Documenting Student Activism Now

Host Institution: AUC Woodruff Library, Exhibition Hall
City: Atlanta, Georgia
Date: February 21, 2019
Time: 8:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m.
Online Registration Closed

The first forum in this four-part series will begin with a dialogue that assesses the significance of documenting student activists within contemporary movements of social injustice impacting marginalized communities and with those directly engaging in this work—student activists. The first symposium will be composed of three panels, primarily student leaders from various intersectionalities, who will provide the context into why they have taken on activist labor and the challenges surrounding this role in academic structures. The forum will also include information professionals from academia, traditional libraries, and community archives, who will underscore issues of privacy, preservation, access, and sustainability in documenting student activism. Each forum will conclude with two-paper presentations and a review of Project STAND’s initiatives meant to democratize archives in academic spaces.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Meredith Evans

Dr. Meredith Evans is a manager of cultural institutions, a historian, archivist and librarian by trade and the 74th President of the Society of American Archivists. She is currently employed as the director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, administered by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). (More)


Bergis Jules

Bergis Jules (@bergisjules) is the Director of Equity Initiatives at Shift Design Inc and the Project Director for Documenting the Now, a project which seeks to develop tools and practices that support the ethical collection, use, and access to archival content generated from the web and social media. (More)

Holly Smith

Holly Smith is the College Archivist at Spelman College. She received a B.A. in History and Black Studies from William and Mary, an M.A. in History from Yale University, and an M.S. in Library and Information Science with a concentration in Archival Management from Simmons College. (More)

Ed Summers DocNow Technical Lead

Ed has been working for two decades helping bridge the worlds of libraries and archives with the World Wide Web. During that time Ed has worked in academia, start-ups, corporations and the government. He is interested in the role of open source software, community development and open access to enable digital curation. (More)

Student Panelists

Eva Dickerson is an aquarius, farmer, and cyclist residing in Atlanta’s Westview neighborhood in her co-operative home/community, Orange Moon Sanctuary. A senior at Spelman College and a member of the Eta Kappa chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, her passions include establishing Spelman as an anchor and economic stimulus for the surrounding neighborhoods, encouraging her fellow students to invest in the longevity of HBCUs, and establishing a culture of informed passionate consent amongst students. Eva became involved in organizing in the AUC when she joined AUC Shut It Down, a student resistance organization on campus, where she performed her first in school organizing around the Graves-Consent letter. Since then, Eva has invested herself in bridging the gap between campus life and resources to the historical black communities of metro-Atlanta; work she has accomplished through her membership in the Orange Moon housing co-op and as a previous member-owner of the ATLisREADY activist collective.

Lisa Brown is a junior psychology major with a mental health concentration from Jamesburg, New Jersey. She plans to earn a PhD and practice as a clinical psychotherapist. She hopes to travel and contribute to the fight to make mental healthcare more easily accessible to low income communities. She is a published poet, the president of Afrekete (the LGBTQ+ organization on campus) and a peer counselor. She is also the vice president of the francophone club which is currently writing french children’s books to send to Haiti. She a member of the Ethel Waddell Githii honors program; as well as the national society of collegiate scholars and the alpha lamda delta national honors society. She conducts research in the Cognition and Temperament Lab at Spelman College and she serves as a resident adviser for the housing department. On campus Lisa is dedicated to fighting for the safety of queer lives. In addition, she is advocating for the recognition of queer mental health issues. Off campus she is an advocate for children and young adults with autism and down syndrome. She works as a special needs mentor, providing guidance in social behavior skills

Ginette Rhodes was born in Saint Louis, Missouri and currently, is a fourth-year student at The Ohio State University. She is majoring in political science and minoring in both African American Studies and the Legal Foundations of Law in Society. She entered the University as a Morrill Scholar as well as a Mount Leadership Society Scholar; to this day she committed to enhancing diversity and leadership in her community, which are pillars of both cohorts. Currently, she is president of the Ohio State University NAACP Collegiate Chapter and a research intern for the University Sesquicentennial working out of the Ohio State University Archives. Past engagements throughout her collegiate experience include working as a Diversity Ambassador, Residence Advisor, and Academic Success Partner for the Young Scholars Program. She is thoroughly excited to engage as a panelist for this year’s Symposium!

Amber Reid is currently a Doctoral Candidate for the Humanities Ph.D. with concentration in African American studies at Clark Atlanta University. She was raised in Trenton, New Jersey and began her student journey in Atlanta, GA while attending Spelman College where she studied Psychology and Child Development. Upon graduating, Amber received her Master of Arts degree in Community Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University. Throughout her academic career she has been active in campus organizations including the arts ministries and chapel assistants of the Spelman College Sisters Chapel, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority INC, The CAU Graduate Student Alliance, and Africana Studies Organization. Her research interests include Black dance performance as ritual, healing, and activism.

Ramon W. Johnson is a graduate student at New York University with a concentration in Black Queer Studies  . A native of Ellenwood, Georgia, Johnson received their Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Morehouse College with Cum Laude honors. Since 2013, much of Johnson’s organizing work has addressed issues of cis sexism, the exploitation of queer student labor and Queer/Trans antagonism at Morehouse College by archiving its queer political history, and helping pioneer the institution’s LGBTQ+ Resource Center. Johnson also served as the president and vice president of the institution’s gender & sexuality collective, Morehouse College Safe Space from 2015-2017.

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.

Featured Collection:

REPOSITORY: Northwestern University

Northwestern University: Bursar’s Office Takeover May 3, 1968

Collection Description: On April 22, 1968, members of Black student organizations, For Members Only (FMO) and Afro-American Student Union (AASU), presented a list of demands to the Northwestern University administration in response to discriminatory campus policies and practices and to heighten the awareness of Black student’s experiences of racial insensitivity on campus. When the demands were not met, on May 3, 1968, approximately 120 African American students occupied the Bursar’s Office, Northwestern University’s business office. After a 38-hour demonstration, Black students and the Northwestern University administration came to a resolution of developing advisory boards around the admissions process, recruitment of Black students to the University, review of financial aid packages, and open housing in Evanston, to offer equitable housing options and counseling, and to establish of the Department of African American Studies and a Black student union, today called the Black House. The bulk of the material dates specifically from the time of the strike in May 1968, but there are also later documents reflecting back or referring to it.



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.