Category Archives: Statements

SOA Council Statement on HB327 and Legislation that Restricts History Education

January 10, 2022— As Ohio’s professional association of archivists, the Society of Ohio Archivists stand in firm opposition to Ohio HB327. As archivists we collect, preserve, and make accessible historic documents that allow people to study and learn from the past. We vehemently oppose any legislation that infringes upon free speech and interferes with the teaching and research work of not just archivists, but librarians, teachers, professors, and workplace educators.

By prohibiting “divisive concepts” in education, HB327 attempts to inhibit the archival profession and the day-to-day work of archivists. Archives, especially those housed in public colleges and universities, will be unable to collect and share material that fully reflects the experiences of all Ohio’s people. As those charged with collecting and preserving the primary sources upon which historical narratives are based, it is vitally important that our collections document an accurate view of the past including those who have faced discrimination based on their race, sex, gender, ethnicity, or other characteristic. All Ohioans deserve to see themselves reflected in the historical record. The silences in the archives that HB327 creates will change the way current and future generations understand and learn from the past. Continue reading

SOA condemns violence against Asian American and Pacific Island people

April 8, 2021— We stand with AAPI communities as they face rising discrimination, violence, and hate crimes. Just last week, another racist attack was recorded for the world to see, as 65-year-old Vilma Kari was knocked to the ground and beaten, while bystanders did nothing. This happened two weeks after the horrific attack and murder of Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng in Georgia, fueled by anti-Asian racism and misogyny. We are angry and we will not be silent bystanders.

The AAPI community is enduring increased acts of hatred and violence largely because of the racist rhetoric that has been so prevalent since the beginning of the pandemic. However, we know that racism towards Asian Americans and Pacific Island people is not new. As archivists, we understand and have a responsibility to not only shed light on these truths, but to also foster safe spaces for discussions about these painful and traumatic histories. We also commit to celebrating AAPI stories of joy, not just those of pain and violence. AAPI people are Americans, they belong, and their stories are part of the fabric that tells our shared past.

We endorse the statement made by the Midwest Archives Conference and encourage other institutions to take a stand as well. Unity cannot be achieved with neutrality or silence.

#StopAsianHate  #StopAAPIHate

Download statement as PDF.

For more information on the Society of Ohio Archivists Social Justice and Black Lives Matter Task Force see its webpage.

Below are a variety of resources for donating, speaking up, and examining how others are already combating racism. Continue reading

SOA Council Statement on Racial Inequality and Black Lives Matter

June 3, 2020—We, at the Society of Ohio Archivists, are profoundly saddened and outraged by the numerous, unjustified deaths of Black men and women in our country.  We grieve the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless more who have died because of police brutality fueled by hate. We grieve the brutal lynching of Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of vigilante white men, including a former police officer. We condemn the use of violence, vigilantism, and the weaponization of supremacy, and we denounce police violence against Black people.

As archivists, we know this problem is deeply rooted in the history and founding of our nation. It is also rooted in our institutions, including archives. We are committed to recognizing and breaking down systems of white supremacy within our own archives. For decades, the historical narrative has largely left out the stories of Black people in our country. Part of our work as archivists includes creating a space where we can collaborate and dialogue with those whose stories have been marginalized, ignored, and silenced. Our efforts and missions include learning from the past to prepare for the future. We can only do that if we include all voices. Continue reading