We at the Rockefeller Archive Center join our colleagues around the nation and the world in our devastation over the murders of Black Americans at the hands of the state and of their fellow citizens. As the staff of an archive, we are painfully aware of our country’s violent history of racism and hate, but that this violence continues so relentlessly is unconscionable. We know that we can and must do better.
We recognize that the toxic presence of white supremacy lives in many of the records we hold. At the same time, our archives also contain the records of individuals and organizations that have worked to confront the systemic racism in our culture. We must do more than simply preserve these records and make them available. We need to find new ways to gather, reveal, and tell these stories–of success and failure—so that others can learn from and improve on the efforts of the past.
And as we renew our commitment to strengthening diversity in our own institution, we also commit to engaging with other cultural institutions as we seek to take a more active role in the movement toward social justice.