Statement to NEA Membership → June 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has destabilized the lives of countless people worldwide, including archival workers. Many of us have lost our jobs, been furloughed, had our hours cut, or lost access to healthcare and childcare. In light of these circumstances, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) established the Archival Workers Emergency Fund (AWEF), a mutual aid fund that provides financial support to archival workers who have experienced acute economic hardship related to COVID-19.
NEA believes strongly in the AWEF’s mission to support archival workers regardless of educational attainment or job status, and we stand in solidarity with all archival workers who have been affected by the pandemic. We are proud to join many colleagues across the country in supporting this crucial fund. On Monday, June 1, 2020, the New England Archivists donated $2,000 to the AWEF.
This donation money comes from unused scholarships originally allocated to fund travel to the NEA Spring 2020 Meeting. Although this money could not fulfill its original purpose, it can still provide critically important support to those in need. These are financially uncertain times for many people and professional organizations, and we believe it is our duty to stand with our colleagues by giving what we can.
NEA wishes to extend special gratitude to all the individuals who worked to bring the AWEF into existence and whose continuing efforts help ensure that all funds raised make their way to individuals in need. Now more than ever, it is important that we advocate for the most vulnerable members of our professional community. NEA plans to continue our work promoting salary transparency and raising awareness about the impacts of overreliance on temporary and contingent labor in our field.
As always, we welcome any suggestions and ideas about how we can best support archivists in our region during these difficult times. And we encourage each of you to donate to the AWEF if you are able, or to apply for a grant if you are in need.
Stay safe and take care!