2019 AAC Elections: Candidate Statements and Bios

This year the Archivists and Archives of Color Seciton is electing three new members into the following leadership roles: Co-Chair/Chair-Elect, Newsletter Editor, and Steering Committee Member focusing on student/early career perspectives. As a note, this year's candidates were not asked for headshots, as an attempt to avoid potential bias.




Name: Tarienne Mitchell

Institution: Archivist, LDS Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah


I would like to be considered from the Co-chair/Chair-Elect position for the archivists and archives of color section. I received my master’s in Library Science in 2013 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and became a certified archivist in 2016. For most of my career, I have been working at the LDS Church History Library (almost 7 years).

Although most people may not consider it library/archive of color, the Church History Library does collect and preserve records of diverse people. Because we are a global Church, we actively collect from all over the world, all people, all languages, and all cultures.  As the only person of color on my team, I am a strong advocate on behalf of people of color to ensure that we are treating their records the same as the others. I feel like my experience working with records from almost every community of color could be an asset for the section. This position can also help me have more leverage as I advocate on behalf of diverse populations.

Name: Jessica M. Salow

Institution: Archives Specialist, Arizona State University Library, Distinctive Collections


My name is Jessica Salow and I am interested in volunteering to serve as the 2019/2020 cycle co-chair for the Archivists & Archives of Color Section within the Society of American Archivists national organization.

Currently, I am an Archives Specialist at Arizona State University (ASU) Libraries working with a
small team to assist the university with the development and implementation of community-driven archival collections of historically marginalized communities within Arizona.

In this position, I assist the project archivist and principal investigator with a variety of tasks

including digitization of current community-driven collections at ASU to add the content to the

digital repository to make these collections accessible to the public at large, arrange and

describe new community-driven archival donations from donors and community members,

assist with community outreach and collection development workshops and events and assist the project archivist and lead with data gathering regarding the project for report out to the grant-funding organization. In 2017 I graduated from The University of Arizona with my

master’s degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS) and in 2011 I graduated from ASU with a bachelor's degree in History and Political Science.

When I decided to become a librarian I researched the statistics regarding the percentage of

women of color and people of color in general within the archival profession. While I was not

surprised by the numbers I saw, I knew if I decided to do this career path it was important to

become involved in organizations that supported diversity and inclusion within its professional ranks. I am excited to become more involved with the Society of American Archivists as a new professional and I feel joining the Archivists & Archives of Color Section is a good way to build the professional network of diverse colleagues needed to not only educate people about archives but to be a much needed representation of an archivist of color within our profession. Being considered for the co-chair position within the Archivists & Archives of Color Section as a new professional will not only provide me with the ability to learn from other archivists of color but it will also provide me the opportunity to spread that knowledge to others through the work I currently do at ASU and beyond as I continue working in this field.





Newsletter Editor

Name: Oni Birden

Institution: Graphic Designer/Photographer/Social Media Curator, Columbia College Chicago


I grew up engaged in the fine arts and various educational institutions by means of my parents. My mother has worked extensively in museum studies and my father is a music teacher. In addition to that, everyone on my mother’s side has been involved in positions of education. I believe that history is one of the best resources for innovation and movement, so within my own line of work, I enjoy archiving photography and literature as it relates to music and design of various sorts.

Within my 5+ years of professional experience, I’ve had the pleasure of working as a fashion intern for The Wild Life Reserve in New Orleans, Louisiana, completed a museum internship at the Oklahoma Black Museum and Performing Arts Center, completed an on-campus internship with Columbia College Chicago in partnership with CPS Lives, done marketing for a Recording Academy musical group, written for CBS’ food blog Chowhound, and done graphic design, branding and content curation for many brands including Loretta’s Authentic Pralines.

I think that the opportunity to work with AAC would be a beneficial one for both me and the organization because of my unique perspective on history as a young, Black, queer female. AAC has done a tremendous job at being intersectional and versatile with their content and community outreach, so experiencing such an intentional position would have great rewards.

