“Advocating for Ourselves: Working in Underrepresented and Multicultural Archives and Libraries” Book Launch and Panel Discussion

Date: 22 March 2022
Time: 2:00–3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Zoom
Presented by: The Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage at Rare Book School: Advocacy Working Group

The Advocacy Working Group of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage at Rare Book School is hosting a panel discussion and launch of a peer-reviewed, open-source book, Advocating for Ourselves: Working in Underrepresented and Multicultural Archives and LibrariesAdvocating for Ourselves is a practical guide that aims to develop and improve the advocacy skills of those working in the cultural heritage sector. The book includes resources on topics such as developing collections and exhibits for and about underrepresented communities, organizing community outreach, establishing post-custodial archival methods, becoming mentors, and attaining financial support for special collections.

The Advocating for Ourselves book launch and panel discussion will highlight the importance of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) cultural heritage work.

This virtual book launch and panel discussion is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend, but advance registration is required. Click here to register. The Zoom link and a link to the group’s book will be emailed to registrants the day of the event. You may also access the book by clicking here.

A recording of this event will be made available on Rare Book School’s YouTube channel.

This event features the following presentations:

  • Lauren Cooper, Center for Black Digital Research Librarian and Managing Director, Pennsylvania State University Libraries: “Visual Representation: Breaking Practice, Shifting Focus, and Centering Communities”
  • Jonna Paden, Librarian and Archivist, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, New Mexico: “Responsibility, Representation, and Respect in a Tribal Archive and Library”
  • Mario H. Ramirez, Head of Special Collections and Archives, California State University, Los Angeles: “From Margin to Center: Mobilizing Community Partnerships through Reciprocity and (Self)Representation”

A moderated discussion will follow the presentations. Participants are invited to participate in brief Q&A session at the end.

Click here to learn more about The Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage at Rare Book School.


Lauren Cooper (she/her) is the Digital Scholarship Librarian and Managing Director for the Center for Black Digital Research/#DigBlk at Penn State University. Lauren works with students, faculty, librarians, and partners to implement, develop, and manage digital scholarship and publishing projects that bring nineteenth-century Black organizing to digital life. Lauren has an M.L.I.S. from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a specialization in archives and digital curation, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands in Visual Sociology: Struggle and Resistance. Prior to becoming a librarian, Lauren worked in publishing and education at social justice organizations for more than 20 years to promote underrepresented voices, communities, and histories.

Jonna C. Paden (Acoma/Laguna Pueblo; she/her) is Librarian & Archivist at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Library & Archives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she was previously a student and a community intern. She has also worked as an independent library and archives consultant. Since 2020, she has been a chair of the New Mexico Library Association’s Native American Libraries Special Interest Group (NALSIG). She holds an M.L.I.S. degree in Archives Studies and Records Management from San José State University and was part of the Circle of Learning cohort.

Mario H. Ramírez (he/him) is the Head of Special Collections and Archives at the California State University, Los Angeles. He received a Ph.D. in Information Studies and a Certificate in Experimental Critical Theory from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2017. Previously, he held appointments as Project Archivist at the Bancroft Library at the University of California Berkeley and at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, CUNY. He was a 2018–19 CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.