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AUC Woodruff Library Awarded $750,000 Collaborative Grant with Project Stand to Advance Archiving of Social Justice Initiatives

ATLANTA, Georgia, February 22, 2021 – The Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library in partnership with Project STAND has received generous funding of $750,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a three-year project: Building Capacity, Ethical Documentation and Archiving of Student Activism in BIPOC Communities. The project will advance the community archiving of social justice initiatives among former and current college and university students of color. The AUC Woodruff Library and Project STAND will collaborate with the University of Maryland Libraries (College Park), and the 65 Project STAND consortium member institutions to support the archiving and accessibility of documentation of organizing and activism among Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) students.

Though not the first collaboration between the AUC Woodruff Library and Project STAND, this partnership will enable the establishment of archivist residencies to create modules for teaching with primary resources on student activism in marginalized communities, and the presentation of workshops on personal archiving and ethical documentation for student activists and social justice organizations.

CEO and Library Director Loretta Parham, AUC Woodruff Library said, “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Project STAND and the network of institutions and advocates involved in the work to document and preserve the record of activism and social justice among BIPOC college students. The AUC Woodruff Library stands on a legacy of student engagement that began with the Atlanta Student Movement on the AUC campuses during the Civil Rights period. The vision and expertise of the involved archivists is significant and the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is to be celebrated.”

This project will also significantly expand and strengthen the capacity of Project STAND, as well as improve its web presence, establish a digital repository scholarly works, oral histories, presentations and archived social media. Micro-grants will be provided to Project STAND consortium members, as well as HBCUs and non-member institutions to support small digitization projects documenting social justice activism by students of color. To further broaden and promote the work of marginalized organizers within student communities and archivists, a podcast will also be produced to feature their voices.

“We are proud to partner in this exciting endeavor with the AUC Woodruff Library and Project STAND,” said Adriene Lim, Dean, University of Maryland Libraries, “and to advance our work providing collections and programs that reflect the diversity of our community, and incorporate the histories and experiences of those who have been historically underrepresented.”

 Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, Founder of Project STAND and University Archivist for the University of Maryland, shared, “The Project STAND consortium never could have imagined that we would launch the next stage of our development during one of the most challenging periods in recent American history. We are inspired by this generous level of support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue to strengthen relationships we are building with student organizers in Black and Brown communities and other marginalized student populations. Our efforts to engage in the ethical documentation and archiving of these communities who remain at the forefront of some of the most transformative work in this time of reckoning within academic organizations have gained a new sense of urgency.”                                                                                


The Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library partners with the nation’s largest consortium of historically black colleges and universities: Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College to provide information management, instruction and access to global information resources in support of teaching and learning, scholarship and cultural preservation of the AUC. The Library is the winner of the 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in the university category from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Home to a premier Archives Research Center, the Library provides collaborative leadership in preservation, access and collection development of unique archival resources documenting African American history and culture. To learn more, visit our website.


Project STAND is an online clearinghouse where academic institutions provide researchers a centralized access point to historical and archival documentation on the development and ongoing occurrences of student dissent in primarily marginalized communities. Visit http://standarchives.com for more information.

As the largest university library system in the Washington D.C. – Baltimore area, the University of Maryland (UMD) Libraries serve more than 41,000 students and 14,000 faculty and staff of the flagship College Park campus. The Libraries’ work enables student success, supports teaching, research, and creativity, and enriches the intellectual and cultural life of the community.  A member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance and the Association of Research Libraries, the UMD Libraries was honored with the 2020 Excellence in Academic Libraries award in the university category from ACRL. To learn more, visit: www.lib.umd.edu.

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