Image Courtesy of Spelman College Archives
The “Featured Collections” page highlights participating institutions’ collections. Each month we put the focus on one institution, where we display links to all of their collections that are related to student activism and social justice. These collections are either full, partial, or both.
Image Courtesy of UMD Libraries
Archiving Student Activism Toolkit:
Created by Annalise Berdini, Rich Bernier, Valencia Johnson, Maggie McNeely, and Lydia Tang on behalf of Project STAND, November 2019.
Image Courtesy of UMD Libraries
Check out the visual information on our collections
Archiving Joy and Trauma
The Humanization of BIPOC Communities
September 18-22, 2023 in Atlanta GA
Project STAND’s Second Residency Program
2nd Residency Program
Project STAND and the AUC Woodruff Library hosted a one-week, in-person residency September 18–22, 2023 in Atlanta, GA. The residency invited six individuals to serve in a cohort to create a digital educational resource as an extension of Project STAND’s Archiving Student Activism Toolkit.
We want to give a special thanks to the Mellon Foundation for their support, and the AUC Robert Woodruff library, including Loretta Parham, CEO and Director, and all of the AUC Woodruff Library staff that handled the logistics and helped to faclitate the activites for the fellows throughout the week. We would also like to thank Spelman college for their hospitality and hosting us for a day during the week.
Our fellows had the opportunity during the residency to reimagine how we archive. The result? A stunning collection of zines. Titled “Reimagining How We Archive: Vulnerability, Transparency, and Community,” these zines are a testament to the power of storytelling, art, and collaboration. Over the course of the residency, our fellows poured their hearts and minds into crafting these unique publications, exploring new ways to document the human experience and the narratives of BIPOC communities.
The zines are a celebration of vulnerability—capturing moments of introspection and personal connection. Most importantly, they embody the spirit of community, reflecting the diverse voices and perspectives that made our residency so enriching.
Student Panelist Discussion
The second day of our Archiving Joy and Trauma: The Humanization of BIPOC Communities residency was nothing short of extraordinary. Our cohort of fellows had the privilege of engaging with inspiring student panelists who shared their remarkable experiences as student activists. These young leaders captivated the audience with their personal narratives, shedding light on the challenges, triumphs, and heartfelt moments that have shaped their journeys. Their stories resonated deeply, showcasing the incredible resilience, dedication, and passion that fuels student activism. They not only enriched our understanding of student organizing but also underscored the value of archiving the full human experience. Their stories were a testament to the importance of documenting the joy and trauma that black communities navigate, ensuring that their voices and experiences are heard and preserved.
Syreeta Gates Opening Keynote Speaker
Syreeta Gates, gave an extraordinary keynote address. She took us through her journey from her childhood to where she is today, an extrememly talented filmmaker, writer, art collector, and archivist.
STAND Second Residency
Panel Discussion at Spelman College
Iris Afantchao is an MLIS student based in Massachusetts. As an Archival Studies Social Justice Master’s Scholarship Program (SJ4A) Fellow with the University of Alabama, they focus on social justice praxis in archives for suppressed communities. Their recent work in alma mater Smith College’s special collections motivates their approach to make student activism work visible and contextualized in ethical ways. She prioritizes care for both researchers and archivists while researching zines as teaching tools, the intersections of political violence and imagery on public memory, as well as resilience through community archives and memory work. Iris has experience in museums, academic libraries, NGOs, state archives, and more.
Hannah McGurk is a writer and researcher from South London. She is the Managing Editor at Project Myopia, a platform dedicated to decolonising and diversifying the university, and a Project Coordinator at UncoverEd, an archival research group exploring the imperial and colonial legacies of the University of Edinburgh. Hannah is interested in the ways we try to nourish ourselves and each other.
Mia Sturdivant is a graduating senior history major, secondary minor from Charlotte, NC. She currently attends Howard University. Their research interests include Black feminisms, HBCU culture, and urban education.
Wanda Hernández is a doctoral candidate in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland, where she is completing her dissertation, Performing Archives: How Central Americans Perform Race in the DMV. Her research interests revolve around the formation of race and ethnic identity among US Central Americans through material and visual culture, space and place, and performances of the everyday. In addition to academia, Wanda is an independent curator and cultural organizer. She co-founded a curatorial collective named Creating Casa, which organizes art exhibitions and public programs that question Latine identity and placemaking in the Washington metropolitan area.
