photo courtesy of The Free Library of Philadelphia
Updated July 27, 2020:
Julie Be of Of Ants On a Log shared this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) director Siobhan Reardon resigned amid complaints of workplace racial discrimination. Hopefully, this marks a new beginning for the Concerned Black Workers of FLP. Our work does not end here, see the original blog post below for ways that you can still help by reaching out to the library's administration and Philadelphia's elected officials. Thank you for all of your hard work Julie!
Original Blog Date: July 22, 2020
On behalf of the Uncle Devin Show and Ants on a Log, along with other children’s artists and performers, we stand in solidarity with the Concerned Black Workers at the Free Library of Philadelphia (CBWFLP). We recognize that we cannot provide music, art, and community from within a system that does not value the lives of Black workers and communities of color.
We are calling on our communities and Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) staff to stand up and force the library to listen to these demands. We will not let an unjust institution educate our children.
Our first step was to cancel our July 15, 2020 show. We sincerely thank the library staff for being supportive of our decision and their willingness to publicly state the reason for our cancellation. We look forward to the day when we can play at the FLP in an inclusive environment for the staff and their patrons.
We will continue to use our platform on our weekly radio show, Uncle Devin's WEE Nation Radio on WPFW 89.3FM on Wednesdays, 7-8 pm to amplify their cause.
Next, we need your help in supporting the CBWFLP in a sustained effort by reaching out to their administration and city council members via their emails and public platforms.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
· PARENTS/CAREGIVERS/COMMUNITY: contact City Council and the Library Board (It’s easy! All info here, takes 5 min.)
· ARTISTS: consider canceling your scheduled shows until the CBW’s demands are met, or if you are unable to cancel, include content that will point audiences to a specific action.
· LIBRARY EMPLOYEES: please amplify this post, send to your bosses, library admin, colleagues. Let your patrons know why events are being canceled, and tell them how they can take action (here).
· EVERYONE: read this article from the Philadephia Inquirer, and amplify CBW’s instagram @changetheflp