Monday, August 23, 2010

SAA's Diversity Committee

At the Women's Collections Roundtable meeting, I reported that I am now the Diversity Committee representative from WCRT as well as the Women Archivists Roundtable. My role is to report out from the Diversity Committee to the women's roundtables and facilitate communication between the groups.

At the Diversity Committee meeting, we discussed many issues, but these are the highlights most relevant to this audience:

  • SAA is planning to implement demographic tracking in their membership database to assess the makeup of SAA for diversity factors, including gender, race/ethnicity, and age. This will help to evaluate the diversity of membership, leadership, participation in committees and other groups, as well as of speakers at annual meetings.
  • Debra Kimok reported on the background of the AMRT/RMRT Joint Working on Diversity. The group conducted a survey and developed a best practices document, “Best Practices for Working with Researchers/Archives Employees with Disabilities,” which were just endorsed by the Council at its meeting on Aug 9, 2010.
  • The Diversity Committee may develop a survey jointly with the Membership Committee to assess what SAA members believe to be the most important issues that the Diversity Committee should address.
  • Participation in SAA for members who can't attend annual meetings: The DC would like to address ways to enable people to contribute to discussions without being physically present at meetings via technology such as live streaming of sessions or setting up phone conferences for committee meetings.
  • SAA Council charged the DC to develop a proposal for Council on what the Mosaic Scholarship could be, and develop a plan for implementing the proposal for recruitment and retention of minority students.
Do you have ideas about diversity issues you'd like to see addressed, particularly concerning gender? No need to wait for a survey or for next year's meeting! Email kelly.wooten at with your thoughts and ideas.


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