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Home / NEA Big Read Phoenix / Mar 9: Student Archivists and BIPOC Memory

Dispatches from the Field: Student Archivists and BIPOC Memory (NEA Big Read Phoenix 2021)

Dispatches from the Field: Students Archivists and BIPOC Memory with Mia Johnson, Myra Khan, Lourdes Pereira, Elizabeth Quiroga, Jessica Salow

Date(s): Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Phoenix MST
Conversation, Panel, Q&A, Talk
Genre and Form(s): American Indian, Community, Family History, History, Indigenous
Cost: Free

About this Event

Historically marginalized communities make up over 42% of Arizona’s population yet they represent less than 2% of the material within known archival collections in Arizona. 

ASU Library's Community-Driven Archives Initiative (CDA) was established in 2017 with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation under the direction of ASU Archivist Nancy Godoy. Since then, it has redefined what an archive can be—moving away from dusty collections of objects to intersectional spaces of healing. Seeing the decolonial impacts of CDA, the Labriola National American Indian Data Center adopted CDA methodology in 2019. Under the leadership of ASU Librarian Alex Soto, the Labriola Center facilitates CDA initiatives in tribal communities.

Although implemented by ASU staff, the CDA Initiatives have been sustained by student workers, volunteers, and elders. These memory workers possess a substantial degree of knowledge and despite their lack of formal archival training, and an expertise that preserves their family and community history. Working outside the archival profession that has largely ignored their voices, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) student and community archivists are reclaiming space to maintain vital community histories and cultural knowledge.

To highlight the pivotal contributions of students to the ASU CDA Initiative, you're invited to Dispatches from the Field: Student Archivists and BIPOC Memory on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Phoenix MST on Zoom.

At this panel, student archivists from ASU’s Community-Driven Archives Initiative team and the Labriola Center will share the power, impact, and importance of their work, what a community archive is, how it can help people work through historical trauma, and how it creates an ongoing source of strength for the community. Panelists will also share concrete tips and suggestions for building your own archives or incorporating archival practices into your own memory work, with plenty of time for audience Q&A.

This event is presented in partnership with the Community Driven Archives Iniatitive and the Labriola National American Indian Data Center at ASU Library, will be live-streamed and recorded, and is open to the public and free.

Looking for more events? Remember the Phoenix Indian School on March 6, celebrate stories of Indigenous family on March 20, or view the full schedule for the NEA Big Read today at

About the Author

Jeremia “Mia” Johnson (she/her) is a member of the Navajo Nation. She is an undergraduate student studying Applied Computing at Arizona State University, as well as a Student Archivist of the Labriola National American Indian Data Center. She has been with the Labriola Center since February 2020. Mia has been a member of ASU organizations such as the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and held several officer positions with the Engineers Without Borders ASU Chapter, and has contributed to winning organization awards and funding.

Myra Khan (she/her) is a current undergraduate junior at ASU majoring in Sustainability and minoring in Political Science and Transborder Studies as well as the Lead Student Archivist of the ASU Library Community-Driven Archives (CDA). She has been on the CDA team since February 2019 and works on expanding access to educational archival materials for marginalized communities. In the future, Myra hopes to apply to law school and apply her experiences to studying public interest law.

Photograph of Lourdes Pereira

Lourdes Pereira (Hia-Ced O’odham and Yoeme) is a sophomore at Arizona State University (ASU) and a student archivist at the Labriola National American Indian Datacenter. She is majoring in Justice Studies and American Indian Studies. Lourdes sits on the American Indian Advisory Council for the Arizona Education Department and is Miss Indigenous ASU for 2020-2021. Lourdes is a fierce advocate for Indigenous rights and views community-driven archives as a source of empowerment for Indigenous communities.

Elizabeth Quiroga (Tohono O’odham) is an undergraduate at Arizona State University majoring in Social Justice and Human Rights with a minor in American Indian Studies. She has been working as a Student Archivist at the Labriola Center since January 2021 and manages its social media accounts. After Elizabeth graduates, she plans to apply the knowledge she has gained from working with community-driven archives and use it to decolonize and indigenize the education system.

Photograph of Jessica Salow
Jessica Salow is currently a Specialist at Arizona State University Library with the Community-Driven Archives Initiative (CDA) which was established in 2017 through the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her current work with the CDA team focuses on building relationships with historically marginalized communities (Latinx, Black, Asian & Pacific Islander, Indigenous and the LGBTQ+) in Arizona.

Established in 2017 with the support of Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ASU Library's Community-Driven Archives Initiative is dedicated to helping under-served and under-represented communities in Arizona learn how to preserve their history for future generations. We center the lived experiences and knowledge of community members who identify as Latinx, Black, Asian & Pacific Islander, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ and promote equal ownership of archives and shared stewardship responsibilities.

The Labriola National American Indian Data Center's primary purpose is to support scholarship and instruction on Indigenous knowledge across all disciplines at ASU. Since its inception in 1993, the Labriola Center has become a pivotal service for the ASU Indigenous community.

About NEA Big Read: Phoenix

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. This event is presented as part of the NEA Big Read: Phoenix, celebrating Indigenous literary arts and culture in the Valley with over 25 talks, workshops, performances, book clubs, art exhibits other virtual events inspired by The Round House by Louise Erdrich. NEA Big Read: Phoenix is presented by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University with additional support from Arizona Humanities, Phoenix Public Library, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Humanities Division at ASU, and over 40 authors, performers, and community organizations. Find events, meet our partners, and start reading today at

Support Indigenous Communities

The Phoenix Indian Center is the oldest American Indian non-profit organization of its kind in the United States, providing workforce development, cultural enrichment, and other vital services to Indigenous communities throughout the Valley for over 70 years. To support their work, visit their website at, click the donate button, enter an amount, and enter "NEA Big Read" in the description. Please consider making a gift to the Phoenix Indian Center today.

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