From protests to practice: Confronting systemic racism in LIS

Renate L. Chancellor, Paige Deloach, Anthony Dunbar, Shari Lee, Rajesh Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The death of George Floyd, at the hands of the Minnesota police on May 25, 2020, sparked a global uproar that many have argued has not occurred since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. It is unclear why this particular incident elicited such a visceral and widespread response, especially in light of the fact that police brutality towards Blacks in America is not a new phenomenon. This paper examines the national response to Floyd's death within the contexts of CRT, the history of systemic racism in the United States, and questions how race and inequity issues have been addressed in LIS. The authors provide actionable measures that could go a long way in moving the discipline toward a shift in thinking. However, they find that these efforts need to be sustained, because one-shot events, training sessions, or activities rarely result in any real change. Real progress, they conclude, will require more than new laws. It will also require a seismic societal shift in attitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-186
Number of pages14
JournalEducation for Information
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • LIS education
  • Social justice and equity and inclusion and racial justice
  • protests
  • systemic racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences


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