Call for Member Comments: SAA Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

February 26, 2020—The SAA Council seeks member comment on proposed revisions to the SAA Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This statement establishes SAA's values, centering on diversity, equity, and our commitment to building a culture of inclusion.  

The Council began review of the statement this winter, per the established three-year review cycle; the document was last reviewed in 2016. The Council proposes revisions, as noted in the documents below, to update and improve the statement, most notably by adding “equity” more prominently.

Proposed Revisions to the SAA Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
PDF | Word

Current Version (for reference): SAA Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

To comment on these proposed revisions: Follow the hyperlinks above to review the proposed revisions in pdf or Word format. Log in to post comments publicly on this webpage or send an email message containing your comments to saahq@archivists.org. All comments should be submitted by Thursday, March 12.

AttachmentSize
0320_Revisions_SAA Statement on DEI_ForMemberComment.pdf325.95 KB
0320_Revisions_SAA Statement on DEI_ForMemberComment.docx21.33 KB
4 Comment(s) to the "Call for Member Comments: SAA Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"
rileyeren228 says:
Specificity and Inclusion

Thank you for allowing us to review this.  I appreciate being able to exercise my membership rights for the advancement of the Society.

I feel like the first sentence is harsh.  As archivists, it is not only us who benefits from the community.  I think there should be restructuring of that introduction so it is not purely self-serving.

When refering to LGBTQ with a +, please add IA to the end.  Another term to consider would be "marginalized communities."

For the inclusion section, a sense of responsibility should be instilled.  It is the archivist's responsibility to make sure they are practicing inclusion rather than just acceptance and tolerance.

Thank you again for allowing us to participate!  Best of luck in reviewing this.

-Riley Griffin

mrrothen says:
Practical reasons

The draft shows this sentence being deleted:

By embracing diversity and encouraging inclusion, the Society speaks more effectively on behalf of the entire profession, serves a fuller range of stakeholders, increases organizational credibility, and becomes a stronger advocate for the archives profession.

I'm not sure why this bit is being proposed for deletion, but it seems to me it should stay in.  It explains clearly and concisely that there are sound practical reasons for embracing diversity and inclusion, in addition to the obvious ethical, personal, and moral reasons.  I think it's good to have that included.

matienzo says:
(Duplicate comment deleted)

(Duplicate comment deleted)

matienzo says:
Further strengthening the revisions

My thanks go to SAA Council for reviewing and proposing revision to the SAA Statement on Diversity and Inclusion. My comments are brief and provide what I hope will be a starting point to a more in-depth conversation between Council and SAA membership.

  • Under “Diversity,” I ask Council to consider inclusion of an additional category in “professional and geographic factors” to describe job classification or rank. This can be considered from multiple angles: in terms of years of experience or early/mid-/late career status; and positional classification (e.g. faculty, administrative staff, or classified staff in educational institutions; or, more broadly, “paraprofessional” staff, “professional” staff, etc.).
  • Under “Equity,” I encourage Council to consider revising the first bullet (“Equal access to educational and leadership opportunities…”) to include awards, and funding opportunities, given SAA’s programs supporting awards, scholarships, travel, and the grant funding available through the SAA Foundation.
  • Regarding both “Provenance” and “Implementation and Governance”, I ask Council to consider including a reference to the SAA Code of Conduct, and to review the Code of Conduct in light of the revised statement. I recognize that the Code of Conduct was just reviewed last July, but there is an opportunity to strengthen and align these documents and SAA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by a coordinated review along with the SAA Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination Policy.
  • Finally, while I recognize that SAA is a membership organization, the statement overall could be made stronger by demonstrating a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion across the archival profession within the United States. This may open up SAA to further partnerships with other organizations, such as regional or specialized archival organizations.

Mark A. Matienzo
Unceded Ohlone Territory / San Mateo, CA