Tag Archives: outreach

Recent Outreach Updates

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Zine created and published by Brenda Montaño


This past week has been a busy one for the Archives! Please consider making a donation (on our blog) or here to help the archives continue to remain grounded in the community and conduct outreach programs such as these:

Asian Pacific American Library Association Conference at USF: We presented at the Building Bridges with Organizations Community Session which brought together a wide range of community organizations and Asian American librarians from all over the country. The session provided us an opportunity to showcase our resources, meet with potential collaborators in the Asian American community, and forge connections with libraries, information centers, and other organizations.

UC Berkeley Debate Camp: We visited a high school policy debate camp at UC Berkeley to talk with students about this upcoming year’s topic which is about curtailing domestic surveillance. We watched COINTELPRO 101 to provide students with a robust historical context on the issue of government surveillance and discussing the political stakes of domestic surveillance beyond individualistic privacy rights. After the documentary we split into breakout groups to further engage certain topics and get feedback from the students. The discussions were wonderful and the students were able to connect issues such as Stop and Frisk, TSA searches and Islamophobia to larger issues of counter-insurgency and state repression.

When Freedom Becomes Responsibility- Collecting Stories of Xican@ Resistance in Colorado: A former intern, colleague and comrade Brenda Montaño debuted her zine highlighting her experiences working with us in Colorado on our upcoming documentary on the Xican@ student movement. Lots of great stuff in this zine!!! To purchase her work search SING YOUR LIFE LITERATURE PRODUCTS on etsty.com.


Help Us to Continue Our Work

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Greetings friends,

vietnam 2We’ve had a productive and inspiring past six months with much to share! We helped organize a May 2nd teach-in at MetWest High School in Oakland, entitled “the Spirit of Viet Nam is Stronger than US Bombs.” Close to 200 people participated in the day-long inter-generational and anti-imperialist event which connected the legacy of the Vietnamese victory to challenges facing our communities today. We worked along with activists, youth groups from the Asian diaspora, veterans, and others, as part of the Viet Nam Victory Coalition. As a part of the lead up to the event, we launched an educational webpage featuring significant audio clips from the Archives, an interactive timeline with some short videos and pieces by Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen Giap. Two examples are below.

Geronimo Ji-Jaga speaking about his experiences in Viet Nam and Detroit:


Audio from Chicano Moratorium Press Conference:


vietnam 5 The interaction between movement elders and youth activists was a powerful aspect of the day’s activities and definitely strengthened the fabric of resistance in the Bay Area and modeled anti-imperialist solidarity. Its so important to provide opportunities and experiences for young people to gain a more nuanced and robust understanding of the movements, strategies and lessons that shaped the world we live in today. This is the core mission of the Freedom Archives. However, we need your help to continue organizing events, creating educational resources and preserving the voices of the struggle. Your help ensures that the priceless perspectives and experiences are archived and accessible for generations to come. You can contribute here or at our website. Thanks for all of your support!


Visit to the South African History Archives

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About DSC02962a week and a half ago, I had the privilege of visiting the South African History Archives (SAHA) located in Johannesburg, South Africa. Although this visit was a small part of a larger trip, it was a memorable experience and one that allowed me to place our work in the Bay Area into a much larger international context. There are many similarities between SAHA and the Freedom Archives. Also founded by activists, SAHA describes itself as a “independent human rights archive dedicated to documenting, supporting and promoting greater awareness of past and contemporary struggles for justice through archival practices and outreach, and the utilisation of access to information laws.”

During the visit, I sat down with their lead archivist and talked about their practices, successes and challenges, many of which resonated mightily. Some of the common challenges included how to generate non-governmental funding and how to preserve the wealth of materials with limited resources. In practice, both archives are committed to forging collaborations, hosting interns and mostly work on a project driven basis. Besides their impressive and large amount of content, the aspect of the visit with really excited me was their commitment to outreach and using archival resources to inform not just researchers and scholars but also everyday people across South Africa. Every-time SAHA finishes archiving a major collection, archivists and educators collaboratively create a curriculum (available in a physical book with cd and online) that accompanies the collection, build an exhibit to support the collection and hold teacher workshops to get educators interested in the content and prepared to take it back to local schools. Often times, the exhibit and the teacher workshops travel around the country, truly representing an effort to connect the archives with local realities and struggles.


You can still see the former prison shower facilities outside the entrance to the archives.

A final note about the South African History Archives. They are located in a former women’s prison in the heart of Johannesburg which since the end of Apartheid in 1994 has been re-purposed to house a museum about the prison and political imprisonment, as well as numerous progressive organizations. This makes for an extremely thought provoking space, one that holds the heaviness of oppression, torture and isolation but also the energy of working to create a better society. In all, it was great visiting such an interesting space and to have the opportunity to learn from SAHA’s work. You can learn about SAHA by visiting http://www.saha.org.za/index.htm.


Illuminate the Present: Thriving Internship Program and Newly Digitized Collections

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Media Intern Brenda Montaño

Our internship program attracts talented young folks from around the Bay Area – including students from the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and Mission High School. With many thanks, these many students have worked over the years to catalog our materials and develop curriculum on many historic issues that tie into ongoing progressive movements and issues.

Some of the recent projects include Black Panther Party newspapers and Colin Edward’s coverage of the Free Speech Movement (FSM) on UC Berkeley’s campus (just as the 50th anniversary of the FSM was marked). Check out our search site to get an idea of its depth and scope of our holdings and our blog to see many of the interns’ posts.

Your ongoing support is absolutely essential to our ability to continue our work. Your help makes possible all the educational work we do: the internship program, the audio and video documentaries and books, the online resources and digital search site, and our outreach efforts from our Mission district community out to the nation and the world. Most importantly, your help ensures that this resource will be able to serve generations to come.

Donate Here

Please consider sending us a donation. You can also contribute on-line or become a monthly sustainer. Thanks very much for helping to launch our next 15 years!


Freedom Archives on KQED

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Over the weekend, we were featured on KQED’s The California Report. We’re really happy that our student internship program and two of our wonderful former interns got some exposure.


Thanks to everyone who made the story possible, you can learn more about our internship program here.


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