Storytelling is a powerful tool in organizing for social justice. Personal stories help us understand how systemic, interlocking oppressions constrain individual lives and provide concrete examples of how people working together—in mutual aid—can break open those systems and build a more just future. As we launch the Archival Workers Emergency Fund, the organizers are seeking archives workers who have a story to tell about how a cash grant could address a concrete need in their lives and careers. We are gathering these stories to illustrate why the fund is necessary in this moment, and the positive impact a cash grant could have in a colleague’s life and career.
We are keenly aware that financial distress often comes with feelings of shame and powerlessness, and that narratives of charitable giving typically operate on the assumption that donors and those who receive aid form two independent groups. The AWEfund is grounded in the understanding that most of us in the world of archival work are (or have been at some point in our careers) a paycheck away from needing the type of mutual aid the AWEfund will provide. At the same time, we are aware that workers with secure positions are sometimes unaware of the precarity built into their colleagues’ careers.
Your stories will help us communicate the necessary urgency of the task before us.
Stories will appear on the AWEfund blog as part of the ongoing #AWEfund Storytellers series and may be published anonymously, under a pseudonym, or with your name as a byline. We encourage storytellers to keep their stories to 500 words or less. AWEfund organizers will use these stories in their fundraising efforts as a way to demonstrate the positive impact mutual aid has had for our collective well-being as a community of archival workers. We will also be sharing these stories via social media using the #AWEfund hashtag and encourage storytellers to do the same.
If you would like to contribute to the #AWEfund Storytellers blog series, and/or have questions about the series, please contact the series coordinator Anna Clutterbuck-Cook by completing the form below. Anna will follow up by email as soon as possible.