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Digital Collaborations Workshop on Black History in Florida: Final Report
Birch, Stephanie
George A. Smathers Libraries
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Final Report for the Digital Collaborations Workshop on Black History in Florida, hosted at the University of Florida in July 2019. The report provides an overview of workshop proceedings, participant demographics, workshop data & findings, and future opportunities.
Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Stephanie Birch.
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Project team members: Stephanie Birch, Bess de Farber, Laurie Taylor, Shelley Arlen, Florence Turcotte, Helene Huet, and Perry Colins

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Final Report DIGITAL COLLABORATIONS on Black History in Florida FINAL REPORT May 2020


CONTENTS The energy is contagious! -w orkshop participant CONTENTS Workshop Teams & Presenters Participant Demographics Workshop Rewind Overview of Dat a & Findings Future Collaborations Acknowledgements Image Gallery Digital Collaborations on Black History in Florida is a pilot project of the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. The project seeks to elevate the positionality of Black history within the Digital Humanities through community anchored collaboration . The project culminated in a two day workshop at the University of Florida in July 2019.


PRESENTERS WORKSHOP TEAMS & PRESENTERS WORKSHOP TEAM Stephanie Birch (PI) African American Studies Librarian Perry Collins Scholarly Communications Librarian Bess de Farber Grants Manager Dr. Hélène Huet European Studies Librarian Dr. Laurie Taylor Chair, Digital Partnerships & Strategies Florence Turcotte African American Special Collections Archivist RECEPTION TEAM Dr. Jacob U. Gordon Department of African & African American Studies Emeritus Professor, University of Kansas Desmon Walker Museum Coordinator A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center PRESENTERS (not previously listed) Deborah Hendrix Digital Humanities Production Coordinator Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Dr. Diedre Houchen Post Doctoral Fellow Center for the Study of Race & Race Relations UF Levin College of Law Social Media Specialist George A. Smathers Libraries Dr. Ryan Morini Associate Program Director Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Torrio Osborne Archivist Tallahassee Community College Dr. Marilyn Thomas Houston AFRO Publishing Without Walls University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Keith Simmons Communications Director Florida Humanities Council




PARTICIPANT DEMOGRAPHICS PARTICIPANT DEMOGRAPHICS Where are we from? FLORIDA Clearwater Daytona Fort Lauderdale Gainesville Jacksonville Miami New Smyrna Orlando Palatka St. Augustine St. Petersburg Tallahassee Tampa Winter Park ILLINOIS Champaign Who do we represent? 11 | Colleges & Universities 9 | Museums & Historical Orgs 5 | Public Libraries 3 | Community Orgs What do we do? 25 Librarians & Archivists 9 Public Historians 5 Culture Keepers 25 Scholars & Students


WORKSHOP REWIND WORKSHOP REWIND On July 24 25, 2019, collaborators from across the state gathered at the University of Florida to learn from one another, share ideas, and find common ground. The workshop consisted of topical presentations, discussion groups, and open sessions for networking. WORKSHOP SESSIONS Black Public History & Community / University Collaboration Facilitated by Desmon Walker, Dr. Diedre Houchen, and Stephanie Birch Collaborating with Strangers & Idea Café / Conversation Tables Facilitated by Bess de Farber Future Collaborations Facilitated by Stephanie Birch INFORMATION SESSIONS AFRO PWW: A Black Studies Collaborative Digital Publish Model Dr. Marilyn Thomas Houston Creating Community Online Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network Torrio Osborne Grant Opportunities with the Florida Humanities Council Keith Simmons Guide to Grant Writing Bess de Farber Oral History DIY Dr. Ryan Morini Tools for Digital Collections and Exhibits Perry Collins EVENTS 5th Avenue Community Open House Hosted by the A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center and the Alachua County African American History Task Force


DATA & FINDINGS DATA & FINDINGS During the workshop, we gathered data from three activities to help us understand our unique and shared experiences, interests, and needs. 1 Collaborating with Strangers Workshop This workshop session consisted of a series of 2 minute, 1 to 1 conversations. We followed this up with a reflection activity on what we learned, discovered, and planned to do next. To learn more, check out: Collaborating with Strangers: Facilitating Workshops in Libraries, Classes, and Nonprofits (How to Do It Manual for Librarians) by Bess de Farber, April Hines & Barbara Hood. Available through your local or academic library via interlibrary loan. 2 Workshop Reflections At the end of the 2 nd day, we gathered into smalls groups to share our project and collaboration ideas and workshop experiences. We discussed what we found useful from the workshop and what we would like to learn more about. 3 Future Collaborations Discussions Before breaking away, we took time to share our ideas for possible next steps and future activities. In our same small groups, we discussed our ideas for sustaining communication and support among our cohort of digital collaborators. Note: Findings from the Asset Survey have been excluded from this report due to insufficient data.


STRANGERS DATA & FINDINGS Collaborating with Strangers Things We Learned from One Another Information about Black histories and existing projects There are barriers to collaboration There are different needs / reasons for collaboration Different types of opportunities for collaboration People and organizations contribute different assets Some participants are already engaged in collaborative work Discoveries about Each Other Different or shared methods of preserving & sharing Black histories Shared or overlapping interests in specific historical topics Perspectives on the significance of Black history Shared challenges & experiences Information resources to explore Our Next Steps Explore project ideas Follow up with participants we talked to Learn more about a topic we learned about Seek funding to make projects happen Contact / share our experiences with others not present Black histories are also happening now. Collaborate to create future preservation. -w orkshop participant


REFLECTIONS DATA & FINDINGS Workshop Reflections Collaborations to Pursue Existing and new project ideas Partnerships with other workshop participants and/or their organizations Seek out funding partnerships / opportunities Partnerships with other individuals / organizations not present What We Found Useful Tools: Airtable, Canva, Omeka, Storymaps, digital publishing tools Topics: Community representation in collaboration, Grants, Social Media, Oral History methods Learning about different organizations Things We Want to Learn More About Tools: Drupal, Research Gate, Google Groups, online exhibit tools, and oral history tools Methods: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping Information on podcasting, marketing, e newsletters, and finding aids Organizations not present Topics: Black veterans, creating independent archives, gentrification and property law, intellectual property, land use, role of public libraries, copyright and consent More African American organizations need to have the lead roles in representing Black organizing projects and funding . -w orkshop participant


COLLABORATIONS DATA & FINDINGS Future Collaborations Collaborative Activities Establish a peer review committee for grant publications & project outputs within communities Present on our workshop experiences at conferences and/or participate in panel discussions Create a Cohort Support Network Create digital spaces for participants to remain in contact Expand the cohort of Digital Collaborators to other organizations and partners Create shared resources, such as loanable technology, Creative Commons forms for oral history interviews, grants list, and a partner directory Hosting Future Workshops Replicate the workshop in other parts of Florida, to broaden accessibility to different communities Tools: Creative Commons licensing, Research Gate Methods: 3D scanning, storyboarding, crowdsourcing, peer to peer interviews Invite vendors to discuss their services and offerings Engage with the media to broadcast our activities


FUTURE COLLABORATIONS FUTURE COLLABORATIONS To conclude the pilot phase of the Digital Collaborations project, the project lead, Stephanie Birch, is moving forward with the following initiatives. These initiatives are a first step to building out our participant cohort and cultivating ongoing support for collaborative work. Please consider participating in the initiatives below, as well as inviting others to get involved. 1 Join our Facebook group! 2 Add your info to the directory! 3 Host our next workshop! Interested in hosting or assisting in the planning of a Digital Collaborations workshop in your community? Email Stephanie Birch at for your interest, participation, and contributions to the Digital Collaborations pilot project. I look forward to ongoing opportunities to learn and share together. Stephanie Birch, project lead UF African American Studies Librarian


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS WORKSHOP SPONSORS AFRO Publishing Without Walls University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Alachua County African American History Task Force A Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere University of Florida Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network George A. Smathers Libraries University of Florida VENDORS & SUPPLIERS A Quinn Jones Center School Board of Alachua County Gator Wesley Foundation Holiday Inn University Center Reggae Shack Department staff for procuring vendor agreements! FUNDING PROVIDED BY 2019 Strategic Opportunities Grant George A. Smathers Libraries 2019 Programs in the Public Humanities Grant UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, with support from the Rothman Endowment