“The Power of Diverse Voices: In Their Words”

New Signs Added to Anti-Racism Display

by Tom Holehan
Public Relations & Programming at the Stratford Library

The Stratford Library, 2203 Main Street in Stratford has extended the viewing period of its lawn sign exhibit Entitled “The Power of Diverse Voices: In Their Words“, which debuted last November, through February 2021.

The exhibit is a project of the Library Board’s newly formed Anti-Racism committee and features select quotations from people of color on over 50 lawn signs gracing the Library’s Main Street and rear entrances.  The words of Martin Luther King, Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Harriet Tubman, Caesar Chavez and many others have now been joined by 30 more signs that include quotes by Frederick Douglass, Beyonce, Michael Jordan, James Baldwin, Kamala Harris, Stevie Wonder and Alice Walker.

The project is the first of several programs dealing with racism and implicit bias planned by the Library in conjunction with CARE (Citizens Addressing Racial Equity), Sterling House Community Center, the Town of Stratford and the Arts Alliance of Stratford.  There is also a lobby display providing brief biographies about all the authors. Those seeking further information can also visit the Library’s website at: http://stratfordlibrary.org/anti-racism-reading-list-resources/.

In conjunction with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the Stratford Library Teen Department is inviting friends and families to come to the lawn exhibit and take a selfie next to their favorite sign. The ASALH theme for “Black History Month” is The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity which runs February 1 thru March 1. Photos should be submitted to the Teen Department (tneville@stratfordlibrary.org) which is creating a collage of faces to augment the exhibit.

Stratford Library Board Anti-Racism Statement

Stratford is a town with a growing minority population. We unequivocally condemn all forms of violence against Black, Latinos, Indigenous, and all people of color. The library believes it is important to come forward and publicly state that we believe Black lives matter. Libraries are often considered neutral spaces but the Stratford Library is far from neutral on the issue of racism. We can proudly say that the mission of the library “…to empower and enrich our diverse community by providing access to innovative services, information, and ideas” is one that seeks to directly combat divisiveness, ignorance, hate, and racism in our community.

Adopted by the Stratford Library Board, September 17, 2020

For further information, call: 203.385.4162.

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