2022 Election: Candidate Statements

The Archivists and Archives of Color Section Steering Committee is excited to announce the excellent slate of candidates running in this year’s election. Please review their bios and statements before casting your votes.

You will be voting for:

  • 1 Co-chair (2-year term)
  • 3 Steering Committee Members (2-year term)
  • 1 Newsletter Editor (2-year term)

SAA staff administer ballots through Survey Monkey and will email you the ballot when voting opens.


Joseph R. (Bob) Diaz
Associate Librarian and Archivist, The University of Arizona Libraries 

Bio: Joseph R. (Bob) Diaz graduated with a Masters in Library Science from the University of Arizona in 1986, and has been a member of the library profession for 35 years. For the past 11 years, he has been a member of the Special Collections department at the University of Arizona Libraries, where he currently manages the department's reference services and is curator for the performing arts and architectural collections. Prior to joining Special Collections, Joseph was the music and dance librarian at the University of Arizona Library. He also served as the University of Arizona Library's Assistant to the Dean for Staff Development, Recruitment and Diversity for 8 years. He has been a member of SAA since 2015. 

Statement: Bob Diaz spent his entire career advocating for social justice and diversity in the library profession. He has chaired a variety of diversity-related committees within ALA and other organizations, and has authored a number of publications on the topic of diversity. These include publications on instruction in a multi-cultural environment, collecting diverse library materials and the history of protest music in the Chicano community. As current President of the Tucson chapter of REFORMA, the National Association for the Promotion of Library and Information Services to the Spanish Speaking, Bob recently coordinated a day long event in celebration of El Dia Del Nino/Dia Del Libro, where over 700 free books and other materials were given to the children of South Tucson. His works are listed on his website: www.bobdiaz.net. He looks forward to participating in SAA as co-chair of the Archivists of Color Section. 

Steering Committee Members

Hanna Ahn
Assistant University Archivist, Stanford University

Bio: Hanna Ahn is the Assistant University Archivist for Stanford University, where she is responsible for collection management, accessioning, and advancing Stanford Archives' engagement with historically marginalized university community members. Hanna is especially interested in the relationship between archives and social memory, the promotion of diversity and inclusion within the archival record, and the management and preservation of information resources. She holds an MLIS and a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is a member of the Society of American Archivists (SAA), Society of California Archivists (SCA), Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), and Beta Phi Mu, the international LIS honor society.

Statement: In my career as an institutional archivist, I have been committed to enriching the historical record with a variety of voices from underrepresented communities. I have acquired, processed, fundraised, digitized, and made accessible collections relating to the Chicago hearing of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment, where formerly incarcerated Japanese Americans and their descendants bravely provided public testimonies of their World War II experiences, and the congressional papers of Illinois Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez, who championed immigration reform and immigrant rights. In my current role at Stanford University, I work with various campus constituencies, from Asian American alumni to currently enrolled first-generation, low-income students, to ensure that they are documented in Stanford's archival record. As archivists, we have the power to create and preserve meaningful collections that are inclusive of communities of color; the collections we create today provide historical research opportunities for future generations. Because of the alignment of my professional interests with the mission and vision of the Archivists and Archives of Color Section, it would be an honor to serve on the Steering Committee. Thank you for your consideration.

River Freemont
Student Archives Assistant, Oregon Health & Science University

Bio: My name is River Freemont (they/them/theirs), and I’m an MLS student concentrating in archives studies. I am Turtle Mountain Chippewa and Umonhon (Omaha). I received my bachelor's degree in liberal studies with an indigenous nations minor in 2012. During my MLS, I have been honored with the ALA Spectrum scholarship, and an internship with the Smithsonian Institute Libraries and Archives. I have worked as a Student Archives Assistant at Oregon Health & Science University since August of 2021. This spring, I presented on a panel for the Northwest Archivists Conference which addressed resources needed to support implementation of the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials. I was also elected Outreach and Media Coordinator of the Native American Collections Roundtable of NW Archivists at the annual conference. I will be finishing my MLS this August.

Statement: In my career, I hope to work on community-driven archival projects that support healing, such as reparative description initiatives and oral histories. I am especially interested in developing trauma-informed archival practices, all things metadata, and enhanced digital accessibility. I am interested in serving on the steering committee because I want to be a part of creating, maintaining, and defending spaces where conversations which center the voices of archivists of color can occur. I can contribute to writing, research, and organizing labor, and I am happy to support ongoing projects. I am passionate about uplifting the work of students of color, increasing representation in all areas of archives, and pushing the boundaries of the profession.

Michelle Ganz
Director of Archives, Dominican Sisters of Peace

Bio: Michelle Ganz has been an archivist for about 15 years working in everything from museums to corporate archives. As an undergrad she studied Medieval through early 20th century poetry and literature. Michelle is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s SILS program where she created her own archival studies path. She is a disability, accessibility and diversity advocate, writer, speaker and mentor who is passionate about helping others find their place in the world. She is also a voracious reader of science fiction and fantasy novels and loves to cook delicious food but can’t bake bread, cakes or pies in a way that makes them edible despite her many efforts.

