SAA Community Reflection on Black Lives and Archives

A recording of this event is now available here

UPDATED June 11, 2020—As noted in the Society of American Archivists’ June 2 Statement on Black Lives and Archives, the vitality of American archives depends on the safety of archives workers and an explicit commitment to social responsibility, justice, and anti-racism in the work that we do and the organizations we work within. 

The SAA Council is convening a forum of reflection to move toward healing and understanding. We invite the archives community to participate in a reflection on the continuation of anti-Black violence and an affirmation of the importance of Black lives. This event is open to all. (The event will be recorded and available after it airs.)

Community Reflection on Black Lives and Archives

Friday, June 12, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:15 pm ET
(12:00 pm PT / 1:00 pm MT / 2:00 pm CT)

RSVP required for Zoom security. 

Moderated by Dr. Meredith R. Evans, Director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta and 74th President of the Society of American Archivists.


  • Zakiya Collier, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library
  • Dorothy Berry, Houghton Library, Harvard University
  • Courtney Chartier, Rose Library, Emory University
  • Erin Lawrimore, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Closing remarks by SAA Vice President/President-Elect Rachel Vagts, Denver Public Library.

The SAA Code of Conduct governs expectations of appropriate conduct for this and all SAA events.  

The magnitude of support and interest from the archival profession toward the development of tools and resources to dismantle structural racism in our work is inspiring and powerful. We will also be hosting a facilitated planning forum to gather constructive feedback and develop anti-racist goals in July 2020. We look forward to continuing this work with you.



Additional Resources

SAA Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

SAA Council Statement on Black Lives and Archives

SAA Code of Conduct

SAA Education: Cultural Diversity Competency (free course)

A People’s Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland 

Archives for Black Lives in Philly (A4BLiP), Statement of Principles 

DocNow: Ethical Considerations for Archiving Social Media Content Generated by Contemporary Social Movements: Challenges, Opportunities, and Recommendations   

National Museum of African American History: LET'S TALK! Dialogues on Race Initiative 

Rhizome: Digital Resources for a Movement Against Police Violence

Sixty Inches from Center: The Blackivists’ Five Tips for Organizers, Protestors, and Anyone Documenting Movements 

WITNESS: Activists’ Guide to Archiving Video 

WITNESS: Community-Based Approaches to Archives From the Black Lives Matter Movement