Centering Agency, Community, and Care in Archives Grantmaking

There is growing recognition of the importance of community documentation and archival work to preserve stories and records related to state violence and human rights. These archival initiatives are often rooted within Black, Indigenous, Latine, LGBTQ+, low-income and other marginalized communities, and serve to capture, preserve, and make accessible stories and records that would otherwise be lost, erased, or forgotten.

As organizations that regularly seek funding to support our documentation and archival work, WITNESS and our partners at Texas After Violence Project (TAVP) – have seen how “traditional” funding requirements and guidelines often become significant impediments to our work, despite funders’ best intentions. With this in mind, we drafted an open letter that highlights five key challenges and offers constructive recommendations to center community and care in archives grantmaking.

Join us in adding to this conversation and making funding for community archives more impactful! One of our hopes for this open letter is to spark conversation within community archives across the country on how to advocate for this work. Head over to the Sustainable Future’s blog to read all recommendations. We encourage you to share it and welcome your thoughts.

Explore some of WITNESS’s archiving resources and projects below:


Visit our new GEN-AI microsite to keep up to date with our work on deepfakes and AI.

Take me there

Visit our new GEN-AI microsite