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Documenting the Movement

Collecting project by the Archives and Special Collections to record and preserve the experiences of the Xavier community in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement

The Project

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Jacob Blake, and numerous others by police have sparked protests across the country. The Minneapolis Uprising began on May 26, 2020, which triggered other protests to occur, in solidarity with the Uprisings and to protest murders committed by their local police. In New Orleans specifically, protests began on May 29, 2020, both in solidarity with the Uprisings and to protest the killing of Modesto Reyes by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The Black Lives Matter Movement and protests against police violence have occurred long before the Minneapolis Uprisings and will continue to exist after this summer. Documenting the Movement seeks to document and preserve Xavier University of Louisiana's responses to these events, as well as the experiences and responses of the Xavier community.

The Archives and Special Collections Department will be collecting the official responses of the University and the responses of departments and organizations within the University. We also, however, wanted to create space for the Xavier community to submit materials to have their voices and stories added alongside the University's response.

This will be an ongoing collecting project- meaning there is no deadline to donate materials, and the Archives and Special Collections Department will continuously collect University responses similar events in the future. 

The donated materials from the Xavier community will not be made immediately available to researchers and the public. This decision is to protect the identity and safety of the donors and any protestors that are included in submissions. 

On the "Resources" page, we've compiled various articles and organizations that are related to ethically documenting social movements, protests, and activism. We've also included mental health resources since engaging with materials of this subject matter and reliving certain experiences can take a toll on your mental and emotional health. 

If you don't want to donate to this project but are still interested in preserving your personal materials, the organizations included on the "Resources" page have a lot of tips, guides, and articles on how to get started. 


What you submit is entirely up to you.

Anything you feel comfortable submitting that is about Black Lives Matter, the protests and uprisings, and police and state-sanctioned violence will be applicable to the project. Photographs of signs at protests, photographs of protest-related street art in your city, social media posts you created, writings/videos of responses thoughts and/or feelings about the protests or police brutality, or even your opinions on how certain institutions, universities, and brands have responded to the murders of Black/African American people and the subsequent protests. Your responses to movements and actions such as #BlackOutTuesday, defunding the police, and prison abolition or your personal experiences with activism, organizing, and mutual aid are also welcome if you would like to submit that.  undefined

If you submit photos that include the faces or identifying features of other protestors, we ask that you blur or cover them to protect their identity. The Archives and Special Collections will do this for your photos if you are unable. 

We can only collect original content, so only items that were created solely by the donor will be accepted. If you submit items that involve other people, such as oral histories or interviews, the other person(s) will also need to submit a form granting permission for donation. You must also be at least eighteen (18) to submit materials to this project. 

There is no specific end date for this project, so you can always return to this when you have the emotional and mental energy to do so. Taking care of yourself comes first. We'll collect later. 

Submission Process

To submit materials, contact and we will follow up with the submission process. 

You'll need to submit your name (though there is an option to submit anonymously) and email address. You will also need to let us know if you are the sole creator of the items or if you have co-creators who will also need to fill out a submission form. In addition, you'll need to sign off on submission agreements, acknowledgment of persons featured, a personal health information agreement, and information collection.

There is also an option to let us know your pronouns, your Xavier affiliation, and whether or not you'd like to be contacted in the future for an oral history interview conducted by the Archives and Special Collections. 

All submissions will be subject to approval by the Archives and Special Collections staff before being accepted into the collection. The Archives and Special Collections staff reserves the right to reject any submission that is deemed inappropriate, that falls outside the scope of this project, or that is not original content. 

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, you can contact us at