Rebecca Wells is the Student Life Archivist in Special Collections and University Archives at Iowa State University. In her role, Rebecca leads efforts to document and preserve a more robust and inclusive record of student life at Iowa State, including materials created by Iowa State students/alumni, student organizations, and student activism. Rebecca holds a BA from Augustana College and an MSIS with Endorsements of Specialization in Archival Administration and Preservation Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a Certificate from the University of North Texas in Advanced Management in Libraries and Information Agencies.
Kristy Li Puma
Bambara’s future plans include creating a non-profit community center that assists with access to therapists, yoga, and other ways to cope with mental health.
Andrea “Philly” Walls
Andrea “Philly” Walls is a multidisciplinary artist, informed and inspired by the writers and visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movement. She is among the first cohort of artists to be designated as Philadelphia Cultural Treasures and is serving in her third year as Artist in Residence at Drexel University’s, Writers Room. She is pleased that her writing, scholarship, and visual art have been supported by organizations she admires, including the Leeway Foundation, VONA/Voices Workshops for Writers of Color; Black Public Media/MIT Open Documentary Lab, Hedgebrook Residencies for Women Authoring Change; The Colored Girls Museum; Writers Room at Drexel University; The Studio Museum of Harlem; The Women’s Mobile Museum, Eastern State Penitentiary; Mural Arts Philadelphia; and FabYouth Philly. In addition to The Museum of Black Joy, Andrea is the creator and curator of The D’Archive.com, author of the poetry chapbook, Ultraviolet Catastrophe (Thread Makes Blanket Press) and the digital web-collection, The Black Body Curve. com
Andrea encourages you to use her bio as a map to make connections with organizations that make a daily commitment to uplift work and workers who emerge from diverse origin stories.
Dr. Jaimee A. Swift (she/her)
Jaimee A. Swift (she/her) is the executive director, creator, and founder of Black Women Radicals, a Black feminist advocacy organization dedicated to uplifting and centering Black women and gender expansive people’s radical activism in Africa and in the African Diaspora. She is also the creator and founder of The School for Black Feminist Politics (SBFP), the Black feminist political education arm of Black Women Radicals. As a political and cultural custodian dedicated to uncovering, restoring, and restituting Black women and gender expansive people’s political memories, movements, narratives, and leadership, Swift works with Black feminist-activists, organizers, scholars, and educators from around the world to explore and expand on the power, possibilities, and futurity of Black feminisms.
She is the co-creator of the Black and Asian Feminist Solidarities Project, a collaboration between Black Women Radicals, the Asian American Feminist Collective, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Swift is also on the board of The Gloria Naylor Archive and is the co-curator of The Grassroots Archivist Collective of Black Women (GACBW). A collaboration between Black Lesbian Archives and Black Women Radicals, the GACBW is a transnational virtual convening of Black women and gender expansive grassroots archivists and/or aspiring archivists.
Swift has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Howard University. Her dissertation, “Toward A Queer Amefricanidade: State, Structural, and Symbolic Violence and Afro-Brazilian LGBT Women’s Resistance in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil” examines Afro-Brazilian queer and transgender women’s historical and contemporary political struggles against multiform state and quotidian violence since Brazil’s democratic transition from military dictatorship from the 1980s to present day. Her recent article published by Oxford University Press for the Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics offers an analysis of Afro-Brazilian LGBT women’s activism based on her dissertation. As a journalist, her works have been published in The Washington Post, The Grio, Salon.com, For Harriet, and more. She has been featured on PBS, RT America, CBS.com, and more.
Regan Sommer McCoy
Regan Sommer McCoy is an NYC-based curator, community archivist, and arts administrator. Sommer is the Chief Curator of the Mixtape Museum, an initiative that encourages the research, archiving, preservation, and data analysis of mixtapes. Her mixtape scholarship has been supported by appointments with Columbia University, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, and a 2022 research grant from the Association for Recorded Collections (ARSC). She is the ‘23 Visiting Hip Hop Scholar at Virginia Union University and an inaugural ‘23 ARSC Awards for Independent Initiatives awardee. Sommer consults and advises the Black Beauty Archives, Museum of Pop Culture’s Hip-Hop Collection, and Five Mics: The Hip-Hop Trading Game. She is on staff at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in Creative Social Impact, curating BAM Archive’s Hip Hop Collection. Her most recent article, Mixtape Memories: Hip-Hop Community and Culture at NYC’s Mixtape Museum, appears in ARSC Journal (2021). Find her mentioned in The Enduring Romance of Mixtapes in The Atlantic (2023).
