Halifax Public Libraries received very thoughtful feedback over the past few days on our response to The Radical Imagination Project's proposed film programs and the need for the Library to provide safe spaces in our community where all members, especially those who experience marginalization, can speak freely and openly about the issues that affect them. Where policing is concerned, this is particularly true for members of our Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, and LGBTQ+ communities. We acknowledge these concerns and the statistics related to likelihood of involvement in the justice system, and the power imbalance that many experience.
Our objective in requesting additional voices in the proposed program was to achieve a positive community outcome, but our good intention had an unintended impact on some members of our community. With our end goal of creating meaningful dialogue in mind, Halifax Public Libraries CEO & Chief Librarian reached out to Alex Khasnabish of The Radical Imagination Project. They met and have agreed to move forward with a 2-part collaborative program for the screening of “Profiled” and "Trouble 19: ACAB”. Part 1 will be The Radical Imagination Project’s film screenings in the format proposed by Alex Khasnabish; Part 2 will follow a few days later when Marcus James, Community Outreach Assistant at Halifax North Memorial Public Library, will lead a community conversation about the issues the films raise and how we can all work together to create a community that is safer for everyone.
Providing opportunities to talk about difficult issues in a safe environment is something that both The Radical Imagination Project and Halifax Public Libraries value, and we are pleased to have a resolution that achieves that outcome.
Thank you to those who reached out to share your perspectives. Your input is always welcome