Letter to Our Community


Letter to Our Community


Letter written by Alice Knapp, The Ferguson Library's President, and Dudley Williams, in response to the murder of George Floyd and other racially-related murders about how the Library is supporting principles of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.


Knapp, Alice
Williams, Dudley N., Jr


The Ferguson Library




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Stamford (Conn.)
21st century


A message from Ferguson Library Board Chair Dudley Williams and Library President Alice Knapp
Since the unconscionable deaths of George Floyd and many others like him in the recent past, we have once again been reminded how the words of our Constitution stand in sharp contrast to the reality of day-to-day life for people of color. It comes at a time we all particularly feel vulnerable due to COVID-19.
We are fortunate to live in a community where our elected officials and leaders of non-profit organizations have spoken out against these injustices.
We, at The Ferguson Library, also find what is occurring to be reprehensible. We believe it is important to understand our nation’s history to understand why we are here. This situation stems from the historical reality going back 400 years. From slavery, to Jim Crow laws, to housing policies, to the location of public libraries within our communities, we understand that George Floyd’s death is not an isolated incident related to one bad police officer, but rather a systemic problem that must be addressed and corrected.
Thanks to cell phones, we can now witness what before went unseen. As we watch the number of instances of blatant racism, violence and murder on our nightly news and social media, we cannot sit idly by and write each instance off as the work of one bad actor. As a response, in 2017, The Ferguson Library with DOMUS and other community organizations, hosted a series of conversations called Facing Racism. It was a small but important step. As we offered these conversations to the public, we also saw the need to turn inward and look to each other to bring about change.
Over the last year, Ferguson Library staff formed an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council to look at our own policies, procedures, and collections to ensure that we better serve all in our community. During this journey, we have found very useful resources that helped us understand implicit bias and systemic racism. Based on this research, and with the assistance of organizations such as Everyday Democracy, we have put together this resource guide.
As we move forward together as a community in these trying times, please know that The Ferguson Library is a resource for you to learn more about our history and work towards a future free of bias and hatred that more closely resembles the words in our Constitution, “to form a more perfect union.”
Dudley N. Williams, Jr.,
Chair, Ferguson Library Board of Trustees
Alice Knapp
President, The Ferguson Library

Original Format

Digital webpage


Knapp, Alice and Williams, Dudley N., Jr, “Letter to Our Community,” Ferguson Digital Archives, accessed June 28, 2022, https://www.fergusonlibraryarchive.org/document/FL_fergusonlibrary_002.


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