The Executive Board of the Society of Florida Archivists condemns the systemic racism that has resulted in harassment and violence against Black people in the United States, particularly the violence perpetrated by police officers. As an organization, we share in the anger and shock around recent events and support the demands for change.
As archivists, we know racist violence is not new - collections in our care include examples of institutional racism and intentional and unintentional bias on the part of collectors. What is new is the immediate access to technologies that record these outrages and new communication channels that allow direct and unfettered distribution of these testimonies.
We acknowledge that archives are not neutral spaces. We have an ethical responsibility to support community archivists collecting in their areas in addition to collecting, preserving, and providing access to materials documenting diverse communities. Archivists and archival institutions must analyze our repositories, collections, and ourselves and take personal responsibility for our role in participating in racism. We need to examine our histories and our assumptions and work toward a more inclusive future.
The Board affirms its commitment to cultivating a more inclusive archival community, ensuring our collections and staffing reflect the diverse communities we serve. We stand ready to be participatory witnesses to this racism and the struggle against it. We believe Black Lives Matter.