Mosaic Scholarship: Jimmy Zavala

Jimmy Zavala, who is pursuing a master of library and information science degree at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), is the 2016 recipient of the Society of American Archivists' Mosaic Scholarship. The Mosaic Scholarship provides $5,000 to a student who demonstrates potential for scholastic and personal achievement and who manifests a commitment both to the archival profession and to advancing diversity concerns within it.

In addition to a strong academic record, Zavala has demonstrated a commitment to engage with community-based archives. Zavala joined the Ralph Bunche Youth Leadership Academy in high school, where he first worked with archives and was exposed to the positive history of the community in which he grew up. He also conducted interviews at the Southern California Library to examine the role the library played in promoting community access, representation and empowerment. His current research at UCLA is centered on how community archives provide a platform for disenfranchised and marginalized communities to tell their stories and see themselves represented in archives.

"Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, most of the statements about my community related to gang violence, poverty, and crime,” said Zavala. “I want to uncover the positive history of the place I grew up in. After all, this is the place that created me."

One of his supporters noted that Zavala has an “acute awareness of the challenges and nuances of the kinds of community-based work that he wishes to pursue as an archival professional.”

First awarded in 2009, the Mosaic Scholarship also provides recipients with a one-year membership in SAA and a complimentary registration to the SAA conference.