Liú Chen (they/them) is a queer, trans non-binary, disabled Abolitionist nerd, descended from the islands of Taiwan and Ireland. They are currently the Oral History Program Manager at the National Public Housing Museum in Chicago. They view storytelling and oral history as key strategies for thawing trauma, empowering connection, and creating radical change. Their personal work focuses on anti-imperialism, queer/trans liberation, the heterogeneity of Asian and Asian/American identities, Black/Asian coalition movements, and the textures of silence and absence. They are guided by vanguard coalition activists/scholars such as Grace Lee Boggs, Audre Lorde, and Ella Jo Baker. Liú has often been called a trouble-maker.
Nedra Deadwyler an innovative public historian centers on Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Gender Queer and Gender Expansive Folx, Refugees, and Immigrants in narratives about place and history. Her working style is grounded in community care, and deep-rooted connectedness, and embodies justice. Two of her main projects are Civil Bikes and Save Your Spaces both are designed to build a collective understanding of the historical past and engage Community to co-design how that knowledge will be used to design the future. She holds a Master of Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University, a Master of Social Work from New York University, and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Georgia. She was Scholar in Residence in 2021 with The Atlanta Beltline. She published a chapter, Civil Bikes: embracing Atlanta’s racialized history through bicycle tours. (Routledge, 2016, Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for All? Edited by A. Golub, M.L. Hoffmann, A. E. Lugo, and G. F. Sandoval), book review, Whose Bike Lanes, of “Bike Lanes are White Lanes: Urban Planning and Bicycle Infrastructure and Advocacy, and an article, “There is a Tremendous Untold Story of Black. People on Bikes” in Bicycling Magazine, August 2020. In 2022, became a member of the inaugural, Beauty Turner Oral History Corps and the Archive Apprenticeship with the National Public Housing Museum. She consults on projects in public history, placemaking, tourism, and heritage preservation.
Ìyá Fábùnmí McNally (she/her) is a nationally recognized transformative leader, student affairs professional, organizer, and multi-disciplinary creative committed to the liberation of oppressed people. She is passionate about developing strategies, and initiatives, and curating spaces for historically marginalized populations to transform & thrive through programmatic, advocacy & political education efforts. Trinice was born in London, England, by way of Jamaica as a grandchild of the Windrush generation. She is an Ifá practitioner in the Yoruba Tradition. She serves as Iyálòdé with her partner Olùwó Bàbá Ifálòwó Ajośe Adéòlá, where they preside over Ijó Ifà Ogùndá Másà, an Esín Ibìlé Oriśa Temple (Traditional Ifá/Oriśa worship)based in Hyattsville, MD.
Trinice currently serves as the founding director of the Center for Diversity, Inclusion & Multicultural Affairs at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), founding organizer of the Envisioning Safety On Our Campuses Now Project (ESOC NOW), and is the founding director/CEO of TJM Forward Culture, Education, and Organizing Group, a creative educational consultant agency committed to developing art, program and organizing initiatives that mobilize societal change & transformation. She believes in the collective power of harnessing indigenous ancestral lineages, transnational organizing, and cultural work to educate, mobilize, heal and inspire change across spaces.
Camille Lawrence’s work as an archivist focuses on the art history, innovations, and diversity of artistic expression across the African Diaspora. She is most interested in exploring and archiving identity formation throughout the African diaspora and culture through three foundational principles: Oral, Physical, and Ritual. Lawrence’s background as an art historian, artist, and beauty practitioner informs her approach to archival work. Her projects include Black Beauty Archives and contributions to Urban Bush Women and BAM DanceAfrica.
On Juneteenth 2020, Camille founded Black Beauty Archives to document, preserve and archive the history of Black Beauty culture. Camille’s professional makeup artist experience includes publications in VOGUE, Sophisticate’s Black Hair Styles, The New York Times, PAPER, and TV/Film with Apple, CNBC, Disney, ESPN, Hallmark, and Nike. [IMDB] In 2022, Black Beauty Archives was featured in Art Net News, Oprah Daily! and mentioned On CNN and The Hollywood Reporter. BBA’s archival film premiered at Miami Art Basel 2022, in the exhibition “The Crown We Never Take Off’“ in collaboration with RICHES on Amazon Prime.
She completed her BA in Art History and a minor in Global Black Studies from SUNY Purchase and Beauty Industry Essentials Certification from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is completing her MLIS with a Certificate in Archives from CUNY Queens College.
