SAA Council Statement on White Supremacists’ Actions in Charlottesville, Virginia

August 15, 2017—The Society of American Archivists joins the nation in condemning the racist acts committed by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, on the weekend of August 12. SAA is committed to listening to and supporting the work of its members who are addressing ways in which archives can assist in fighting suppression, intimidation, and violence, and who are actively engaged in furthering SAA’s strategic priority of diversity and inclusion. Be assured of SAA’s commitment and resolve to promote diversity and inclusion within the Society, among the archival community, and in the wider world.

We have asked the SAA Council Internal Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion to develop a toolkit that will offer specific information and resources on how our profession can work with communities to identify, combat, and dismantle acts and symbols of white supremacy while retaining the history, context, and cultural understanding of these acts and symbols. Archivists play a key role in educating the public about the value of archives and how they can be used in confronting historical truths.

The SAA Council released a statement on August 10 explicitly supporting diversity and inclusion and noting that we are seeking productive ways to continue the important conversations that took place in Portland during our 2017 Annual Meeting. We are committed to fostering discussions about how archivists might partner with the public to reflect on and encourage the use of archives as a means of social transformation and radical inclusion. We welcome your ideas about how to do that. Please email or or contact any Council member with your thoughts.