There has been a lot of discussion on some blogs and on the Archives & Archivists listserv recently about an agenda item for the upcoming SAA Council meeting. Here is a link to the text of the request that was made from the SAA Diversity Committee and the Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable that prompted it all.
Terry Baxter, co-chair of the Diversity Committee, has posted an eloquent response to the controversy on his personal blog. I encourage you to read it and vote in the two polls he has up on the subject. If you’re also an archives blogger, I encourage you to re-post the link to Terry’s blog.
Like many people, I was angered and frustrated by much of the conversation around this important topic. I am glad that Terry has put into words so graciously what many of us feel. (As did Rand Jimerson, eloquent as always, in a message to the listserv.) Since I knew Terry would write something more articulate than I possibly could, I did what comes naturally. I started a Facebook group, “I Support Equal Civil Rights for My Gay & Lesbian Archivist Colleagues.” If you’re on Facebook (and you agree), please join as a way of showing your support and because it provides a way to keep in touch.
I also checked with SAA President Frank Boles about how SAA members could most effectively share their views. Frank encourages all members to contact any member of Council, himself or SAA Executive Director, Nancy Beaumont. They want to hear from you. As a side note, if you want your message shared with the rest of Council, be sure to indicate that it’s not private and that you encourage its distribution. You can find a list of Council members here. You’ll need to login to your account to have access to their email addresses. The Council meeting in question will take place on February 26-28, so don’t delay.
Please leave your comments on the substance of this issue on Terry’s blog, not this one. This is a subject on which many of us feel strongly. If you support equal civil rights for our gay and lesbian archivist colleagues, please contact the members of the SAA Council and let them know how you think our professional society should represent those values. Please don’t let the majority be a silent one.