Aja Antoine ’17 and Mercedes Hall ’17 were the first two students hired as Archives Assistants to do BBAC work in the Archives. As former participants in the Ford Hall 2015 movement, Aja and Mercedes were well positioned to help develop the ideas of the founding members into some of the first BBAC archival projects.
On March 23 2017 Aja and Mercedes conducted a teach-in for a packed audience during the Brandeis University African and African American Studies Department (AAAS) symposium Black Lives Matter: Local Movements Global Futures. The teach-in was an interactive exercise where the audience was instructed to examine and respond to archival documents about the Ford hall takeover of 1969. Aja and Mercedes also installed a physical exhibit for BLM Symposium attendees.
On April 28 2017 Aja and Mercedes interviewed seven Alumni of Color about their Brandeis experience during the Intercultural Center’s (ICC) 25th anniversary event. Students shared stories about advocacy for the needs of marginalized students how the ICC impacted their lives on campus. The University Archives is very pleased to have these voices documented. The streaming interviews can be viewed here.