Guidelines for Preparing a Diversity Statement

The SAA Council requires a diversity statement as part of the application process for elected positions and certain appointed positions (Executive Director, American Archivist Editor, and Publications Editor) as this helps SAA, its leaders, and its members to elect or appoint candidates who are best positioned to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in SAA, the profession, and beyond. It also encourages candidates and applicants to articulate the diversity they bring to their respective positions. Applicants should use the guidelines below to craft their diversity statement. 

General Guidelines

  • A diversity statement: reflects on how one’s identity and experience contribute to diversity; demonstrates awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues and how to frame and approach them; and identifies specific DEI strategies relevant to the position they seek. It is highly recommended that the Diversity Statement incorporates answers, but are not limited, to the following questions:

    • What is your own definition of diversity, equity, and inclusion?
    • How have your own personal, academic, and professional experiences and expertise prepared you to advocate for inclusive, equitable practices?
    • Are you aware of your own implicit biases? How have you come to this realization and how do you continue to grow as an advocate for DEI?
    • How do you reflect DEI in your work? How will you model a trauma-informed and inclusive practice, and mentor others who will work with you?
    • What are your specific plans and strategies for using the position you are applying for to advance DEI within your SAA unit, SAA as a whole, and beyond the organization?

  • The Diversity Statement should refer to existing SAA statements and policies, such as Core Values of Archivists, Code of Ethics for Archivists, Code of Conduct, Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination Policy, SAA Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the current SAA Strategic Plan


Position-Specific Guidelines

  1. Those individuals who are elected by the membership to serve, such as President, Vice President/President-Elect, Council members, and Nominating Committee members, are required to include a 400-word (maximum) Diversity Statement as part of the Candidate Statement. The Diversity Statement must be distinct and separate from the candidate’s Biographical Statement and Response to Question Posed by the Nominating Committee. The Diversity Statement should be made available to all voting members of the Society.

  2. Those applying for Council-appointed positions (such as Executive Director, American Archivist Editor, and Publications Editor) are required to submit an 800- to 1,000-word Diversity Statement as part of their application materials. The Diversity Statements of the candidates for these positions are available to those involved in the hiring or appointment decisions, subject to confidentiality and privacy considerations. The Executive Director may require diversity statements for applicants to other staff positions, as appropriate.


Approved by the SAA Council, January 2021.