Books on combatting systemic racism

After requesting recommendations from staff, physicians and learners and conducting their own extensive research, our Library team is introducing 30 new books to Unity Health Toronto’s library system. All books will be focused on the topics of dismantling systemic racism and white supremacy, systems of oppression and discrimination and anti-BIPOC racism.

This new resource will be named the Anti-BIPOC Racism Collection. The scope and inclusion criteria that largely determined which books were selected include titles relating to health professions, a focus and relevance to Canada and a publish date within the last ten years. There will be three copies of each book at Unity Health; one available at each site’s library.

“This year, we saw a demonstrated need for greater understanding and social change with regards to anti-racism,” said Zack Osborne, Manager of Health Information and Knowledge Mobilization at Unity Health Toronto. “As an organization and as individuals, we felt a responsibility to make changes where we can and to facilitate access to learning related to anti-racism, equity and social accountability.”

This collection, which is expected to arrive later this month, will be constantly evaluated and evolving to reflect recommended books, the addition of books that are constantly signed out and new books that should be added.

Examples of some of the new books that will be arriving are: “Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor” by Layla F. Saad; “Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth” by Dána-Ain Davis; and “Strong Helpers’ Teachings: The Value of Indigenous Knowledges in the Helping Professions” by Cyndy Baskin. The full list of new books arriving in October can be found in this the Library Services blog post.

“We felt that adding the Anti-BIPOC Racism Collection to our library will help amplify BIPOC narratives and experiences, promote self-directed learning and dialogue, and impact changes in non-BIPOC individuals to confront white supremacy and help become anti-racist,” said Osborne.

The Library team at Unity Health that created this collection is composed of Osborne and his colleagues Karen Devotta, Library Technician; Teruko Kishibe, Information Specialist/Archivist and David Lightfoot, Information Specialist.

The article by Selma Al-Samarrai, Communications and Public Affairs, Unity Health Toronto

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