September 19-20, 2019

Generational Activism: Documenting Boycotts to Hashtags

September 20, 2019

A historian at heart, reporter by (w)right, rebel by reason, Walidah Imarisha is an educator, writer, public scholar and spoken word artist. She edited two anthologies, Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements and Another World is Possible. Imarisha’s nonfiction book Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption won a 2017 Oregon Book Award. She is also the author of the poetry collection Scars/Stars, and in 2015, she received a Tiptree Fellowship for her science fiction writing.


Dara Walker is a Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in the Department of History at Pennsylvania State University. She was previously the 2018-2019 postdoctoral fellow at the Pennsylvania State University’s George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center. She holds a PhD in History from Rutgers University. Her research interests include African American history, urban history, 20th century U.S. history, public history, and the digital humanities. She is currently writing her book manuscript which examines the role of the high school organizing tradition in the development of black radical politics of the Black Power era.
Dr. Steele is a Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Maryland and a scholar of race, gender and media with specific focus on African American culture and discourse in traditional and new media. Her research has appeared in the Howard Journal of Communications and the book Intersectional Internet (S.U. Noble and B. Tynes Eds.) Her doctoral dissertation, Digital Barbershops, focused heavily on the black blogosphere and the politics of online counterpublics.
Jessica H. Lu earned her Ph.D. in Communication and Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. Formerly a Postdoctoral Associate and Assistant Director of the first African American History, Culture & Digital Humanities (AADHum) team from 2017-2019, she now serves as the Associate Director of Design Cultures & Creativity (DCC) in the Honors College. Trained as a rhetorical critic, she examines the ideas and rhetorical practices that form, advance, and disrupt racist logics in public discourse in the United States. Her work is further positioned at the intersections of African American history, archives, and digital humanities, as she specializes in adapting the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) standard of scholarly markup to critically model, analyze, and amplify Black people's practices of rhetorical invention and innovation.
Dr. Biondi (Ph.D., Columbia University, 1997) is a member of the Department of African American Studies with a courtesy joint appointment in the History Department. She specializes in twentieth century African American History and is the author of To Stand and Fight: the Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City published by Harvard University Press, which awarded it the Thomas J. Wilson Prize as best first book of the year. The University of California Press published her book, The Black Revolution on Campus, an account of the nationwide Black student movement of the late 1960s and early Black Studies movement of the 1970s. She is currently researching a book on neoliberalism, violence and Black life, focusing on Chicago since the 1980s.
Dr. Bradley is the Professor and Chair of African American Studies, Los Angeles, CA. He is interested in the role that youth have played in shaping post-WWII American society. More specifically, he is fascinated with the efforts and abilities of black college students to change not only their scholastic environments but also the communities that surrounded their institutions of higher learning. Amazingly, young people, by way of protests and demands, have been able to influence college curricula as well as the policies of their schools.”
He is an assistant professor of archives and digital curation at the College of Information Studies (iSchool), affiliate assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, and co-director of Museum Scholarship and Material Culture program at the University of Maryland, College Park. He examines how archival records and archival repositories contribute to the creation and preservation of collective memory as well as in achieving social justice. His interest in archives, community, and collective memory led me to explore the emergence of collective memory as a concept in archival studies. Punzalan is particularly interested in colonial archives as they are re-interpreted in postcolonial communities.
Dr. Mariam Durrani’s research focuses on Muslim youth and communities, cultural mobilities, higher education in Pakistan and the United States, race, gender, and migration studies.

Second Symposium Highlights



Featured Collection:

On February 13th, 1969, black students at Duke University joined the fight for civil rights and the equal treatment of African Americans in the United States. As part of Black Culture Week (February 4-12) at Duke University, 60 or so black students entered the Allen Building on the Duke University campus and barricaded themselves in. They renamed the building the Malcom X Liberation School. The occupation only lasted one business day, but it did not go unnoticed. By the end of the day, the initially peaceful protest turned into a scene of aggressive police intervention. It forced the administration to begin discussing the protestors’ demands. These demands included an African American Studies Department, representation as a legitimate organization on campus, protection from police brutality, and other support systems for black students on campus. Though the students exited the building the same day, an agreement between the administration and students could not be made. This led to a student strike and further protests which included students from other colleges and community members. These protests also ended in violence. Protests continued until a loose agreement was made in mid-March of 1969. In 2002, the event was commemorated with a lock-in of the Allen Building to reflect on the activism that has taken place at Duke University.

The Allen Building Takeover Collection contains materials including but not limited to photographs, flyers, correspondence, publications, and other ephemera. The materials document the events of February 13th, the aftermath, and the commemoration of the Allen Building Takeover. The collection contains materials representing the opinions and actions of both sides of the event.

The materials began to be transferred to the University Archives in 1973 and continued to be relinquished to the archives throughout the years, demonstrating a growth in trust between the students and the administration. The Duke University Archives also holds a collection of oral histories related to the Allen Building Takeover titled The Allen Building Takeover Oral History Collection.

Malcom X University of Liberation promotional flyer, 1969.
Flyer for student organized symposium to discuss racial tensions at Duke University, 1969.
Flyer for an event to unify students at Duke University in support of black student representation in college wide decision-making, 1969.

Citation: [Documents, March-April 1969], Allen Building Takeover Collection, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

IMLS Grant 2018

Project STAND receives a $92,096 National Leadership Grant for Libraries Program award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services On August 24, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded Project STAND (STudent Activism Now Documented) $92,096 under the National Leadership Grant for Libraries Program.  Established in fall 2016, Project STAND is a nationwide consortium of more than 40 colleges and universities that is creating an online hub to heighten access to digital and analog archival and historical collections documenting student activism.   —-more—-


“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

James Baldwin

Student activism has and continues to serve as a critical component to the development of a truly democratic society. The collections featured here are from various colleges and universities and they highlight the struggles, victories, and challenges of student movements throughout history.

Connect with these participating institutions to learn more.



In the fall of 2016, Project STAND (Student Activism Now Documented) was established to initially bring together academic institutions across the state of Ohio and discuss ways to share information about the collections and materials related to student activism on their campuses, with a primary focus on marginalized student identities (African American, LGBTQ, Chicano/a, differently abled, Asian Americans, indigenous populations etc.) This exciting initiative was initially conceived by Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, University Archivist at Kent State University who reached out to Tamar Chute, University Archivist at The Ohio State University, on the possibility of creating a centralized hub for academic archives focusing on underrepresented communities’ engagement in social justice activities on and off campus.

Project STAND is an online clearinghouse where academic institutions can provide researchers a centralized access point to historical and archival documentation on the development and on-going occurrences of student dissent. Project STAND focuses on digital and analog primary sources that document the activities of student groups that represent the concerns of historically marginalized communities (e.g., African American, Chicano/a, LGBTQ, religious minorities, disabled, etc.). STAND will also highlight the work of others (e.g., faculty, staff, and administrators) who advocate for or support the interests of those communities.

More information about participating institutions can be found here.

Join Us

Interested in joining Project Stand? Please submit some information about your institution’s collection.