Black Lives Matter protests and history organizations: Partner, collect, change?

If you are a subscriber to the Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center blog or are working on a history organization project related to Black Lives Matter,  please come to this meeting.  And if you would like to talk with me about it beforehand, please email:

I will be helping to lead the discussion, and your input ahead of time and during the event will be so appreciated.

Conversations on the Commons invites you to:

Black Lives Matter protests and history organizations: Partner, collect, change?

With Marieke Van Damme and Judith Monachina

Join us July 10th for a conversation on the responsibilities of historical organizations in light of recent widespread protests and growing acknowledgment that things have to change — that historically white organizations have a duty to challenge white privilege. But how? Share your experience, questions, and reflections, as our panelists will share theirs.

Peer panelists will be Marieke Van Damme, Executive Director of the Cambridge Historical Society and Judith Monachina, who directs the Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College.
Friday July 10, 1:00-2:30 pm

Registration is free. After you register, they will send you an invitation to the meeting.REGISTER HERE

If you go to sign up and the page tells you the event is full, please send an email to Judith Monachina ( She will forward your name and email address to the event organizers, and you will receive an email message with a link.  But, please do so by the end of Thursday, July 9.

We’ll discuss:

How are historical organizations responding to Black Lives Matter protests and increasing public dialogue on racial issues in their towns and cities?

Are you collecting? What are the challenges and rewards in working towards collecting materials on current issues? Who decides what is collected? Who do you work with? Who “owns” the history, and what are the practical considerations for collecting a history your organization does not “own”? Are you developing partnerships? Why would a movement want to work with a historical organization?

How can historical organizations seriously address the need for structural change and tackle assumptions of white privilege? How can historical organizations start taking responsibility for their own history and actions, and begin moving towards a more diverse and inclusive future? Share authority with local residents?

You can also view our livestream. We will do our best to monitor your questions and comments.


Questions? Be in touch with Caroline Littlewood:

Written by Judith