Libraries Working Towards Social Justice

Social Justice Series

Over the course of the coming year, the Burlington Public Library will explore current social justice issues, including systemic racism, voter suppression and the criminal justice system. 

The Library is partnering with Burlington High School to make these programs available to both the students of Burlington and the Burlington community.   We are also collaborating with and sharing resources with seven other Merrimack Valley Libraries to make larger, quarterly programs possible.   Our collaborative series, "Libraries Working Towards Social Justice," is offered in partnership with Haverhill Public Library, Lawrence Public Library, Memorial Hall Library, Nevins Memorial Library, Stevens Memorial Library, Tewksbury Public Library and Wilmington Memorial Library.

Exploring Systemic Racism – A panel discussion
If you missed this live discussion, you can watch the recording HERE

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Dr. Brandon Crowley, Mr. Devon Crawford, and Rev. Alicia Johnson will hold a panel discussion on systemic racism.  Systemic racism is embedded as normal practice in nearly every aspect of American life.  It refers to the systems in place that maintain racial inequities by creating disparities in the criminal justice system, employment, housing, health care, politics, and education.  Systemic racism is particularly insidious because we may not even recognize that it exists.  Join us to learn how to recognize and how to combat systemic racism.

Dr. Brandon Thomas Crowley PhD is a scholar in ecclesiology and theology. He serves as the Senior Pastor of The Historic Myrtle Baptist Church of West Newton, MA and as an adjunct instructor of Theological Meaning Making for Harvard Divinity School.

Mr. Devon Jerome Crawford is the Director of the William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Devon brings academic and organizing rigor to a career focused on catalyzing systemic social change. A licensed minister and non-violent activist, Crawford provided public leadership in the cases of Troy Davis, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown.

The Reverend Alicia Marie Johnson serves as the Assistant Pastor of the Historic Myrtle Baptist Church of West Newton.  She is committed to finding sustainable, creative, and meaningful ways to build strong and healthy individuals and communities. In addition to her ministry work, she works in the field of educational neuroscience, serving as the Assistant Director of the MIT/Wellesley Upward Bound Program.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Burlington Public Library

I'm a Good Person! Isn't That Enough? with Debby Irving -  Virtual Zoom Event
Tuesday September 29 at 7pm
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This virtual event will be held using Zoom Webinar. Registration is required.  Register using this link

Racial justice educator and writer, Debby Irving, examines how she used her white-skewed belief system to interpret the world around her.  Debby explores how she spent decades silently reaffirming harmful racial patterns instead of questioning the racial disparities and tensions she could see and feel.  Her presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with an invited panel. Panelists include Bria Gadsen, Elizabeth Walther-Grant, and Mayara Reis of Merrimack Valley Black & Brown Voices, and Amaryllis Lopez from Elevated Thought.

Debby Irving was raised in Winchester, Massachusetts during the socially turbulent 1960's and '70s.  She is the author of Waking Up White.

This program is part of a series, Libraries Working Towards Social Justice, offered in collaboration with Courageous Conversations and eight Merrimack Valley libraries - Burlington Public Library, Haverhill Public Library, Lawrence Public Library, Memorial Hall Library, Nevins Memorial Library, Stevens Memorial Library, Tewksbury Public Library & Wilmington Memorial Library.

Voter Suppression with Dave Daley - Virtual Zoom Event

Thursday, October 22 at 7pm
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Registration is required for this Zoom event.  Register using this link  
This program will be Live Streamed to Facebook.

Voter suppression did not end with Jim Crow.  New barriers to the ballot box have been erected and these new barriers disproportionately affect racial minorities.  Dave Daley, of FairVote and author of Unrigged, will speak about the tactics used to limit the ability of voters to exercise their right to vote.