As part of our response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the MAA board unanimously approved the creation of a DEI Fund. Our intention with this fund is to fulfill our mission to “foster a collaborative and inclusive professional network” by supporting DEI initiatives, projects, and programs in Michigan archives, libraries, and museums.
This fund is a part of our efforts to address these systemic issues.
We’ve agreed to quarterly donations of $500, amounting to $2000 per year. We are aware this is a high number for such a small organization, but we wanted to make a bold statement in these times. Additionally, with no conference expenses this year and with virtual board meetings (meaning no venue fees and lunch expenses), we felt we could handle this financial commitment. We will also set up donation pages so that the fund will be funded by a combination of MAA budget and membership donations. The board is committed to financial responsibility and sustainability of this fund.
To sustain the fund, we will:
- Add a separate donation page to our website;
- Add an option for members to donate to the fund when renewing their membership;
- Create a fundraising subcommittee.
- Keep rental costs for board meeting venues to a minimum.
- Assess the financial level of commitment on a yearly basis.
Use of the Fund
This is a very exciting initiative for us, and we want members to be leaders in framing it with the board. Some ideas we have thus far include:
- Encouraging members to apply for the new Marilyn McNitt Diversity Scholarship for the MAA Conference.
- Supporting MAA members from marginalized groups to help them attend conferences and workshops.
- Holding events such as workshops and symposiums focused on DEI in Michigan archives.
- Supporting processing/digitization/conservation of DEI collections at Michigan institutions.
- Helping to fund the purchase of DEI collections for Michigan institutions.
- Soliciting suggestions for local and national organizations dedicated to DEI in the archives, library, and museum profession that MAA can support.
We intend for this fund to be flexible and be adaptable through changing times. We will add a separate page on our website regarding information on the fund as well as an application process for members to provide ideas.
Subcommittees for the Fund
We realize that administering this program will be a labor-intensive process. To that end, we plan to create a subcommittee to make recommendations to the board regarding funds used, organizing initiatives, and setting up funding drives and opportunities. This will ideally make the fund sustainable as well as make it a continuing priority in the organization. We will also be implementing a subcommittee to help the Board decide which cause we should donate to each quarter, as well as implementing a nomination process. A call for subcommittee members will be going out later this year.
If you have any questions about the process, or suggestions, please feel free to contact our president at cevaskis [at] gmail [dot] com or any of our other Board members.