Midwest Archives Conference Council's Statement on George Floyd

The Midwest Archives Conference condemns the senseless murder of George Floyd, and countless others, by the police. As an organization, we grieve for the heartache and distress of Black Americans throughout our Midwestern cities and the nation. As an association of archivists, curators, and information professionals, we must not fall into the mindset that "this isn't about archives, it doesn't involve me." When do we apply that metric to any other aspect of what we do? Are we not always trying to demonstrate how archives are relevant?

Our shared values say archives "serve as evidence against which individual and social memory can be tested." We are being tested now. What do our records show? Likely, they show institutional racism and overt and unintentional bias. More importantly, what has been left out? This moment didn't just happen. We know better. We understand context, intentional erasure, and archival silences.

Do this. First, we must believe that Black Lives Matter. Only then can we offer to help and let that help be driven by a need. Reach out and offer assistance. Accept if the help isn't needed or wanted. Be a resource. Answer questions. Do not rush to collect, but rather thoughtfully serve your community in an ethical and compassionate manner.

For further resources, please consider Documenting the Now (https://www.docnow.io/) and the Documenting in Times of Crisis: A Resource Kit (https://www2.archivists.org/advocacy/documenting-in-times-of-crisis-a-resource-kit) produced by the Society of American Archivists Tragedy Response Initiative Task Force.

###