Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award: Jessica Tai

Jessica Tai, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is a 2018 recipient of the Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes minority graduate students of African, Asian, Latino, or Native American descent who, through scholastic achievement, manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of SAA.

In addition to her strong academic work, Tai impressed the award committee with her exploratory engagement with local groups, including the production of an outreach event in a historically diverse Los Angeles neighborhood in which she taught a photo preservation workshop and facilitated digitizing participant’s photographs for inclusion in a web-based culture mapping project. She is a member of the Diversity Subcommittee of the Los Angeles Archivists Collective and a researcher for the Community Archives Lab at UCLA, where she is working on a grant that will provide UCLA MLIS students the opportunity to complete paid internships at community archives that represent marginalized and historically underrepresented communities. Tai stated that her professional goal is “to build and reinforce the history and identity of communities of color through a collaborative, community-based archival practice.”

Her supporters noted that Tai “has enormous potential” and “is poised to become a passionate, creative, and innovative leader in the field.”