Statement: As a disabled, mixed race woman I have first hand knowledge of how frustrating being different can be in our field. My entire career has been focused on making the archival profession, and archival collections more diverse, inclusive, honest, and accessible. As a life-long advocate I have no problem putting myself out there to promote a new idea/concept but I recognize that not everyone feels comfortable being the voice of something new. It is incumbent on those of us who do speak up to reach out to our less vocal peers to get their perspective and insight. My motto has always been: no archive is complete unless all voices are heard. For me DEI is all about recognizing that not everyone moves through the world like I do and the right thing to do is to allow people to move through the world in a way that works for them. In my work that means being honest in exhibition labels, policies and practices, finding aids, and other archival outreach (and inreach)- tools. By acknowledging the mistakes of the past we can create an environment that allows everyone to thrive. Inclusion comes from removing barriers; we need to recognize that some people need more help than others. I want to look at current practices and see what changes need to be made to provide multiple pathways to success. When people feel seen and supported, new ideas and methodologies flourish.

Lorin Jackson
Executive Director, Region 2, Regional Medical Library, Medical University of South Carolina

Bio: Lorin Jackson (she/they) works as the Executive Director for Region 2 of Regional Medical Libraries at the Medical University of South Carolina. Their work experience began in the non-profit and education sector for a decade. Since then, Lorin has worked in diverse library environments including academic, public, special, and primary school libraries. Her work focuses on equity, access, and integrity regarding information. Lorin co-founded and worked as the original Editor-in-Chief for WOC+Lib (wocandlib.org), which has been recognized by the ALA and Library of Congress as a valuable contribution to the professions of people of color in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. To learn more about Lorin, their work projects and professional experience, visit their website at www.lorinj.dev.

Statement: My interest in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums for people of color has motivated all of my work since working in the information profession for the past six years. I have been contracted as an expert in increasing DEI efforts in archives for two highly-rated virtual webinars for the Society of American Archivists. Serving on this committee I think would be a wonderful opportunity to expand my leadership and build my network with similar equity-minded colleagues who are ethnically diverse. I want to contribute to the conversation and I would welcome the opportunity to learn more from others.

Phillip MacDonald
Special Collections Librarian, NC State University Libraries

Bio: Phillip MacDonald is an archivist, librarian, folklorist, photographer, and writer born, raised, and living among the long leaf pines in the beautiful piedmont region of North Carolina. Phillip holds an MS in Library Science from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he completed his master paper entitled "Pop-Up Archive: How to Get the Public into Archives, by Taking the Archive to the Public." This project focused on the intersection of personal meaning and community archives. In addition to archival work, he engages with the DIY ethos and makerspace technologies- especially 3D modeling and printing, Augmented Reality, Microcontrollers, Drawing Machines, and Laser Cutting. Before discovering his passion for librarianship and archives, Phillip received an MA in Folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill. He completed his thesis entitled "Birthplace of the Blues: Dockery Farms, The Mythic South, and the Erasure of the African American Lived Experience in Mississippi Blues Tourism." Phillip continues to engage with questions raised in his thesis - examining the intersections of identity, culture, and landscapes. Whether through prose, photography, or a combination, Phillip constructs stories about and for "folk" from all walks of life.

Statement: I went into archival work with the express interest in preserving and uplifting cultural legacies that academic institutions have actively silenced. As a historian, I witnessed how both implicit, and sometimes explicit, biases directly impact what society values as having historical or archival significance. Past generations of historians and archivists muted the voices of disenfranchised groups, removing critical narratives from historical texts. As a folklorist, I explored the essential relationship between cultural lived experiences and historical records. Archives and libraries can be at the forefront of fortifying the preservation of cultural lived experiences within our historical legacies. To amend the past, librarians and archivists must work collaboratively with various disciplines to create effective means of accessibility, and I wish to be an active participant in this reconciliation. Given the tools that have grown out of new strides in social and cultural history and cultural criticism, future librarians will better appraise, describe, preserve, interpret, and provide significant access to the massive amount of information and material generated by diverse communities today. Upon admission to the MSLS program at UNC-Chapel Hill, I became part of the Association of Research Libraries' Kaleidoscope Program. This program supports master of library or information science students from underrepresented groups. In addition to financial support, Kaleidoscope provides scholars with a mentor and various leadership and professional development opportunities. My participation in this program elevated my critical understanding of the tenets of diversity, equity, and inclusion and their relationship to the field of archives and special collections. Through my work as an archivist, I hope to help foster change in the infrastructure and vision of libraries, engage with diverse communities, and create inclusive spaces and services, all critical points for the future of archives. Joining the SAA Archivists and Archives of Color Section Steering Committee would allow me to continue this work.

