustices and oppression experienced by African Americans.
Racism has deep, enduring roots in our country that has caused harm and violence, for which there has been no justice. I stand in solidarity with all who are working toward collective action to end systemic racism and inequity.
I acknowledge previous failings, and assert that we as a library must do better for our community. I am listening, learning, and working to identify how our community’s library can be not just passively not racist, but reoriented to be assertively anti-racist.
As Township Manager Dean Kazinci has said, “there is no place for hate and bigotry in Teaneck”. To help support all residents as we go forward, I am committed to:
- Listening to members of our Black community and all who are working toward ending systemic racism
- Connecting patrons to the library’s anti-racism resources including books, audiobooks, films, and materials for children and young adults that are available in a digital format to all Teaneck residents
- Fostering public dialogue and civic engagement around issues of anti-racism
- Developing a broad collection of materials that represent the rich diversity of our community
- Re-evaluating library policies and procedures that may further increase racial disparity
There is no quick fix for these problems, but I believe that together through dialogue, learning, and growing, we can expand our understanding of systemic racism, and implement lasting change.
Now is not the time to be silent. It is a time for us as a community to stand together against racism and inequity wherever it is found.
Black lives matter.