I had intended to post sooner this week – it won’t surprise you that I struggled to find words to share. As I pondered, I read through the stream of messages on various SAA listservs and on social media. It’s reassuring to be reminded that archivists are so many things and we accomplish a lot together – we document, inform, assist, encourage in a variety of ways. Just one example, messages about capturing post-election twitter are being shared from the Women Archivists Roundtable (WAR) to other lists – that’s great.
There are also expressions of concern an uncertain time. SAA has a strong, demonstrated, and increasing commitment to diversity and inclusion. We have accumulated resources and groups we can build upon. I revisited the suggestions about things we can do in the Message from Council and I hope it’s okay and helpful to re-post them with modest adjustments.
- We can each continue to work at being a diverse and inclusive community, even when we experience fear and even when it’s difficult.
- We can be active bystanders.
- If you see something, say something. Let someone know.
- Reach out to people who may feel threatened, who may need encouragement, or who may just want to talk, share, and understand.
- Reach out to members to discuss, inform, and/or identify things your group can do. Plan sessions. Collaborate with other groups on shared priorities.
- Refer to SAA’s Core Values and Code of Ethicsand Diversity and Inclusion Statement, which reflect our values and expectations and our Code of Conduct, which guides how we respond to incidents and behaviors that break our norms.
- The core of our mission statement clearly states: “SAA promotes the value and diversity of archives and archivists.”
- We have our revised Diversity and Inclusion Statement.
- We have the Council Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion, and a resource page to help you identify possible groups to contribute to or join (if you haven’t already).
- We can share what we’re doing on diversity and inclusion, including lessons learned.
- Engage other communities, learn from what they are doing, and share what we learn.
And we can do more. The SAA Council will open with a diversity and inclusion session with DeEtta Jones to identify opportunities and strategies for challenges that will lead into a review of our strategic plan that will result in a revised action plan. Updates will be forthcoming and your ideas, suggestions, and other feedback are always welcome.
I had the great pleasure on Wednesday to visit the SAA Archives at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee – you may have seen a brief note from about my visit on Twitter or Facebook. Abigail Nye, SAA’s Archivist, talked about what the SAA Archives team is working on (impressive!) and gave me tour – there will be more updates about the SAA Archives watch this space… Like every archives, ours is full of treasures to be re-remembered. After my visit, Abbi sent me a link to a wonderful reminder of one other thing we do – “All Archivists Stick Together” – it’s awesome, and possibly time for an update?
Please know that you can always reach the current SAA President at: firstname.lastname@example.org – look forward to hearing from you.