Today the SCAA Board unanimously approved the following statement:
SCAA Statement on Racism and Recent Events
First and foremost, the South Carolina Archival Association affirms that Black Lives Matter.
We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the countless other Black lives lost at the hands of white supremacy and police brutality. We condemn systemic racism that permeates through our society, police violence and abuse of power against protestors and historically against Black lives, and we stand with those demanding an end to systemic racism in South Carolina, the United States, and the world.
With the arrival of enslaved Africans in 1671, white supremacy and violence against people of color became foundations of our state’s history. South Carolina’s secession, the lynching of Willie Earle, the Orangeburg Massacre, the murder of Walter Scott, and the present-day mass incarceration of people of color, among countless other injustices, demonstrate South Carolina’s role in systemic racism.
We, the South Carolina Archival Association, will actively work against white supremacy in the archives, the archival profession, and our communities. Archives and archivists have not ever been neutral. For too long, archivists have been complicit in silencing Black voices in both the historical record and the archival profession. We urge white archivists to acknowledge their privilege, to commit themselves to anti-racist practice, and to create systemic change within the profession as a whole. We must amplify Black voices, in the historical record, in the profession, and in our communities.
If we are to dismantle white supremacy in the archives, we must work towards anti-racism in all aspects of our work, including collecting, appraisal, description, access, education, and outreach. The SCAA commits to making this work a permanent, central focus of our organization moving forward. In early July, the Executive Board will meet to discuss short-term and long-term actions the organization can take to dismantle white supremacy through a commitment to anti-racist work. We welcome and encourage member input as we take these important steps. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact SCAA President Jim Cross at email@example.com.
For further resources please consult the following:
Academy of Certified Archivists Statement and Resources for Archivists: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R7LyR0tY5SqTkNuQpGMFfhgDvG0jDirrnm2ImiedbMw/edit
Texas Digital Library Anti-Racism Resources: https://texasdigitallibrary.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/COLLAB/pages/1390575620/Texas+Digital+Library+Anti-Racism+Resources
Archivists Against History Repeating Itself: https://www.archivistsagainst.org/
Jarrett M. Drake, “I’m Leaving the Archivist Profession, It’s Better This Way,” On Archivy, 2017: https://medium.com/on-archivy/im-leaving-the-archival-profession-it-s-better-this-way-ed631c6d72fe
Ashley Farmer, Archiving While Black, Black Perspectives, 2018: https://www.aaihs.org/archiving-while-black/
The Inclusive Historian’s Handbook published by the National Council on Public History and the American Association for State and Local History: https://inclusivehistorian.com/
Michelle Caswell, “Teaching to Dismantle White Supremacy in Archives,” The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy 87, no. 3, July 2017: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/692299?journalCode=lq
Documenting the Now: https://www.docnow.io/
The Blackivists’ Five Tips for Organizers, Protestors, and Anyone Documenting Movements, June 2, 2020: https://sixtyinchesfromcenter.org/the-blackivists-five-tips-for-organizers-protestors-and-anyone-documenting-movements/?fbclid=IwAR1BBafLnFpmxCekQ1qKU8DBfTF727j3ad_C6-9cnWXAFhCoqLCQhhlH-IY
Ellen Engseth, “Cultural Competency: A Framework for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Archival Profession in the United States,” American Archivist, 2018: https://americanarchivist.org/doi/pdf/10.17723/0360-9081-81.2.460
Anti-racism Resources: bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES
On March 13, 2020, a group of concerned archivists organized in response to the COVID-19 global crisis and recommended that the Society of American Archivists Foundation establish the Archival Workers Emergency Fund. The AWE Fund was officially launched on April 15, 2020. The fund is providing mutual aid support to financially vulnerable and at-risk archives workers, including part-time, hourly, contract, temporary, term-limited, and otherwise contingent archives workers who now face acute employment and financial challenges.
Please consider helping us share the word about the AWE Fund and encourage potential applicants and donors alike! Our official organizer’s Twitter account is @awefund2020 and our hashtag is #AWEfund.
If you’d like to collaborate with us in any way, thank you! You can learn more about the AWE Fund at our website. If interested members of your organization have specific skill sets they’d like to contribute in this effort, we encourage them to contact us.
The Archival Workers Emergency Fund organizers have created an anonymous survey to continue to keep a pulse on the scope and extent of the impact of COVID-19 on precariously employed archival workers.
Please take the survey by July 31!
Another upcoming activity is the #Auction4AWEfund. If you are a crafter and want to raise funds for the AWE Fund, please submit your item for auction by June 15!
Alison Clemens (firstname.lastname@example.org) can direct any questions you may have about the AWE Fund's current fundraising efforts
The Charleston Post and Courier recently ran an article on the preservation of South Carolina's 1776, 1778, 1790, 1861, 1868, and 1895 constitutions by the NEDCC. The article can be read at the following link: https://bit.ly/2yXS1PD
The video of the SCAA Town Hall on reopening after the pandemic is now available on the newly created South Carolina YouTube channel. The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjHyyHhkkXw. Please subscribe to the channel!
We are planning to add the chat transcript and a summary of the Town Hall to the SCAA website in the near future.
Another Town Hall will be held in mid-July; keep an eye out for the announcement.
The South Carolina Archival Association (SCAA) will host a virtual Town Hall Meeting on reopening archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions to the public on June 1 from 2:30pm-3:30pm. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, cultural heritage institutions across South Carolina are discussing reopening plans and what the “new normal” will look like. This Town Hall will be a space to discuss our plans and concerns about reopening, share thoughts and ideas, and learn from colleagues across South Carolina. Discussions will be unstructured and moderated by Brenda Burk, Head of Special Collections at Clemson University.
The Town Hall is open to everyone but you must register.
When: June 1, 2020, 2:30pm-3:30pm Eastern
To register: https://forms.gle/Fbe66cThURGwvQgK7
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