Anti-Racism and Race Equality

Wales is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural nation, where people from many different backgrounds have lived alongside each other for generations. From the earliest inhabitation to the globalism of the 21st century, people have travelled across land and sea to make a home for themselves, their families and their descendants in what is now called Wales. Together, our diverse stories and experiences as individuals and communities have shaped the identity of Wales through the centuries, and will continue to do so into the future.

For too long, however, the lived experiences of Black, Asian, Mixed-Race and Minority Ethnic people have been underrepresented in the heritage and culture of Wales. As a national institution established at the beginning of the twentieth century, The National Library of Wales – our outlook, attitudes and practices as well as our collections - has been shaped by the story of modern Wales and its role in the world. Colonialism placed Wales at the centre of systems that created the structural racism and inequality that still exist in our society today.

We are committed to changing our way of working so that these biases and behaviours are unlearned, we face up to the decisions and actions of the past, and become an actively anti-racist organisation. We are committed to becoming a National Library that embraces and celebrates the diversity of Wales and is truly representative in terms of our staff, our collections and the individuals and communities we serve.

What are we doing?

  • We have signed the Zero Racism Wales pledge which promotes zero tolerance to racism throughout the organisation.
  • We contributed to the development of Welsh Government’s Race Equality Action Plan – An Anti-Racist Wales - and are committed to supporting its delivery.
  • We are working across the organisation to deliver change in the following areas:
  1. Governance and Accountability: Establishing and publicising our commitment to racial equality, ensuring accountability and transparency with regard to our action.
  2. Staff Training and Development: Increasing staff awareness and training in order to implement and embed change across the organisation.
  3. Recruitment and Representation: Establishing greater ethnic diversity among both the workforce and leadership teams, and greater representation in planning, designing, curating and decision-making roles.
  4. Community and Cross-organisational Collaboration: Strengthening cross-organisational collaboration, identifying and implementing ways of working that will strengthen our relationship with diverse ethnic communities.
  5. Collection Development and Description: Making our collection, description and interpretation more representative and inclusive.
  6. Review and Redesign the Narrative: Fully recognising, promoting and delivering a balanced and authentic account of the past – one that recognises both historical injustices and the positive impact of Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
  7. Recognise and Celebrate our Society’s Cultural Diversity: Delivering learning, educational and marketing materials that recognise and celebrate the rich and diverse cultural mix of our society, encourage widespread physical and intellectual engagement and promote anti-racist practice and principles.

To achieve this change, it is essential that we work with diverse communities and organisations in Wales in the planning, design and delivery of our activities, and we continue to develop these connections and establish channels to support this collaboration.

If you would like to receive more information on what we are doing, share your comments and suggestions, or work with us to fulfil our commitments, please contact us through our Enquiries Service.