Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes, August 13, 2013

Society of American Archivists
2013 Annual Meeting
Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes
August 13th, 2013 3pm-5pm
Newberry Room
(Prepared by René Mueller)


Welcome & Introductions

The meeting began at 3:06 pm. In attendance were Chair Bergis Jules; Diversity Committee members Stuart Campbell, Wesley Chenault, Lucinda Manning, Ann Massmann, and Deborah Torres; Membership Committee Chair Elizabeth Scott; Council liaison Tanya Zanish-Belcher; SAA staff members Nancy Beaumont and René Mueller; incoming Chair Tywanna Whorley; incoming Diversity Committee member Petrina Jackson; and incoming Membership Committee Chair Larissa Woo. Guests included SAA Vice President / President-Elect Danna Bell; Association of Research Libraries Diversity Program and Leadership Program Director Mark Puente; and Terry Baxter, Donna Guerra, Teresa Mora, Kate Theimer, and Lisa Cruces Welty.

Rethinking Diversity Committee Structure

Jules summarized his three-year term as chair, noting that he found it difficult to get things done / get projects rolling. Jules suggested having roles within committee (e.g., co-chair, project chair, web liaison, advocacy or outreach subcommittees) to help manage leadership tasks for a large committee.

The group agreed that this would be helpful for continuity for ongoing projects. Group was informed that  a change in the group’s charge needs approval from the Council but that subcommittees can be created/disbanded as needed (ad hoc).

Whorley asked what the new members would like to see. Discussion of practical roles on a committee.
Consider other representatives. Look at priorities for the year, ask who wants to work on it for the year. Problems in the past had more to do with timelines and not structure. Group was cautioned about overly complex structure and encouraged move things along.

ACTION: Include new members in a discussion about Diversity Committee’s priorities for the year. Assign people to projects if necessary.

New structure to consider: adding a co-chair role. Staggered term helps with continuity. Div Com can decide on what 3-4 things to accomplish over next 6 months, year, 2  years, etc.  (no subcommittee needed for this). First: modify charge to include a vice chair or co-chair. No need to bake subcommittee structures into charge.

ACTION: Revise charge to add vice chair or co-chair. (Bell, Whorley, Zanish-Belcher, Beaumont, Mueller)


Mosaic Grant Update (Advisory/Selection Committee Duties)  
(Beaumont, Bell, Puente)

Group was excited about the grant; understood that the selection committee/advisory group formed.

Puente gave background on how the grant for the Mosaic Program was awarded. ARL had formula that worked. Noted federal funding cut in 2010 that prompted internship component of grant formula. Worked ots of evidence from ARL diversity recruitment programs (last 13 years).  Assembled advisory group and selection committee. Selection committee: evaluates criteria, will be in conversation with the Diversity Committee in the process. Timing of awards for IMLS are tough when applying to academic year. Could either take an entire year to figure out logistics, or just go. Not a lot of communication because not much time to put this together. Will have time after this to collect feedback and tweak (ARL and SAA) constituents.

Advisory Committee – liaison with Diversity Committee; develop 1-day Mosaic Leadership Insitute. 1 full day of programming for recipients. In conversation with Selection Comm; logistics, help with staticst. Challenge: need host institutions to take in interns. Selections will be based on ability to select host institutions and provide support of mentoring component.

ARL new ED; going through strategic plan; going through desk audit. Lots of changes. How manage Mosaic Program might change; might not. Held to standards of grant applications.

5 awardees per year. 5 students a year for 3 years;  for up to 4 semesters; up to $10,000, distributed in $2500 chunks. Some might already be enrolled; complete archival studies in less than 4 years. Travel grants are also part of the award; recipients funded to attend SAA.

Example: other program funded with Association of Music Libraries.  (ARL/MLA DII) That program: not opportunity for DII to meet with other diversity program participants. ARL will absorb cost for awardees to attend ARL Leadership Symposium (during ALA winter meeting).

What does the Mosaic Program need from the Diversity Committee? What kind of support?
Communications opportunities: opportunities and output, build curriculum for leadership institute, create online continuing education opportunities. Snap on to ARL existing programs. Develop content to raise awareness for ALR participants. Mentors for the program. Create an informal mentor meeting / connection. Absorb in to SAA navigator program. (Membership Committee); open to other ideas – from other groups, too. AACRT.

Heartburn about Diversity Committee not being involved in the call:
Because of vision developed by subcommittee of Diversity Committee… that work formed the heart of this grant proposal.

