At the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bridgeport Flee Public Library and Reading Room held June 17, 2020 the following Statement denouncing systemic racism was adopted unanimously:
The Bridgeport Free Public Library serves all the people of the City of Bridgeport, the largest municipality in Connecticut with over 145,000 residents where more than 60 languages are spoken. Covering just 16 square miles, Bridgeport is one of the most diverse, densely populated cities in the United States.
The Bridgeport Free Public Library condemns systemic racism directed at Black people and other people of color, and all the murders nationwide, most recently of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and Jayson Negron here in Bridgeport. These murders and countless other acts of violence and discrimination are not isolated cases perpetrated by a few bad actors. Endemic racism continues to be an undeniable part of America, woven tragically into its fabric long before our independence. Despite the pronouncement of self-evident truths “that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, it is self-evident that Black residents and other persons of color remain alienated in our society and are being denied these Rights.
Our Library mission promotes literacy in all its forms — including civic literacy — to connect our diverse communities, enable life-long learning, enrich lives and cultivate curiosity. We challenge ourselves and the entire community to be curious, become informed and protest, as the origin of that word means, to publicly bear witness to injustice in our society. The Bridgeport Free Public Library is a gathering place for the entire community. As such, we pledge to stand with our community in the ongoing struggle to eliminate the racial prejudice and barriers to social equity that have plagued our nation far too long.