Our First Ever Diversity and Inclusion Recognition Award Winner

As you may recall, earlier this year DVAG solicited nominations for a new Diversity and Inclusion Recognition Award (DIRA). We weren’t sure what to expect, so we were pleasantly surprised to receive nominations for a half dozen candidates, some with multiple submissions. The nominees are a testament to the vitality of the archival community we share and the value we place in efforts that seek to increase the diversity and inclusiveness of our field.

We want to thank everyone who took the time to submit a nomination for this award. Selecting a winner was no easy task, as all of the nominees deserve recognition for their work. In light of this, the DVAG Planning Committee thought that it was only appropriate that we list all of the nominees in the hope that it will increase appreciation for their work across our membership.

In no particular order, the nominees were:

Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia

Alexis McDonald, for her project, “Re-Vision: Archiving Black Experiences at Bryn Mawr College.”

The John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives

Michael J. Carrol, for his project, “A Critique of the Institution of Archives and Their Role in Art History.”

South Asian American Digital Archive, for “Where We Belong: Artists in the Archive.”

The Library Company, for “Redrawing History: Indigenous Perspectives on Colonial America”

Having listed the nominees, it is my pleasure to announce that the 2018 Diversity and inclusion Recognition Award goes to:

The John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives

To quote from a portion one of the nominations received:

“In the past, the Wilcox archives has served a key role in preserving the history of Philadelphia’s mainstream LGBT community -­ principally, middle and upper class white gay men, and to a lesser degree, lesbians. With new energy and focus on the collections since Anderies’ hire, the archives is newly attentive to the importance of documenting other streams of Philadelphia’s LGBT community: people of color, trans folx, and other diverse genders and sexualities. New collecting efforts specifically name and encourage archival donations from these groups. The archives has recently supported exhibitions on Philadelphia’s predominantly African­ American ballroom and kiki scenes (February 2018 at the William Way Center) and Trans history (October 2015 at City Hall); they are planning a forthcoming exhibit on LGBT refugees from Cuba (Fall 2018 at Wm Way). Positioning itself in allyship with other historically underrepresented groups, the William Way Center hosted a two day “archivathon” by the group Archives For Black Lives in Philadelphia in summer 2018.”

Congratulations to the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives and thank you again for everyone who submitted nominations. If your nomination was not the winner, we encourage you to resubmit again for the 2019 award.

On behalf of the DVAG Planning Committee,
Kenneth Cleary, Chair
Delaware Valley Archivists Group

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