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A Proposal for Lasting Solidarity – A Company Message from your Publisher

We wish to share the following message that we sent to our immediate community of authors, contributors, and readers. It is the result of introspective and open conversations at the press on how to join our broader academic community and publishing peers in engaging in considered work that fosters lasting solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. As a close-knit and mission-driven firm, we are committed to combating systemic racism through enduring initiatives that purposefully evolve in order to achieve sustained and topically informed direct action.


Dear colleague,

Within and outside the publishing industry, it is clear that the multiplicity of responses to protests against police brutality and longstanding racial and economic inequity have truly unmasked the need for action, without which we might all remain complicit in ongoing cycles of systemic racism. 

As your publisher, our own commitment has always been to understand the human condition through scholarly works that promote the fundamental values of equality and social justice. However, as part of the publishing industry we have fallen short when it comes to actively engaging with the voices of our BIPOC colleagues and those injustices that the Black Lives Matter Movement has exposed for some time, including these recent weeks of direct action in the US and wider world.

We have therefore been carefully considering what form a call to action might take as individuals and collectively as a press. With this in mind, we at Berghahn Books have devised an array of initiatives to help our transatlantic team engage with and uphold the ideals of diversity and tolerance on an ongoing basis: 

-Supporting our staff who wish to take time out of their day to attend or aid in protest activities or other forms of community engagement. 

-Encouraging our staff to take part in local and national elections. 

-Creating spaces of learning as alternatives to diversity training initiatives that have historically been ineffectual in improving the landscape of BIPOC representation in the publishing industry. For example, we are organizing and encouraging an internal anti-racist reading group as a resource for discussion and learning.   

-Making our infrastructure available to staff to aid in community-oriented projects that they wish to support. For example, using our resources to aid in the creation of zines or graphics for community outreach.  

-Partnering with vendors and suppliers who support our values and the movement’s need for sustained community engagement. 

-Recognizing the movement’s many moving parts, Berghahn Books will also be matching individual staff donations to a variety of groups supporting protesters and their communities, including community centers, bail funds, legal services, and mutual aid networks. A few local and national groups recommended by staff are listed below:  

Mutual Aid NYC  

Bed Stuy Strong 

Emergency Release Fund NYC

The Audre Lorde Project

ACLU

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter UK

National Bail Fund Network

Through ever-evolving initiatives and in support of the actions taken by other presses, we hope to foster genuine and lasting solidarity by contributing concretely to the changes that are needed not only in the publishing industry, but across society.

In unity, 

Berghahn Books