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June 14, 2020

The National Book Critics Circle owes its members an update on the events of the past week.

In early June, the National Book Critics Circle formed a working committee to draft a statement in support of The Black Lives Matter movement and to identify tangible steps the NBCC could take to support writers and critics of color. Our statement was finalized Wednesday, June 10th and released the next day. Hope Wabuke's work was essential to the creation and writing of both the statement and our plan for future action.

Since then many troubling events, Twitter posts, and a series of resignations have occurred. We have received many messages from current members asking about the available next steps. The NBCC is a 501c3 bound by our bylaws, which are attached here. In response to specific questions about how to remove a sitting Board Member, please consult Article IV, Section 10. You will see that Regular Members are authorized to call a special meeting and an election to remove a Board Member. 

On Wednesday, June 17th, we will have our regularly scheduled board meeting. We will discuss our next steps as an organization and will be putting into action the concrete steps outlined in our Anti-Racism Pledge. Racism has no place in our society and it will have no place in The National Book Critics Circle.  A member update will be sent out after the meeting.

Our membership is the lifeblood of our organization, and we want to hear your voices. We will be hosting a virtual open house with our membership to discuss issues of tolerance and racial justice; the date and time of this open house will be settled at our board meeting on the 17th. Members are also encouraged to suggest any additional steps or resources to the VP of Membership, Richard Z. Santos, at membership@bookcritics.org. We will review your messages as a Board on the 17th. 

From the NBCC Board of Directors

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