May 24, 2021
Welcome to the Community-Driven Archives (CDA) Initiative blog! We continue the final reflection posts from our graduating student archivists series with an entry from Denise Mosso Ruiz. Denise came to the CDA team with a strong sense of self and an amazing understanding of what community meant to her as she was and continues to be very involved in her community and as a student at Arizona State University (ASU) she was the leader of the ASU chapter of MECHA de ASU . If you review many of Denise’s posts on the CDA blog you can see she is an amazing activist for her community and the communities whose stories are untold. We will miss her voice on this blog and wish her much success as she transitions into her life away from ASU and the CDA team. We will miss you, Denise!
I would like to start this reflection mentioning that working for CDA made my experience at ASU bearable as I felt that we were able to create a comfortable environment for each other. Being part of the CDA team has taught me to be more outspoken about my stories and standing in solidarity with other opposed communities. My favorite memories were when I was working in person not only being able to see my coworkers but participating in workshops. I miss hearing people’s stories during oral history and scanning days, there were more interactions with attendees when scanning their archives. As I helped scan photos, many people were willing to share stories behind the images which I am grateful for allowing me to listen. It brings me joy seeing the smiles on people’s faces when telling stories about their loved ones that are no longer here, but they are still passing down knowledge and traditions about them. I was also able to identify what archive glow means to me, which is the excitement and other emotions I have toward new information I am receiving through a family photo. Or about a historical event that I did not learn about in school.
Archival material that leaves me surprised and shook is what I feel when I am learning the truth that has been turned into a lie in many historical books. The truth is what I value the most about archives is the physical evidence about our stories. Being at CDA has allowed me to be part in preserving the history of the organization I am in, MECHA de ASU, which will show the long struggle students of color have faced on campus and within our community, and as well as how our ideologies have changed to show solidarity within marginalized groups during the years present at ASU. I would like to thank everyone who has supported CDA and who has been part of it. I have learned a lot and I can't wait to see the future of CDA.
Contact me, Jessica Salow, with feedback at Jessica.Salow@asu.edu as I would love to hear from you your thoughts regarding the work we here at ASU are doing in community archiving around Arizona. We also want your feedback on what you would like to see from us in future blog posts. And if you would like regular updates from the CDA team please follow our CDA Facebook page or the CDA Instagram page to keep abreast of the virtual events we do monthly. We have some amazing events coming up in February 2021 so please check out our social media pages for more information. And please visit our website and our connect page for more information regarding the work we are doing around community-driven archives at ASU Library and with our community partners in Arizona.
See you soon!