NEA taking the past into the future

Racial Justice Honoraria Fund

As libraries and archives take specific actions to address white supremacy in the library and information science (LIS) field, too often there is an undue burden placed on people of color to provide expertise and life experience on issues related to race and oppression. Our colleagues are asked to facilitate discussions, write articles and blog posts, and advise their employers and professional organizations about antiracism and racial justice. They are often expected to serve as informal educators and consultants and to be available to have difficult conversations about their experiences again and again, usually without compensation or recognition. This reparative work is, in addition to the time and expertise required, immensely taxing emotionally.

To address this deep injustice, the Inclusion and Diversity Committee (IDC) and NEA Executive Board have worked together over the past year to establish an honoraria fund that can be used to compensate people of color for their writing, research, and expertise on archival and/or diversity, equity, and inclusion topics. Approved in the Fall of 2021, the Racial Justice Honoraria Fund (RJHF) allows NEA to support people, programs, and initiatives which engage, elevate, and compensate people of color for their vital work and contributions. Recognizing that combating white supremacy organizationally and individually is a continuous process, this is the beginning of a sustained commitment by NEA to address racial injustice in our field and engage, elevate, and compensate people of color for their vital work and contributions.

In addition to the money allocated from the NEA budget for this initiative, designated donations will allow the Racial Justice Honoraria Fund to grant more honoraria and make an even bigger impact. If you are in a position to financially support NEA in this initiative, click here to make a donation.

What kinds of projects qualify?

The RJHF is designed to compensate people of color involved in a broad range of professional activities including: writing articles for the NEA Newsletter; organizing trainings, workshops, or programs; conducting research; policy documentation review; consulting on project development; planning for racial justice initiatives; and other projects as evaluated by the fund committee. Projects relevant to archives or cultural heritage work, NEA, and the New England region are encouraged. The topics of proposed projects may, but are not required to, relate to racial justice, diversity, inclusion, and equity. In providing funding for work regardless of topic, the RJHF hopes to create more opportunities for people of color to explore and share all of their professional expertise. There will also be times when NEA will explicitly ask people of color to advise on or speak to racial justice and equity matters. One key use of the fund, particularly at its inception, will be financially supporting programming and projects sponsored by NEA committees, such as the Newsletter Committee and the Education Committee, which both fit the award criteria and fall under their respective purviews.


If you have any questions about whether a project idea could qualify, please email diversity@newenglandarchivists.org.

Award Amounts

Award amounts are variable based on the specifics of the project, as outlined below

  • Articles for NEA newsletter - $150.00
  • Honoraria for trainings/program/workshop - Up to $575.00
  • Research projects - Up to $500.00
  • Other projects (evaluated by the committee) - Up to $500.00

Awards are funded by NEA and through individual donations. Donated funds will be used first, supplemented as needed by the NEA budgeted funds. The NEA contribution resets each year and does not carry over.


HOW TO APPLY

Applicant Eligibility

This fund is specifically designed to compensate people of color for their labor. Since we do not want to gate-keep or make assumptions about applicants’ identities, we are asking applicants to self-identify as a person of color. We expect all applicants to respect the intended purpose of this fund and only apply if they meet the criteria below:

  • A self-identified person of color, regardless of NEA membership, who proposes a project related to racial justice and equity, archives, or cultural heritage (for instance, a research project to be presented at a meeting or a newsletter article), or:
  • A self-identified person of color, regardless of NEA membership, selected by an NEA committee to lead or advise programs or projects related to racial justice and equity, archives, or cultural heritage.
  • Submit a completed application to the fund committee before the review deadline.

Application Submission

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis via a Google form maintained by the IDC. They will be reviewed by the committee twice a year, in the spring and in the fall.

Application Review and Recipient Selection

Recipients of this award will be selected for their proposed project’s relevance to the selection criteria. Applications should be specific, well organized, and persuasive, and will be evaluated on relevance to the mission of the fund. The Racial Justice Honoraria Fund Committee will strive to maintain a balance between approving applications for NEA-sponsored programs and those from individuals who independently propose projects or articles. The exact distribution will be determined by the number and diversity of applications. If other funding is available for NEA-sponsored projects, priority for the RJHF should go to funding individual projects.

A simple majority vote of the Racial Justice Honoraria Fund Committee will determine the fund recipients. Discussion will take place asynchronously among committee members on the NEA Executive Board Slack or, if needed, the committee chair will call a virtual meeting. Voting will take place in the RJHF Slack channel. If the Committee does not select a recipient from the applicants, or in the absence of applications, the honoraria will not be awarded.

Proposals are considered for the Racial Justice Honoraria Fund independently from applications submitted by the same applicant(s) to other NEA awards during the same award cycle.

Distribution of Funds

The NEA Treasurer/Treasurer-Elect will send reimbursement checks to the award recipient(s) after being notified by the fund committee. In most cases, payment will be provided after the completion of the fund-supported project; however, certain project categories may require advance payment in order to be completed. Applicants will be notified of the timing of payment based on their project type at the time of their proposal’s acceptance.

Awards from the RJHF are considered grants. Applicants for research and other special projects will be asked to submit a budget estimate to help the RJHF committee more accurately assess the need and allocate our limited funds most appropriately. Submitted budgets should use due diligence to provide reasonable figures when requesting funds, but once an award is approved, no further financial documentation is required. For awards supporting newsletter articles and honoraria for NEA-sponsored programs, a budget will not be required.

PROCEDURES

Racial Justice Honoraria Fund Committee

Applications are reviewed and recipients are chosen by the Racial Justice Honoraria Fund Committee, whose membership is approved by the Executive Board annually prior to the start of the fall application period. The Committee is made up of:

  • • one (1) Inclusion and Diversity Committee member (IDC Vice-Chair, serves as Fund Committee Chair)
  • one (1) member of the Newsletter Committee (nominated by the Newsletter Committee Chair)
  • one (1) member of the Education Committee (nominated by the Education Committee Chair)
  • one (1) member of the NEA Board (nominated by the NEA President)
  • one (1) NEA member in good standing (selected by the Fund Committee Chair)

The IDC chair is also available to advise the committee as needed.

Committee Files

Racial Justice Honoraria Fund files are stored on NEA’s content management system and managed in accordance with the NEA Record Schedule.

Timeline

In the first year of awards, applications may be approved on a rolling basis. Moving forward, an increased volume of applications will likely be reviewed in groups at set times of the year. This change will be communicated in a timely manner on this page and in the NEA Newsletter, as well as through regular NEA communication channels.

Feedback

The Racial Justice Honoraria Fund Committee and the Inclusion and Diversity Committee welcome community feedback about the fund application and award process. We strive to ensure the fund is a living project, adjusting when needed to better meet the needs of our community. If there are improvements we can make that would reduce barriers and make the entire process as easy to navigate as possible, we want to know! Please email the chair of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee at diversity@newenglandarchivists.org.

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