“I believe my ancestors poured the value of memory work into me before I was born.”
archivist activist storyteller
Creator of the Reparative Archive Framework
“Reparative archival work does not pretend to ignore the imperialist, racist, homophobic, sexist, ableist, and other discriminatory traditions of mainstream archives, but instead acknowledges these failures and engages in conscious
actions toward a wholeness that may seem to be an exercise in futility but in actuality is an ethical imperative for all within traditional archival spaces.” 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,” Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies: Vol. 5 , Article 6.
Reparative Archive Workshops (R.A.W)
Founder of Project STAND
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. More
My Origin Story
At an early age, I appreciated the role of oral tradition and personal family archives. I remember sitting under the family dinner table, listening to my elders speak of their life on the family farm in Oberlin, land that had been in my family for generations on my father’s side. The land was passed down from my great-grandfather, who spoke around the country to Black folks on the government to religion. There are newspaper clippings of his speeches in Black newspapers and references to his businesses in “Negro directories” dating back to 1908!
On my mother’s side, the matriarch spoke of how her husband was part of the Battle of Bulge and her eldest brother also served during wartime, but neither was welcomed back with the same privileges as their white counterparts. My grandmother spoke of cleaning homes and the eventual joy of owning her home as a Black woman at a time when it was a rare occasion.
I have always been a captive of narratives–to the power of the stories of Black life. The relevance and critical imperative in seeing the self-reflected in the spaces they live and in the scrapbook of America’s journey were poured into my soul, imprinted on me before I was born. I know my ancestors set me on this path to be part of this work to explore, advocate, celebrate the lives lived of people that look like my family and me and other marginalized peoples looking for their reflection and their stories.
Connect with me for Reparative Archive workshops, collection development consultations, speaking engagements, oral history projects, and more!