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Mayor de Blasio Announces the Appointment of 15 Members to the Archives, Reference and Research Advisory Board

March 24, 2017

NEW YORK—Today, Mayor de Blasio announced the appointment of 15 members to the Archives, Reference and Research Advisory Board, which will consult with Commissioner Pauline Toole of the Department of Records and Information Services.

DORIS has begun an extensive effort to revitalize the Municipal Archives and Municipal Library, to have these institutions serve a larger public and to help frame ongoing public policy discussions within a historical context. The revitalization efforts include digitizing holdings, making resources available online, developing exhibits to augment debates, forming partnerships with non-traditional organizations, and engaging new audiences. The Archives, Reference and Research Advisory Board will help develop and shape this revitalization by offering guidance, setting strategic goals, identifying funding sources, and connecting communities. 

“It is vital that we remember the rich history of the city and that we bring available historical resources to the forefront in order to engage new audiences,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This group of appointees will work diligently to revitalize these resources and to display the relevance that our history has had in the formation of the city and government that we see today. We appreciate the board’s efforts and I look forward to working with all of the new members.”

“I am grateful to the Mayor and the new board members for their support as we work towards making the truly amazing holdings of the Archives and Library more broadly available. This is a diverse group who will help us develop and implement strategies for demonstrating the relevance and historical context of decisions made by government leaders that have affected communities throughout the City’s 400-year history,” said DORIS Commissioner Pauline Toole.

“I have long been a fan of the Municipal Archives and Library and I am so pleased  the Mayor has asked me to Chair the Advisory Board.  I look forward to collaborating with my distinguished colleagues in strategizing how to bring City government’s historical treasures to new audiences,” said Incoming Chair Joan Millman. 

“I applaud the mayor and the administration for these appointments to an advisory board that will bring an array of expertise from community members and professionals who are dedicated to our rich history and institutions, and ensuring that the public has an opportunity to explore and treasure our historical resources,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations. 

The following board members are community leaders, historians, librarians, and archivists who will aid with this transition and provide insight on evolving practices in relevant fields.

The Honorable Joan Millman – Chair: Former NY State Assemblymember
Pamela Cruz: Archives Strategist and Advocate 
Dr. Johanna Fernandez: Assistant Professor, History Department, Baruch College of the City University of New York
Glenda Grace: General Counsel & Chief of Staff, Queens College 
Idilio Gracia Peña: Chief Archivist, CUNY Dominican Studies Institute 
Kayhan Irani: Writer/producer         
Lillian Jean-Baptiste: Community Engager, Family Advocate & Cultural Ambassador
Gregory Jost: Partner, Designing the WE
Richard Moylan: President, Green-Wood Cemetery and Historic Fund
Tom Shcherbenko: Community and political activist        
Dr. Robert Snyder: Professor of Journalism and American Studies, Rutgers University-Newark
Dr. Jack Tchen: Professor, New York University 
Peter Williams: Executive Vice President for Programs, NAACP
Mark Winston Griffith: Executive Director, Brooklyn Movement Center
Mary Yearwood: Director of Collections and Information Services, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

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