RDAP Antiracism Statement
This year has presented the world, and the United States in particular, with constant reminders of the systemic racism built into our society. This includes the heightened xenophobia and racism that the Asian community has experienced in relation to COVID-19, to police violence against Black and African Americans, and health disparities with COVID-19 that include Latinx and First Nations Communities. While those of us who are not part of these groups will never understand the impact that this situation has on you, these events are causing us to think more about how we support Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in and through the RDAP Association. As a new professional organization, we have a long way to go in this area. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a pillar of our Strategic Plan for the next 5 years.
The RDAP Executive Board would like to offer our members resources they can use to educate themselves about and take action against racism in the United States in general. However, we also must consider the impact of systematic racism in our work. A few examples are listed below:
- “Big Data” is frequently used to harm BIPOC in the form of racial profiling.
- Researchers are developing anti-racism methods to use in big data research.
- The justice system, financial institutions and insurance companies are using algorithms to make decisions about people’s lives that reflect the bias that we see in society. Books to read on this topic include Weapons of Math Destruction and Algorithms of Oppression.
- Data invisibility of First Nations students in higher education ignores their experiences when setting educational policies.
- As discussed in the RDAP 2020 keynote, the long history of libraries and archives taking data and information from underrepresented groups as part of larger colonial practices.
RDAP is taking action by donating $250 to Data 4 Black Lives, an organization that does advocacy in these areas. We are also undergoing a website redesign and would welcome community input on diversity and antiracism resources that we can include. Please use our Contact Us form to suggest resources for our new website or any other ideas about this topic you would like to share.
The RDAP Board,
- Tobin Magle (President)
- Jennifer Darragh (Vice President)
- Joanna Thielen (Secretary)
- Chris Eaker (Treasurer)
- Erica Johns (Past President)