Teresa Mora, Candidate for Council

Teresa Mora

Head, Special Collections & Archives
Archivists exercise extraordinary power in shaping the historical record and it is important for our professional organization to work to educate the public as to the nature and significance of our work and, in turn, to advocate for archivists as workers.



I currently serve as the head of Special Collections at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), a position I have held since 2017. Prior to that appointment, I served as the university archivist at UCSC. I have also worked as an archivist at The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Brooklyn Historical Society. I have been an active member of SAA since early on in my career, receiving the Harold T. Pinkett Student of Color Award to attend my first Annual Meeting in 1999.

The Archivists and Archives of Color Section was my first “home” in SAA and I served as its co-chair from 2004 to 2006. I have held numerous appointed roles within SAA, including serving on the Awards Committee, Appointments Committee, Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct, Program Committee, and as chair of the Membership Committee. I currently serve on the Diversity Committee. My work with these groups has given me significant experience that I am eager to apply as a member of the Council, bringing insights to what works as well as what could be improved within the organization.

My career has been informed by my relationships with colleagues, and I value the relationships developed through my work with SAA and regional organizations. I have been active in my regional organizations since the beginning of my career, initially as a member of MARAC and later as a member of the Society of California Archivists (SCA). I served as president of SCA from 2018 to 2019 and continue to be an active member of that organization. I find the work of regional organizations to be absolutely essential to the health of the archival profession at large and, therefore, to that of SAA.



When it is all laid out on the table, to me, DEI boils down to empathy, ethics, and respect. Without these elements, DEI work is simply lip service and does nothing to further this essential undertaking. My goal as an archivist, a manager, and an individual is to bring these qualities to everything I do. As a Latina, I have experienced biases first-hand in my professional career, but I have been lucky to have mentors to commiserate with and encourage me on my path. There is no question in my mind that we all need to acknowledge and dismantle systemic barriers. I am willing to do that work, and I expect others to do the same, as  the only way to move forward is to have open and honest conversations about where we’ve been as well as where we are.

I realized early in my career that archivists hold significant power when it comes to what histories are told, and I don’t take that responsibility lightly. I think it is imperative that we as a profession acknowledge our impact and work together to invite a broader understanding of the historical record and how implicit bias has informed our work. SAA needs to examine and critique past practice and understand how it has, wittingly or not, established barriers to participation. We need to actively work to develop and mentor new professionals who challenge us to rethink the how and why of what we do. 



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 stated above, archivists exercise extraordinary power in shaping the historical record, and it is important for our professional organization to work to educate the public as to the nature and significance of our labor and, in turn, to advocate for archivists as workers. Without a greater public understanding of what it is we do and why it is important, it is easy to continue to discount and defund our work and institutions. As the national professional organization, SAA should be at the forefront of lobbying for federal funding, ethical hiring practices, and a living wage for all archivists. These arguments are all the much easier to make when there is a common understanding of the role of archivists. Working with existing groups, such as the Issues & Advocacy Section, the Archival Compensation Taskforce, and the Committee on Public Awareness, I would like to leverage the power of SAA that is our membership and collaborate with regional organizations to achieve this end.

Increasing the public standing of archivists helps the profession by making it both more visible and accessible to a larger and more diverse group of colleagues. When we ensure a recognition of how archival silences impact the history that is told, we encourage communities to record their own histories and we introduce a broader demographic to archives as a career path. A commitment to promoting ethical (and equitable) hiring practices, including advocating for a living wage, will allow for more opportunity and increased recruitment and retention within BIPOC communities. As a member of the Council, I would like to continue my work with the Diversity Committee and partner with other stakeholder groups to examine how SAA can support all of its members and create transparent systems in which everyone feels they have a voice.


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