Steven De’Juan Booth (he/him) is an archivist, researcher, and member of The Blackivists, a collective of trained Black memory workers who provide expertise on archiving and preservation practices to communities in the Chicagoland area. His work and research interests include photographic and audiovisual materials, Black cultural heritage preservation, community archives, and digital humanities. He is currently Archive Manager of the Johnson Publishing Company Archive for the Getty Research Institute and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
From 2009-2021, Steven worked at the US National Archives and Records Administration for the Presidential Materials Division, Office of Presidential Libraries, and Barack Obama Presidential Library. He has also held positions at Boston University’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center and JPMorgan & Chase cataloging the archive of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Steven is an active member of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and served on the governing board of the organization from 2017-2020. He has given talks at the Library of Congress, the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library, Brown University’s Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and the Visual Resources Association Annual Conference. [Click the links to watch the recorded lectures.]
In 2020, Steven co-edited with Stacie Williams Loss/Capture, a digital editorial project exploring the state of Black cultural archives in and beyond Chicago, presented by Sixty Inches From Center, a Chicago-based arts publication and archiving initiative. He is currently working on a book project with Barrye Brown documenting the contributions and impact of Black archivists in SAA. He is also conducting research, funded by the SAA Foundation, with Brenda Gunn exploring archival revolutions, transitional moments, and shifts from 1980 to 2020.
Siddisse Negero is a first-generation Ethiopian-American interdisciplinary artist, creative researcher, and archivist born and raised in the D.C. metro area, currently based in Philadelphia. She is co-founder of KyKy Archives, a digital archive and resource documenting the histories of Black Lesbian, Queer, Gender Non-Conforming, and Trans People. She is engaged in the practice of moving the stories of these communities from margin to center by creating accessible resources for collective learning, creative practice, and preservation in digital and physical space. Their work is focused on creating a vast web of interconnection between and within the stories of black people globally, and their multiple expressions of gender and sexuality through storytelling, artistic practice, and creative preservation methods.
Creative, art collector, and archivist. Syreeta Gates is the founder of The Gates Preserve, a multimedia experience company committed to archiving and preserving hip hop culture such that it lasts forever. She produces “Yo Stay Hungry” — a live culinary competition that bridges hip hop with food and beverage, and is co-owner of Most Incredible Studio which celebrates and commemorates the artists and moments that continue to elevate and define hip-hop culture – through LEGO. She was also on the United States Season 2 of LEGO Masters as the first Black woman. She has produced 4 short films and Gates’ archival work includes research for “The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion” and “A Ballerina’s Tale.” Her feature documentary Shaping the Culture, is the history of hip-hop in print from copy machines to tweets.
Syreeta has been featured in Forbes, RedBull, Black Enterprise, and many other outlets. Her work was lauded in Elena Romero and Elizabeth Way “Fresh Fly Fabulous: 50 Years of Hip Hop Style” (2023), Tony Wagner’s, “Creating Innovators” (2015), and John Schlimm’s book, “Stand Up!: 75 Young Activists Who Rock the World, And How You Can, Too!” (2013) Gates was also highlighted in Adam Smiley Poswolsky’s “The Quarter-Life Breakthrough: Invent Your Own Path, Find Meaningful Work.” (2016)
Syreeta holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Youth Culture from Hunter College and a Master’s degree in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation from New York University. A native New Yorker, Syreeta is based in Queens, New York. #QGTM
Closing Keynote Speaker
Manuel Mendez is a University of Maryland Ph.D. student (College of Information Studies) whose scholarship focuses on Afro-Latino history in the D.C. metropolitan region. A documentary producer and archival activist, Manuel is a frequent invited panelist and speaker on Latino identity, Black cultural memory and heritage, and anti-Black racial oppression among Spanish-Speaking and/or white supremacist communities. Manuel’s scholarship draws from his extensive experience with youth organizing, bilingual public library service, and grassroots oral history work. His work has been recognized and utilized by Politics & Prose, Hola Cultura, Univision, the Office of the D.C. Mayor, and various universities across the U.S.
Holly Smith serves as the College Archivist at Spelman College. Previously she served as African American Materials Specialist in the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her B.A. in History and Black Studies from The College of William and Mary, an M.A. in History from Yale University, and her M.S. in Library and Information Science, with a concentration in Archival Management, from Simmons College. Ms. Smith has served as chair of the Society of American Archivists Diversity Committee, and co-chair of the Women’s Collections Roundtable. Additionally, she is the proud co-author of the article “This [Black] Woman’s Work: Exploring Archival Projects that Embrace the Identity of the Memory Worker” (KULA Journal) and author of the piece “Radical Love: Documenting Underrepresented Communities Using Principles of Radical Empathy” (Journal for the Society of North Carolina Archivists). Ms. Smith has had the pleasure of speaking on panels about HBCU archives, digital collections, and the papers of lesbian feminist activist/writer Audre Lorde. She is passionate about community archives and archival advocacy related to collections for historically under documented communities.
