TLA Statement on Events in Tennessee and Virginia, August 2017
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Library Association (TLA) respects the First Amendment rights of citizens to freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assemble. We are grateful that the recent demonstration in Knoxville was nonviolent after news of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia in the past weeks. These events caused us to reflect upon on our values regarding the diversity and inclusion of all people in our membership and more broadly in the communities in which our members serve. Our organization proudly supports the American Library Association’s (ALA) position on the recent tragic violence in Charlottesville and joins them in affirmation of the statement issued by ALA President Jim Neal. ALA released the following statement:
“The ALA expresses our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those lost and injured during this weekend’s protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. We will not forget their efforts to enlighten and safeguard their communities from bigotry while opposing racist, anti-immigrant, anti-GLBTQ, and anti-Semitic violence. We stand in solidarity with the people of Virginia as well as anyone who protests hate and fights for equity, diversity and inclusion.”
“The vile and racist actions and messages of the white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in Charlottesville are in stark opposition to the ALA’s core values. No matter the venue or the circumstance, we condemn any form of intimidation or discrimination based on culture, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Our differences should be celebrated, and mutual respect and understanding should serve as the norms within our society.
“The ALA supports voices of hope as such actions mirror the library community’s efforts to abolish bigotry and cultural invisibility. As we recently stated, ‘we must continue to support the creation of a more equitable, diverse and inclusive society,’ and we will do this through the work of our members and through resources such as Libraries Respond.”
–The TLA 2017 Executive Board
About the Tennessee Library Association
The mission of the Tennessee Library Association (TLA) is to promote the establishment, maintenance and support of quality library services for all people of the state; to cooperate with public and private agencies with related interests; and to support and further professional interests of the membership of the Association.