Williams Black Lives Matter Project

Faith Rodriguez images, 2020. Williams Black Lives Matter Project. Williams Special Collections.

Williams Student Union and Williams Libraries are collaboratively putting out a call out for submissions from all Williams students, staff, and faculty for photos, videos, poetry, art, and reflections on the current protests spurred by the recent murder of George Floyd, brought about by ongoing structures of white supremacy, systemic racism against Black people, and policing structures that perpetuate white supremacy.

We are putting this call out to center the Black experience in our collections and to preserve histories that disproportionately and purposefully have been undocumented.

This collaborative archival project, The Williams Black Lives Matter Project, will be made accessible and preserved for perpetuity in Special Collections. 

This project is a co-archiving initiative. Co-archiving is a non-hegemonic process of gathering and organizing records with a group.  

  • Williams Student Union has been talking to various students about ways to best work towards a more fair and just environment for all and ensure the safety and prosperity of our Black community. Keeping in mind the historical failures of the press and scholarly research to properly account for and depict the experiences of black people and the historical failures of archivists to account for and recognize these biases, we feel that it is important to advocate for Black voices to be heard and preserved during these protests so that when people look back upon these times, the voices of the oppressed will not be silenced.

    Williams Libraries and Williams Student Union are unwaveringly committed to the mission of the College:

    Diversity is not an end in itself, but a principle flowing from the conviction that encountering differences is at the heart of the educational enterprise—differences, certainly, of ideas and beliefs, but also differences of perspectives rooted in the varied histories students bring with them.

    By preserving and making accessible these submissions, Williams Libraries confirms their commitment to documenting student life, college histories, student histories, and the Black experience. These moments of activism are often moments of professional opportunism or exploitation in libraries and museums. This project seeks to disavow these harmful practices; instead, we put this call out to center the Black experience in our collections and to preserve histories that disproportionately and purposefully have been undocumented.

  • For more information

    If you have questions about the project please reach out to:

    Jessika Drmacich at jgd1​@williams​.edu (Records Manager and Digital Resources Archivist)

    Emmanuelle Copeland at [email protected] (WSU Class of '23 representative)

    Jonah Tobin at [email protected] (WSU Class of '23 representative)