Ramon Johnson is a critical qualitative scholar and interdisciplinary artist from Atlanta,GA with expertise on Black Trans* and Queer institutional politics. Much of Johnson’s research uses institutional and curated archives to interrogate issues of (Anti)Blackness, neoliberalism, and institutionalized transphobia in higher education with particular attention to the campus climates of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and the organizing tension between abolition and reform. They are currently pursuing a PhD in the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Department of the University of Washington.
Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, Founder Project STAND
She is the Founder of Project STAND, is a radical grassroots archival consortia project between colleges and universities around the country; to create a centralized digital space highlighting analog and digital collections emphasizing student activism in marginalized communities. Project STAND aims to foster ethical documentation of contemporary and past social justice movements in underdocumented student populations. STAND advocates for collections by collaborating with educators to provide pedagogical support, create digital resources, hosts workshops and forums for students, information professionals, academics, technologists, humanists, etc. interested in building communities with student organizers and their allies, leading to sustainable relationships, and inclusive physical and digital spaces of accountability, diversity, and equity. The project has received over $800,000 in grant funding from The Mellon Foundation and IMLS.
She is also the Associate Director of Engagement, Inclusion, and Reparative Archives in Special Collections and University Archives, a newly established position for the University of Maryland in College Park. Hughes-Watkins is also the architect of the reparative archive framework, mentioned in her article, “Moving Toward a Reparative Archive: A Roadmap for a Holistic Approach to Disrupting Homogenous Histories in Academic Repositories and Creating Inclusive Spaces for Marginalized Voices.” She has launched workshops that focus on this archival praxis, which centers on community building as a first step. Her research areas focus on outreach to marginalized communities, documenting student activism within disenfranchised student populations, and utilizing narratives of vulnerable populations within the curricula of post-secondary education spaces. She also serves as a Co-chair for the 1856 Project, a chapter of Universities Studying Slavery, and the Co-PI for the CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for African American and African Studies grant. From 2013-2018 she served as the University Archivist at Kent State University. She is a 2019 Mover and Shaker. She is a 2019 ARL Leadership and Career Development Program fellow and previously served on the Advisory Board for the Archives Leadership Institute.
keondra bills freemyn, Coordinator for Project STAND
She is the Archives Director for Black Lunch Table. keondra is a DMV-based archivist, writer, Wikipedian, and former diplomat originally from South Central, Los Angeles. A poet, essayist, and fiction writer, she is the author of Things You Left Behind and the forthcoming collection, for lovers. She is founder of the digital archive initiative, The Black Women Writers Project, highlighting the contributions of Black women and gender expansive writers to the literary canon, and publisher at 67th Street Storytellers. keondra is an alumna of Fordham University (B.S.) and Columbia University (M.P.A.) and is a Society of American Archivists Digital Archives Specialist. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from Harvard University and a Master of Library and Information Science from University of Maryland College Park in Archives and Digital Curation. Her research interests include digital archiving and memory work, personal archiving, post-custodial models, open data, and Black history and cultural production. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and currently resides in Prince George’s County, Maryland with her wife and child.
A Home Away From Home: The George A. Jackson Black Cultural Center, Exhibition, Special Collections, and University Archives, Iowa State University
In 2018 Project STAND received a $92,000 grant from IMLS. In 2021 Project STAND received a $750,000 grant from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
Collections assessments received from 59 institutions.
Approximately 5051 linear feet of archival material.
Project STAND has a total membership of 89 institutions and contributors across the country
There are a total of 12 student activism topics that include African American/Civil Rights, Vietnam/Anti-War, Women’s Rights, LGBTQ+, Asian American, and Latinx
There are 238 collections that are born digital/digitized
Project STAND has given out more than $80,000 of microgrants for digitization projects at Howard, FISK, South Carolina State, Tulane, University of Colorado and Kentucky.
Project STAND is now 5 years old!
Project STAND News
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Project STAND Next General General Meeting 10/19/2023
Resources for Archivists
- Archiving Student Activisim Toolkit
- Documenting Student Activisim Without Harm
- Glossary of Studnet Activism
- Project STAND CVB