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Students Gain Valuable Experience Assisting the Center

Past newsletters and blog posts from the Amistad Research Center have acknowledged the wonderful assistance we receive from student employees, interns, and volunteers. The dedication and help these young people provide the Center is matched by the valuable experience they gain working in a variety of areas at Amistad. We are fortunate to have a number of extra hands this summer, and would like to give them an opportunity to share their experiences.

Aria Johnson helps organize Amistad’s own archival records.

Aria Johnson is a senior at Warren Easton High School. This is her second summer working at the Amistad Research Center. She writes, “While working at Amistad, I have gained a lot of work experience, as well as earning money for school. Having this job has been a help to me because I have gained great administrative skills and I have also learned a little bit more about the Amistad Case and the history of African Americans.” A freshman at Xavier University of Louisiana, London Kennedy also assisted the Center for a second summer. This year she helped with administrative tasks, compiled information for the Center’s exhibition and fund-raising efforts, and helped staff prepare for Essence Festival. She says “It is always a pleasure to work for the Amistad Research Center.”

Christian Williams inventories a new donation of books.

Also returning to the Center is Christian Williams, a Junior Finance major at Jackson State University. His time at Amistad has “sharpened my organizing, researching, reading, writing, and even financial literacy skills.” Staff have worked to tie Christian’s duties to his interest in finance. He has assisted with the selection of new books for the library collection and learned out the Center works with rare book dealers and he was able to talk to the Center’s accountant about non-profit fiscal management. He has helped organize the records of the now-defunct Mary Allen College and assisted with the Center’s booth at the Essence Festival. Christian states “my time spent with the Center has benefitted me greatly and I look forward to working as well as giving back in any way to the Amistad.”

Madeline Goebel organizing the Harold Sylvester papers.

Amistad is receiving tremendous assistance in increasing access to its archival collections with help from Raven Hill and Madeline Goebel. Raven is in her second year at the University of Chicago, majoring in Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is working with the collections of black women artists, and has organized the papers of poet Pinkie Gordon Lane and an addition to the papers of sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett. She is currently processing the papers of artist Ruth Waddy. Madeline Goebel is a senior at Tulane University, where she studies History and French. She is excited to return to the Amistad Research Center as a summer intern in the processing department. This summer, Madeline will be processing the papers of actor, writer, director and producer Harold Sylvester. Floyd Williams, who is enrolled in the Master of Arts in Museum Studies Program at Southern University at New Orleans, has been assisted with the Center’s fine arts collection. He has assisted with the preparation of conservation reports for works in the collection and in the installation of the Center’s exhibition on the Black Arts Movement. Thanks to everyone for their hard work and dedication this summer!

Images from Amistad’s website, newsletters, and blogs cannot be reproduced without permission.

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