Mosaic Scholarship (SAA) and Mosaic Program: confusing. Will be resolved.

15-16 applicants for Mosaic Program; 18-25 in any given year for the Mosaic Scholarship. Other ARL program declines encouraged to apply to this – cross pollination.

Piece about doctoral travel grants not included in grant.

Programs potentially could be merged; need to talk about it. Open to ideas. Suggestion: change the name for the Mosaic Scholarship. Don’t want applicants to Mosaic Program to get confused about which program.

Will original Mosaic folks be invited to symposium: seems like a good idea; more fertile first symposium.

Never saw a copy of the grant…another component of communication is knowing the information. Circulate copy of the grant.

In September, copy of the grant was circulated to the committee. Wanted more communication after submission. Assumed since Diversity Committee helped form grant proposal, would be involved with Advisory and Selection Committees.

Jules submitted names for appointments; Bell appointed some.

ACTION: Diversity Committee to receive copy of current (approved) grant.

Original proposal needed to be broken down to funding amount and made more appealing to IMLS (focus and scope helped). 


Diversifying the Archival Record Case Studies
(Case Studies Subcommittee)

Summarized subgroup breakdown. Project used Campus Case Studies as a model. Conference call at end of May with Chris Prom/Publications Editor (Massman, Salvatore, Prom, Brinati). Prom spearheaded CCC; CEPC looking to do something similar.

With Campus Case Studies, there is a sense of best practices. Not necessarily the case with Diversity Case Studies. Want to keep more open.

Report from May (Massman)

  • Want input from Roundtables: what does diversifying the archival record look like?
  • Decide on guidelines? Who approves submissions? What are logistics of submissions?
  • Use Google Docs within committees.
  • Website would be done by the Publications Board (to take burden off Diversity Committee); would put out for the public on main website.
  • Choose 3-4 case studies right away for people to see before they submit.
  • Set up submission guidelines, keep structured and simple, and borrow liberally from Campus Case Studies.
  • Review process: How does the Diversity Committee want to review submissions? Once the review happens, accepted submissions would be sent to Pubs Board for final review and acceptance.
  • Keep open, not interested in best practices.

CEPC completed call for case studies today.

ACTION: Circulate CEPC case study just approved.

Case Studies would not be “peer reviewed”; rather reviewed by Diversity Committee. Can grow in that direction. For now, put out examples.

What is the time frame for getting this out? Do a call for Roundtables to provide input? What does diversifying the archival record look like to you? In context of RT/S, what does that mean to you?

ACTION: Put out a call to S/RT: What does diversifying the archival record look like to you? Timeline: 3 weeks. Diversity Committee members to talk to roundtables and publish call in ITL, on SAA website.

Diversity Reader is in the works; Women’s’ Reader just published. Scope is wide; authors put call out to people who want to participate. Hit some snags, still in works. In production, slated for publication in Fall or Spring.


Annual Diversity Forum/Talk Sponsored by the Diversity Committee
(Bergis Jules)

Summary: Idea for topic came from diversifying archival record assignment. Hopefully this talk can be the first of many illustrating what it would look like to diversify the archival record.

Consider PC will invite this; President reserve a spot; make sure that we are always looking at this.

ACTION: Let PC co-chairs know about this Diversity Committee consistent effort; talks on diversifying the archival record. Content to come from Diversity Committee.


SAA Strategic Plan Comments

Bell reiterated call for response; summarized two calls and responses.

Several members thought the Strategic Plan was excellent; general enough but detailed within reason. Like bookended diversity in Goals 1 and 4. Actions should include outreach work with historians (American Association for State and Local History) and librarians. Consider coordinating conference with other orgs, especially given their diversity initiatives.

Consider collaborating with CALM.

Re collaboration throughout the strategic plan – Goal 3 actions, looking at joint meetings with other orgs.

Talk about communal portal – Diversity Case Studies would be a great addition.

Smaller diversity initiatives were popping up in other orgs.

What could be done for people who are further into careers for opportunities to develop leadership skills and knowledge? What could we do to ID those people? Consider having a leadership forum for specific kinds of people looking to develop leadership skills.


  • Get ASK ME button from NPB. Liz Scott and NPB to distribute.
  • Donna Guerra – guest, member of SSA. Just setting up ad hoc diversity committee; looking at SAA’s version to see how it is going.
  • Certified Archivists Task Force on Diversity: there will be a membership survey.
Referenced Group Meeting: