MARAC Statement on Black Lives Matter and Resources - June 3, 2020

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) stands in solidarity with protesters against violence and racism towards Black Americans and people of color. We condemn the systemic and institutionalized racism, militarization of law enforcement, and unchecked violence committed by the state that led to the murder of George Floyd and so many other Black people. We affirm that Black Lives Matter and support the right to protest peacefully against injustice without violent response.

We recognize that archives have historically been located in institutions and frameworks that reinforce white supremacy and that our organization needs to do more to support efforts to dismantle the historical legacy of oppression both within our organization and within our individual institutions. 

We ask our MARAC members to commit to addressing anti-blackness and to leverage whatever skills, power, and privilege they have towards dismantling oppressive systems in our institutions and communities. We stand with communities everywhere demanding justice.

Ethical Collecting of Protest-Related Materials

To archivists and institutions who are considering collecting protest-related materials, there are important ethical considerations to be aware of, the most important of which is prioritizing the privacy and safety of protesters. It is also appropriate to NOT build protest-related collections if such collection building cannot be done mindfully, safely, and ethically so that they cannot be used to inflict harm. Institutions should also be aware that secondary trauma can be experienced by staff members processing these types of collections. 

For further guidance on ethically collecting protest materials, please consult the Guidelines from Documenting the Now and Guidelines from Witness, as well as resources found on the Archives for Black Lives site.  

MARAC Diversity and Inclusion Resources

Please feel free to suggest any other relevant links directly in the MARAC Diversity and Inclusion Resources Google Document. We hope that you will find these resources useful and empowering.   

MARAC Mutual Aid Network

We would also like to remind you about MARACs mutual aid network, which aims to connect MARAC members with vital resources to those members experiencing need. We hope to leverage this network as a tool during this time of crisis to help facilitate support between members and show solidarity across our community.  

In solidarity and on behalf of the MARAC Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the MARAC Executive Committee. 

National Coalition for History

Logo of the National Coalition of HistoryMARAC participates, through the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Regional Archival Associations Consortium (RAAC), as a proud member of the National Coalition for History (NCH). NCH is a consortium of more than 50 organizations that advocates on federal legislative and regulatory issues affecting historians, archivists, researchers, teachers, students, preservationists, political scientists, museum professionals, genealogists, and other stakeholders. Priority issues include maximizing researcher access to government records and information, support for history education, and funding for agencies like the National Archives, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Park Service, and Institute of Museum and Library Services. NCH is also a driving force behind the Congressional History Caucus.

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Letters of advocacy

View letters of advocacy written by past Chairs:

Last revised August 31, 2020