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.
Please make certain you obtain permissions from protestors recognizable in images and videos. If you cannot, please reference the link below.
Read this documentation on safeguarding your work and our communities when readying materials for submission: The Blackivists’ Five Tips for Organizers, Protestors, and Anyone Documenting Movements
We are aware your submissions are special spaces we are granted access to, let us know if the materials require restrictions or an embargo period.
You always own your copyright! But, we encourage you to use a Creative Commons license for your submissions! https://creativecommons.org/.
Ways of documenting the experience and how to submit:
- screenshots of memes or social media (email firstname.lastname@example.org or share via Google Drive with [email protected])
- journal via Twitter/ Facebook/ Instagram or blog (email handle or url to email@example.com)
- video or audio (email firstname.lastname@example.org or share via Google Drive with [email protected])
- voice memos as mp3s (email email@example.com or share via Google Drive with [email protected])
- photographs alone or associated with text (email firstname.lastname@example.org or share via Google Drive with [email protected])
- images of artwork, or digital art (email email@example.com or share via Google Drive with [email protected])
- we are also open to other ideas!
For more information
If you have questions about the project please reach out to:
Jessika Drmacich at firstname.lastname@example.org (Records Manager & Digital Resources Archivist)
Emmanuelle Copeland at [email protected] (WSU Class of '23 representative)
Jonah Tobin at [email protected] (WSU Class of '23 representative)