As someone who passionately enjoys even the small tasks of organizing my grid on my Instagram, being able to assist AAC in delivering quality content would not only help me learn more about the community I serve, but it would also allow me to once again experience the joy of organization and forward-thinking for a greater cause.

Design is one of the biggest forms of communication that we have in a digital age, and my perspective as a newer designer would help keep AAC’s brand consistent and exciting for a newer social media-based generation, while still being professional for the higher-education world.

Name: Amy C. Vo

Institution: Cold War Collections Project Archivist, New York University


My name is Amy C. Vo, and I am the Cold War Collections Project Archivist at New York University. I am interested in being a candidate for either, or both, the role of Newsletter Editor and Steering Committee Member. In 2013, I graduated from the University of Austin at Texas with a Master of Science in Information Studies. Since then, I have moved across states, volunteering, interning, and working at several institutions, including the Brush Square Museums, the Monmouth County Archives, Rutgers University, and the Monmouth County Historical Association.

As a young woman of color, I have been highly conscious of my identity in the library, museum, and archives environment through my interactions with patrons, coworkers, and supervisors. I hope that through involvement with the Archivists and Archives of Color Section of SAA, I may be able to dissect and discuss these all-too-common experiences, and advocate for awareness and representation. Additionally, as an emerging professional in the field, I have been active and highly interested in current discussions surrounding labor practices and their impact on retention of underrepresented archivists. I have recently presented at a regional conference with my colleagues regarding this topic, and will also be presenting at SAA. We are largely interested in both the project archivist’s and their employer’s experiences with short-term positions, and the psychological, professional, and institutional impacts of these types of positions. Through understanding this, we hope to advocate for more ethical and sustainable design of short-term and contract positions.




Steering Committee Member

Name: Jina DuVernay

Institution: Visiting Archivist for African American Collections, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University


My name is Jina DuVernay. I am the Visiting Archivist for African American Collections at Emory University's Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library. My duties include the arrangement and description of African American collections, encoding finding aids, creating MARC format bibliographic records, and instruction. Prior to working at Emory, I was the Special Collections Librarian at the historically black university, Alabama State University, in Montgomery, Alabama. My role as the Special Collections Librarian consisted of managing the library's African American books, and periodicals, as well as the collection of yearbooks. Additionally, I was responsible for engaging the campus and the surrounding community with educational events and programs for outreach purposes.

I am interested in serving on the Archivists and Archives of Color Section Steering Committee because I wholly agree with the section's mission and vision. I am passionate about promoting the preservation of archival materials regarding people of color and the effort to solicit more participation of archivists of color in the archival profession. I want to help advocate for more people of color to enter the archival profession and help with efforts to retain them as well. It would be an honor to roll up my sleeves and to do my part to help further the section's important, ongoing work.

Name: Doreen Dixon

Institution: LIS Student, Long Island University; Senior Library Clerk, Hempstead Public Library


This year the committee is recruiting a LIS student to provide the team with insight and guidance from a student perspective. I believe that my creativity, skills and enthusiasm make me a strong candidate for the position.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and majored in Graphic Design. Currently I am a graduate student at Long Island University (LIU), where I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, and an Advanced Certificate in Archives and Records Management. I work full-time as a Senior Library Clerk at the Hempstead Public Library and part-time as a Librarian Trainee at the Lakeview Public Library. I have worked in the library field for approximately 8 years in various capacities and have trained new part-time library clerks. In addition, I have used my graphic design skills to design printed materials that market and promote various library programs and services.

Apart from my membership with the SAA, I am also a member of the New York Library

Association (NYLA) Black Librarian’s Caucus. I was also recently chosen as a participant of the

Gardiner Fellowship at LIU; a fellowship that allows Library and Information Science graduate students to participate in digitizing historical records for local communities on Long Island, New York. Prior to my switch to the LIS field I was a Product Photographer and Graphic Designer. My art background influences and provides me with a high level of creativity that I utilize in my approach to every task that I do. If chosen to be a member of the Steering Committee, I would offer that same level of creativity to the group.

My aspiration after graduating is to become a Digital Archivist. It would be an honor to join the committee and I hope that I will be considered for the position.