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Comments on revisions to SAA statement on Diversity and Inclusion

The SAA Council has issued a call for comments on the SAA Statement on Diversity and Inclusion. As noted in the announcement, the revision includes changes to expand the statement to cover equity as well. Comments are open on the revisions until March 12, 2020, and what follows are the comments that I’ve submitted.

My thanks go to SAA Council for reviewing and proposing revision to the SAA Statement on Diversity and Inclusion. My comments are brief and provide what I hope will be a starting point to a more in-depth conversation between Council and SAA membership.

  • Under “Diversity,” I ask Council to consider inclusion of an additional category in “professional and geographic factors” to describe job classification or rank. This can be considered from multiple angles: in terms of years of experience or early/mid-/late career status; and positional classification (e.g. faculty, administrative staff, or classified staff in educational institutions; or, more broadly, “paraprofessional” staff, “professional” staff, etc.).
  • Under “equity,” I encourage Council to consider revising the first bullet (“Equal access to educational and leadership opportunities…”) to include awards, and funding opportunities, given SAA’s programs supporting awards, scholarships, travel, and the grant funding available through the SAA Foundation.
  • Regarding both “Provenance” and “Implementation and Governance”, I ask Council to consider including a reference to the SAA Code of Conduct, and to review the Code of Conduct in light of the revised statement. I recognize that the Code of Conduct was just reviewed last July, but there is an opportunity to strengthen and align these documents and SAA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by a coordinated review along with the SAA Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination Policy.
  • Finally, while I recognize that SAA is a membership organization, the statement overall could be made stronger by demonstrating a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion across the archival profession within the United States. This may open up SAA to further partnerships with other organizations, such as regional or specialized archival organizations.

M.A. Matienzo

Unceded Ohlone Territory / San Mateo, CA