May 31, 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 Elise Daniells. Elise came to the CDA team because she knew one of our former student archivists Preetpal Gill and heard about the work we at CDA did with communities. Elise is such an amazing talent and brought so much love and light to the team. Elise taught me so much about the art of Opera performance and how that art form treats female characters and the ways that she, as a Black woman within the art, are pushing back to create diversity within its ranks as well as advocating for diversity with who can compose an Opera. We wish Elise much success as she transitions into her life away from ASU and the CDA team. You may even see her on TV one day. We will miss you so much Elise and break a leg!
You Are My Story
My place in history isn’t meant to be someone else’s story, it’s my own. The CDA Archives have taught me this.
How do you put a name to a face and life to a page if there’s no accountability of remembrance? I’ve grown a responsibility to those in my life to preserve their memory, not just through my perspective, but also, most importantly, through their own. However, as I begin to record my own place in history, I cannot ignore the people in my life who deserve remembrance in my story. My story may be my own to preserve, but it was not created alone.
Alana taught me passion. To find a spark in the darkness that sets off an ember, which turns into a flame and illuminates the unknown. The passion to search for the spark, no matter how hidden.
Jess taught me connection. A smile that brightens the room and settles all difference. The unshakeable courage to find common ground. Your fear of mistake or failure is washed away by her innate commitment to personal connection and love.
Nancy taught me strength. The gentle kind. The kind that makes your soul feel warm and safe, makes you feel seen and known. No matter the unruly wave, she glides over it effortlessly, carrying us on her shoulders to safer ground time and time again.
Kate taught me patience. There is not a single moment where her heart isn’t open. Patience to teach and love and grow. An obstacle is reached? She will overcome, not by shoving through, but by understanding and flowing.
Denise taught me kindness. Pure and unfiltered and truthful kindness. Someone who is there no matter the cost. Kindness that stands for justice and equity, there is no mistaking this kindness for weakness .
Myra taught me tenacity. Despite in-numerous responsibilities, each task is handled with a tenacity that never allows for less than 100%. The seemingly endless energy that comes with someone who is prepared to fight for everything this world has to offer.
These are names and faces, though new just over a year or so, that will live in my pages as the ones who helped me grow.
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!