By Kristen Michelle Walker, Kennesaw State University

I am writing this from the land of the Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East) and would like to thank the scholars who shared the Native Land resource so I could research, honor, and recognize those whose land I currently reside upon. I would also like to thank AASLH for honoring me as a recipient of the Douglas Evelyn Scholarship for Minority Professionals for this year’s Annual Meeting. I have attended several AASLH workshops with my former institution, but this was my first conference.

As a conference attendee, I was inspired by the work happening both within and outside of institutions around the U.S. The sessions I attended (“Collaborate, Collect, Curate,” “Black Museums Matter,” and “Intersecting Pandemics of Racial Injustice,” to name a few) challenged me to think critically about the work I am currently doing, hope to do, and will do, and how it will inform the lives of future generations. Motivating others to become change agents by examining the world and their relationship to it is something that has fueled my graduate work, and I will take what I have gained from this conference and share it with my colleagues and university students. I also thoroughly enjoyed the chat exchange happening in the live sessions I attended—my reading list is now full!

During this time of international pain and uncertainty, I truly appreciate the opportunity to hear and learn from scholars, researchers, artisans, and activists (many of whom I have become a fan of!). The Douglas Evelyn Scholarship is an avenue to lift minority professionals and expose them to a platform of opportunity and growth! I am grateful for the work and commitment of AASLH, its members, and community, and thank them again for extending this opportunity.

Recordings of the AASLH 2020 General Sessions are now available free to download in our Resource Center, and you can still register for the conference to get access to all session recordings now.