Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes, August 18, 2015

AUGUST 18, 2015
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Hopkins Room, Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
Cleveland, OH

Welcome and Introductions


Committee members in attendance included Tywanna Whorley (Chair), Holly Smith (Vice-Chair), Amy Cooper Cary (Council liaison); Sasha Griffin (Committee); Christina Thompson Shutt; Tanya Zanish-Belcher (Council liaison) Aaisha Haykal, ex officio member representing Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable; and Nancy Beaumont (Executive Director, SAA).

Guests included Steven D. Booth, Cheryl Ferguson, Jennifer Ford, Christine Anne George (WAR),  Lindsey Loeper, Harrison Inefuku (ARL/Mosaic Scholarship Committee), Beth Loch, Dennis Meissner (Incoming SAA President); Teresa Mora (Membership Committee), Derek Mosley, Shanee Murrain, Denise Paddock, and Helen Wong Smith (Council).

Report from Tanya Zanish-Belcher (outgoing Council liaison)

Tanya Zanish-Belcher reported on the most recent Council meetings, held earlier in the week, focusing on the affinity group proposal, dues increase, and the NHPRC strategic plan. She also introduced the new Diversity Council liaison, Amy Cooper Cary. 

Cultural Competencies Presentation

Helen Wong Smith (Council member) spoke briefly about the Cultural Competencies Presentation—a short version was given to Council at its May meeting, and a longer presentation will be held in November. She is also developing a Workshop for the SAA membership, which should be available in Atlanta.

Diversity Forum: “The Secret Live of Records” 8/20/15


Sofia Bercerra-Licha, Archivist, Berklee College of Musice

Stacie Williams, Library Lab Manager, University of Kentucky

Jarrett Drake, Digital Archivist, Princeton University

Bergis Jules, University and Political Archivist, University of California, Riverside


ARL/SAA Mosaic Program report

Harrison Inefuku related that there were 17 applications and 6 were selected. The number of applications were low compared to 33 last year. However, the program has been successful and SAA and ARL want to continue the program. ARL and SAA presenting a new proposal to IMLS to continue the ARL-SAA Mosaic Program.

Case Studies Report: Tywanna Whorley

Whorley presented copies of the call for case studies, the submission forms, and the review criteria. Working with the Publications Board, the Diversity case studies are being prepared for SAA web site.

SAA Diversity Internship Program: Tywanna Whorley

Society of American Archivist Internship for Diversity and Inclusiveness—purpose, eligibility, and suggestions for requirements by the subcommittee:

  • Must be a SAA member, or at least, join.
  • What kinds of courses should be required—applicants may come from public history degrees or historic preservation programs.
  • Demonstrates strong commitment/interest in archives.
  • Outline a list of specific duties. Add applicants to discuss their diversity activities, and read the SAA Strategic plan.
  • Interview over the phone.
  • Keep a log of activities,
  • Year-long internship—offer opportunity to serve on committee after internship.
  • Recommended end of the internship evaluation, conference year (August to August)
  • Committee also evaluates the work of the interns, possibly offering a session at the annual meeting (Graduate Student Posters presentations)/on web site/article in Archival Outlook
  • One recommendation: Faculty member or employer
  • Graduate student or a new professional (1-3 years, 3-5 years?)

Suggested pilot test with 1 or 2 interns—call sent out in the next few weeks—in place by October, 10 months of good experience

Possibly create a booklet on the internship projects?

September 15 is the deadline to provide description of the committee/group projects for interns to choose and select. Dennis Meissner, as incoming President will oversee the internship program.

Idea-Should also consider connecting with the MARAC Steering Committee on Diversity and Inclusiveness. Cheryl Oestreicher and Barbara Teague are co-chairs of the Atlanta Program Committee.

Diversity Forum: Holly Smith

Discussion in regards to annual meeting in Atlanta—possible request of Program Committee, to have them recommend session panel for Diversity Forum. Nancy noted this will be a joint meeting with CoSA, and the deadline for session proposals in November. Nancy also recommended a backup plan, in case of no appropriate session.

HBCU Institute: Holly Smith

Program established by Brenda Banks (funded by IMLS) to provide assessments and training for HBCU. Brenda recommended against it,--now there are more archivists of color Discussions around this kind of program—training staff to work with diverse materials, diversifying the staff. Programming relating to Spelman, possibly Emory, National Park Service?

How do we use diverse collections to illustrate our history? Possibly separate events, as opposed to a traditional session. Nancy will point Holly to some similar programs, such as Congressional Papers Roundtable day programs.

New Business: Tywanna Whorley

Recruitment of volunteers—25 members participated on 6 different subcommittees—will put a call out for more volunteers this year.

Toolkit: Christina Thompson Shutt

Tooklit will focus on cultural competency, as opposed to recruitment. Concentrate on training archivists who work with diverse collections. Helen Wong Smith will assist and provide resources—creation of a bibliography. Committee can select what to share with SAA membership.

Task Force with RBMS (25 members) on Cultural Competency

  • Would be a Council consideration
  • Important to set goals
  • Start with casual conversation with their chairs; then take to Council for establishment

Diversity Committee Microsite: Sasha Griffin

Griffin would like to have a vision for the web site—needs listing of subcommittee members; activity reports, blog posts, and, ideas on what the committee and subcommittees would like to see. In addition, Whorley wants to ensure that there is open communication between the subcommittees and transparency.

Adjourned: 5:00 pm.

Referenced Group Meeting: