2019 SAA LACCHA Elections

Christina Bleyer, Junior Co-Chair






Christina Bleyer, PhD is Director of Special Collections and Archives at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She previously served as Head of Special Collections and Senior Archivist at the Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned her Master’s and Doctorate in Philosophy at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale where until 2016 she managed the institution’s manuscript collections.Her research is focused on human rights, ethics, and the role of emotions in the constitution of the person, the community, and memory especially in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is currently managing two oral history projects at Trinity, Voices of Migrationand Stories from the Summitwhile making plans to digitize the Lloyd Best Archive in Trinidad and Tobago. In addition to securing several grants to digitally preserve collections at The Benson Latin American Collection, Dr. Bleyer served as Co-PI on the Mellon funded grant at The University of Texas at Austin, “Cultivating a Latin American Post-Custodial Archival Praxis.” Fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and German, she also has a reading knowledge of Latin, French, and Russian. Dr. Bleyer received a B.A. in philosophy from Loyola University in New Orleans and a B.A. in Russian language and literature from Tulane University. Her book chapter co-authored with Dr. Patricia Garcia at the University of Texas, Teaching Borderlands: Approaches to Teaching Gloria Anzaldúawill appear in Teaching Gloria Anzaldua forthcoming in Fall of 2019.


Statement of Interest:

My name is Christina Bleyer and I currently serve as the Director of Special Collections and Archives at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Prior to this, I served as the Head of Special Collections and Archives at The Benson Latin American Collection. I have been a LACCHA steering committee member since 2015 and have enjoyed being a part of this group and helping to share and promote its initiatives. I am passionate about the history, culture, and people of Latin America and the Caribbean and see the collecting, preservation, and access to archives there as one of the most important aspects of my work. For me, being an archivist is inextricably bound to being an activist. I chose to be an archivist because of the power archives have to change structures of oppression. By identifying, collecting, preserving and making accessible the history, culture and experiences of traditionally underrepresented groups, archives create a space for closed perspectives and attitudes to open. When people are open to each other and honor their differences the world is changed for the better. I would like to serve as LACCHA’s co-chair to make connections, engage, and build solidarity with other Latin American and Caribbean archival repositories both in the U.S. and in Latin America and the Caribbean. LACCHA is the place where archivists working with archival materials in and about Latin America and the Caribbean can come together. I would love to help create and foster archival projects we undertake as a group but that also incorporate our institutions and their strengths.





Béatrice Skokan, Steering Committee



Béatrice Skokan is Curator of Caribbean Collections and Head of Manuscript and Archives Management for the University of Miami Libraries.  Much of her work has focused on the historical documentation of immigrant cultures of South Florida. She holds an MLIS from Florida State University and M.A. in International Studies and French. She has contributed to: “From Haiti to Miami: Security, Serendipity, and Social Justice” published in Informed Agitation, Library and Information Skills in Social Justice Movements and Beyond (Litwin Books, 2013and “The Collaborative Archive from the African Diaspora: Access and Outreach” published in Identity Palimpsests: Ethnic Archiving in the U.S. and Canada (Litwin Books, 2014). She served as co-chair of the SAA Human Rights Roundtable from 2012 to 2014.


Statement of Interest:

Dear LACCHA Section Members,

I serve as the Curator of Caribbean Collections and Head of Manuscripts and Archives Management at the University of Miami Libraries. My research interests include the documentation of oral, immigrant and peripheral cultures. During the past decade I have been working within a collaborative framework to seriously document the cultural contributions of South Florida’s Diaspora communities from the Caribbean and Latin America. The lone organizational work of reaching out and collecting within communities that had been neglected led to an increasing larger collegial project with professionals from neighboring institutions. My outreach work includes presentations to church groups, human rights activists, organized training sessions, formal assessments, physical and online exhibits to document, preserve and promote the contributions of minority voices from Miami and its migrating cultures from the Caribbean and South America.

I hope to bring these experiences to the LACCHA Section. I still remember attending the very first LACCHA roundtable meeting as a MLIS student.  In addition, I think that my personal life experiences as the offspring of Haitian immigrants, coupled with 20 years of work experience in libraries and archives in South Florida has provided unique insights into the life of diverse cultural groups and their modes of expression. I look forward to using these skills to advance the roundtable’s’ work.  


Thank you,

Béatrice Colastin Skokan





Elizabeth Lisa Cruces, Steering Committee


Bio: Elizabeth Lisa Cruces is the archivist and curator for Hispanic Collections at the University of Houston Special Collections. Prior to joining UH, Cruces was the Librarian-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame. She holds an MSIS specializing in archives from the University of Texas at Austin.


As the Archivist for Hispanic Collections, Elizabeth manages and processes historical collections related to Latina/o’s in the US and Latin America, while also providing reference and instruction assistance.


Statement of interest:


I have several years of professional and scholarly experience working with Latina/o and Latin American material as well as advocacy in various spheres. My goal for serving on LACCHA’s steering committee is to share my expertise, experience, and commitment to broadening the historical record. I look forward to prioritizing conversations on power and oppression, memory making, community archives, and silences in archives. 



Dylan Joy, Online Communications Liason 


Dylan Joy is Latin American Archivist at the Benson Latin American Collection at University of Texas at Austin. While at the Benson he has processed and been the key point of contact for several literary archives including the Ernesto Cardenal Papers. Prior to his work at the Benson Dylan worked in archives positions with the National Park Service and at UC Riverside. Dylan received his MLIS from the University of Washington with a focus in archival services and has been a member of SAA since 2012.

 Statement of Interest:

The LACCHA Online Communications Liaison position interests me because this position plays an important role in the continuing success and advancement of LACCHA as a Section within the Society of American Archivists. LACCHA’s mission to act as a forum for those interested in topics affecting Latin America, Caribbean, and Diasporic Archives housed in the United States is one that I support and is relevant to my work with Latin America, Latino/a, and Black Diaspora archives at the Benson.  I am someone who tries to be aware of happenings within the Latin America library/archives field and as the Communications Liaison I would be able to share this passion through coordination and management of LACCHA’s variety of online platforms. In my time at University of Washington I served as the editor-in-chief for the Information School’s creative journal, Silverfish, and I look forward to returning to the editorial world in the work with LACCHA’s Memoria.


Follow LACCHA on Facebook (like us, too!), or write to the LACCHA webmaster at saalaccha(at)gmail.com