Marisa Ramirez
Processing Archivist, Loyola Marymount University

Bio: I am the Processing Archivist at Loyola Marymount University's William H. Hannon Library in Los Angeles, California. Working with manuscripts, art and artifacts, and university archives, my time is spent looking for efficient ways to house a variety of material, as well as researching accurate language for finding aid description. My academic interests include developing reparative and anti-racist description practices, and in making collections accessible to a greater audience. As a first-generation student, I earned a BS in Biology from Loyola Marymount University and an MLS from the University of North Texas. Along with my degree, I also earned a graduate certificates in archival management and digital content management. 

Statement: I have worked in libraries for over a decade as a paraprofessional and for almost two years as a librarian and archivist. In my new position, I have new responsibilities and am looking to expand my professional development with service opportunities. I have been a member of SAA since I was a graduate student and am especially impressed by the offerings of the Archivists & Archives of Color Section. I recently participated in SAA's first BIPOC mentoring cohort and am eager to give back to the organization that has been so instrumental in kickstarting my career.

Kelli Yakabu
Digitization Archivist, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Bio: My name is Kelli Yakabu. I am the Digitization Archivist at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, MA. I hold a BA in English and American Ethnic Studies and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, both from the University of Washington. I currently serve on the SAA Appointments Committee and am a member of the National Best Practices for Archival Accessioning Working Group: Labor, Ethics, Relationships, and Workplace Environment. I was the SAA AAC section intern from 2018-2019 and a 2019-2021 ARL/SAA Mosaic fellow.

Statement: I am interested in serving on the AAC Steering Committee because I want to help this section continue to foster a supportive community for BIPOC archival workers. While pursuing my MLIS degree online, I often found it difficult to connect with other BIPOC students and didn’t always feel supported within my program. During my final year, I founded a student organization for LIS BIPOC students to have a space to build community and share resources. My relationships with other BIPOC students and archival workers helped me navigate through majority (or all) white classrooms and workspaces, and these relationships continue to sustain me in my current work. I also previously interned for the AAC section and had the opportunity to assist with various engagement projects, including through the newsletter, social media, and the AAC section meeting. I’m interested in increasing engagement opportunities for members, especially with virtual programming and social media. I believe in the important work the AAC section is doing to advocate for and support its members and am eager to help continue this work.

Newsletter Editor

Francena Turner
Postdoctoral Associate in Data Curation for African American History & Culture; Adjunct Lecturer, History, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities; Fayetteville State University

Bio: I am a CLIR/Melon Fellow and Postdoctoral Associate for Data Curation in African American History and Culture. In my current role, I am the project manager & principal interviewer for an oral history project that is a part of the Reparative Oral Histories Initiative. Oral history is central in much of my work. I engage in excavation work in an effort to bridge the past and present. My research interests include histories of Black education, Black women’s higher education, activist scholars, & Black Feminism(s). My research focuses on historical and contemporary issues of equity, agency, and thriving in education through critical study of minoritized student experiences. Specifically, I research the ways Black students and faculty go into, through, and out of US higher education institutions and the ways they did or did not remain whole. With this as my focus, I am able to study any number of facets of American higher education without major shifts in focus. My archival and oral history work on student protests at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Black women’s career trajectories in a number of fields, and Black community colleges and faculties, all speak to a larger question: “How did we learn about, access, experience, and then exit places that either were not made for us or existed within a system designed to see us fail?” 

Statement: I am enthusiastically writing to nominate myself, Francena Turner, for a position on the Oral History Steering Committee. I am currently a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Fellow and postdoctoral associate for data curation in African American history and culture at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities housed at the University of Maryland, College Park. In this capacity, I am the project manager responsible for developing and implementing an oral history project—in collaboration with the university’s archives—that seeks to collect and share the undocumented and underdocumented experiences of Black students, faculty, staff, and community members. I am also an adjunct lecturer at Fayetteville State University where I teach African American History. I came to this work due to my prior experience with conducting oral history projects & my research in historically Black college & university archives. I conducted and used oral history interviews in my dissertation project which explored the experiences of Black women who attended a small southeastern HBCU during the Civil Rights/Black Power Movement(s). I am also working with a community non-profit to better preserve interviews from their oral history project and make them available digitally. I earned a B.A. in History at Fayetteville State University and both an Ed.M. in Education Policy Studies and a PhD in History of Education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I am interested in serving as an Archivists and Archives of Color (AAC) steering committee member for several reasons. First, I welcome the opportunity to work with colleagues across my research interests and professional organization memberships. Second, I am particularly interested in traditional and digital archives and oral history collection and preservation. Third, I am pursuing certification as a Digital Archives Specialist and in Arrangement & Description from SAA. I believe that serving in this role will strengthen my knowledge & experience of the field. In short, I am interested in being of service to the field while being an active participant in discussions and work that affects field standards and policies—as both a creator and end user.