Message from the 2020 ALAN President:
To the Black members of our ALAN community—I see you, I care for you, and I stand beside you in this ongoing fight against racism and police brutality. I condemn the recent and long-standing acts of violence against our Black community. These include the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, David McAtee, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor. I stand with you and beside you in support of fighting these injustices.
ALAN members, we have a responsibility as a community to stand together, speak out, and act against the violence, brutality, and racism (implicit and explicit) against Black Americans. These are not isolated incidents. They are occurring again and again and AGAIN. How can I, how can WE, the ALAN community, work to be better allies and co-conspirators and do our own individual and collective anti-racist work?
We, as an ALAN organization, must commit ourselves to anti-racist action to support the Black community and the young people in our care. My mother’s question which keeps returning to me: how can I be a better relative? The answer can only be that we must move as a collective force as an organization to condemn these acts of racism—to condemn the acts of violence—and to work tirelessly in this fight.
Immediately: ALAN has donated to the Black Visions Collective, an intersectional, Black, Trans, and Queer-led group committed to healing justice and transformative justice. This organization is on the ground and doing the work. It is just one of many organizations that we, as ALAN members, can support. If you are able, please donate—and also join, participate, and support an organization doing anti-racist work. You might donate locally to your community bail bond organization to support protestors, or you might, for instance, focus specifically on Black-led organizations in Minneapolis. The Du Nord Riot Recovery Fund is a distillery that has stopped production to distribute PPE to protestors, first responders, media, national guard and anyone in need. The Pimento Relief Fund is supporting Black businesses without insurance relief which White supremacists have set on fire. The Black Immigrant Collective is offering mutual aid support, deportation and detention support, and resources to Black Immigrants because of recent ICE presence in Minneapolis. Below, I also list several resources for education, some of which accept donations, as well. Both of these lists are limited. I invite ALAN members to share more resources in the comments section.
Effective for the 2020 ALAN Workshop and each year thereafter, ALAN will sponsor an annual breakout session dedicated to implementing anti-racist work in schools, libraries, and/or universities. The intent of the session is to continue the conversation and provide actionable items and recommendations for attendees to implement in their different contexts. The speaker(s) will be awarded a $500 honorarium as a way to recognize their labor, care, and commitment. Applications for the inaugural session at the 2020 workshop are forthcoming.
Other initiatives this year:
- Nominations remain open for the 2020 Bill Konigsberg Award, which recognizes a teacher, librarian, author, publisher, or anyone who actively promotes equity and inclusion through the creation, promotion, and/or championing of young adult literature. Please considering nominating a worthy individual for this award. The deadline for submissions is June 30. Please nominate a worthy individual here: http://tiny.cc/bgu7pz.
- Our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee has provided an abundance of support and recommendations for advancing the work of ALAN, organization-wide. ALAN Leadership works to implement these recommendations yearly, and we value the important work of this committee.
- Our new Recruitment Committee (which stemmed from recommendations from the EDI committee) is dedicated to recruiting local teachers each year to the ALAN with a specific focus on supporting Indigenous teachers and teachers of color.
- All 22 ALAN committees have been charged to carefully consider issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in their work. This includes the selection of committee members, action items, and selection of awardees and grantees.
Resources for Education:
- The Anti-Defamation League
- Black Lives Matter
- Black Lives Matter at School
- Scholars for Black Lives Collective
- Teaching Tolerance
- Teaching While White Podcast
In the comments section on this Facebook post, I invite members to participate in the conversation, to share and discuss ways in which we can and will work actively in anti-racist ways, and to share resources with each other. We must take action—we have real work to do.
I look forward to hearing from you.
2020 ALAN President