Letter from Lance: KDL’s response to racial injustice

The race-based murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and all of the other victims, must be acknowledged and renounced. We at Kent District Library (KDL), individually and as a whole, recognize that institutional and systematic racism exist and have held generations of people down and back. Society needs to do better and we need to do better. We can and we will. 

My friend Brian always says that the lowest level of behavior we accept is the highest level of behavior that we can expect or require of ourselves and of others. I don't accept what is going on; neither should you. It's not OK. I don't accept race-based brutality by police officers or anyone, nor do I accept racism. I accept the anger around these injustices. So if I don't accept racism, what can I do? What can you do? Well, a lot actually. We can make every effort to work from a place of kindness, empathy and love.

We at KDL can work with all of our underrepresented communities to ensure they have access to the resources they need to thrive and be successful. KDL can be an invaluable partner in transforming ourcommunities and providing hope. The riots are a result of anger driven by fear and desperation. KDL is perfectly positioned to help people cope with their fear and meet their desperation by providing opportunities, knowledge and resources for their learning journeys. We have created several booklists about racism in America. There is no doubt in my mind that our direction with respect to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is needed -- and overdue. We can and will be better.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion are prominently featured in our 2021-2023 strategic planning endeavors. Our plan continues to progress even though we have been forced to meet remotely. We have so appreciated all of the input from stakeholders and are excited about the future.

Even though things currently seem grim, the future is bright. The future is bright because we are committed to making it bright. Anything less fails to meet our expectations. 

Lance Werner
KDL's Executive Director