Dominique Luster, Candidate for Council

Dominique Luster

Charles "Teenie" Harris Archivist
I am interested in an information profession that is resolutely anti-racist and anti-oppressive, a community that believes in the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion to the point of reimagining new systems, not just systemic change.



Dominique Luster currently serves as the Charles "Teenie" Harris Archivist at Carnegie Museum of Art. In this role, she focuses on building technological solutions to aid archivists and other memory workers in preserving history. She has previously worked as a liaison librarian at the University of Pittsburgh, where she received her MLIS in library and information science. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, and as an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky, Dominique earned her BA in theatre design and technology. As a student, she apprenticed at Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and the Dorset Theatre Festival. She also took her studies abroad as a Fulbright scholar at the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany. Dominique is originally from Kentucky.



I believe in the power of Black people, their words, their stories, and their lived experiences; as an archivist, I have committed to doing work to ensure that those stories were protected, elevated, and heard. I have dedicated the last six years of my work to serve as a champion for historically, institutionally, and systemically marginalized voices in American GLAM repositories.

I am interested in an information profession that is resolutely anti-racist and anti-oppressive, a community that believes in the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion to the point of reimagining new systems, not just systemic change. 

As a potential member of the SAA Council, I want to inform our work interrogating systems of inequity by grounding that work in the astute philosophy taught by Ibram X. Kendi. In his work, Stamped from the Beginning, he wrote, "Time and again, racist ideas have not been cooked up from the boiling pot of ignorance and hate. Time and again, powerful and brilliant men and women have produced racist ideas in order to justify the racist policies of their era, in order to redirect the blame for their era's racial disparities away from those policies and onto Black people." This grounding asks us to interrogate everything; from formal and informal policies that first designed our readings rooms, to the algorithms designed into our digital discovery layers. This Council, in this moment of change, has an unprecedented opportunity to impact our organization's future by resolutely defining who we are and where we stand. I unwaveringly believe that future must be specifically anti-racist and anti-oppressive.



SAA has the following core organizational values: 

  • Being committed to advancing the public standing of archivists;
  • Ensuring the diversity of its membership and leaders, the profession, and the archival record;
  • Fostering an open and inclusive culture of creativity, collaboration, and experimentation across the association;
  • Providing excellent member service; and
  • Ensuring transparency, accountability, integrity, professionalism, and social responsibility in conducting its activities.

Select two of the core organizational values and describe how you will work with SAA groups and members to move them forward.


As archivists, our work's core seeks to provide creators, users, and potential users access to information. Over the years as an SAA member, I have maintained my commitment to usability and discoverability by building trust, transparency, and integrity in the community for which the repository I serve supports. As a Council member, I intend to translate those same values of professionalism as a representative of our membership community the role supports. I understand the unique position of those called to serve on the Council goes beyond uplifting materials and collections; more, it is a responsibility to uplift archivists, their work, their wellbeing and provide them with the best tools possible to achieve success. The Council is called to lead from a shared set of missions, values, and ethics centered around transparency, accountability, integrity, and trust, knowing that our success as a 21st-century organization is intimately dependent upon the trust of those whose identities have historically been marginalized.

Finally, as a note on professionalism, I have already begun to see various SAA groups put in the work to promote a more inclusive culture and demonstrate our core missions, values, and ethics. When our organization is a public and unified reflection of identity and purpose, rather than a litany of archival tasks, we can be more intentional about embracing and celebrating diverse individuals who come into this work and the various forms of knowledge they bring across society.

Archivists and information professionals across academic, corporate, and government sectors make a monumental impact on our national and international ecosystem. The effects of our work, both publicly and privately, can be felt for several degrees of separation; from elementary teachers to senate staffers and from corporate CEO's to film producers. To this point, I look forward to continuing with colleagues across SAA in advocating for fair and forthright acknowledgment and compensation to the contributions we make in a complex social network.


Slate of Candidates

The Nominating Committee has slated the following SAA members as candidates for office in the 2021 election:

Vice President/President-Elect



Nominating Committee