Rai is a very Black, very queer/trans soon to be Brandeis graduate in the African and African American Studies department, or as they call it “Black Arts and Social Theory”. Rai has been using digital media to document varying expressions of Black life for a decade, and is particularly interested in the intersections of new media and culture, and what it implies about the world before us. Prior to coming to Brandeis, Rai studied filmmaking and photography at Columbia College Chicago, where they made impacts as the creator of a documentary which critiqued the experiences of Black students at the school. Following this he was recruited to help design and facilitate workshops that aimed to promote cultural sensitivity and inclusion on campus between faculty, students and staff. Rai held the “technical assistant and student liaison” position in the University Archives at Brandeis, working alongside Maggie McNeely to continue the work laid down by the BBAC. One of the projects worked on was the creation of a digital timeline of Brandeis’ Black history, in collaboration with the Black Brandeis, Black History course, which is featured on the Portal.
Maggie McNeely earned her master’s degree with a concentration in Archives Management in December 2004 from Simmons College, and has worked at Brandeis University since 2005. In her time at Brandeis she has assisted researchers, taught classes, created exhibits, digitized materials, and acquired and managed archival collections for the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections at Brandeis University. Her participation in what would become the BBAC project was inspired by the Ford Hall 2015 student movement. One of her primary objectives for this project is working toward creating a truly inclusive archive which accurately represents the history of the Brandeis community.
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