Andrea Jackson, Executive Director

Andrea R. Jackson joined the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) as Executive Director in Fall 2017. Jackson comes to the BMRC with 15 years of experience as a professional archivist – primarily acquiring, preserving, and making accessible the historical legacy and records of African Americans. She has found success in cultivating relationships across various constituencies, creating innovative programming, grant writing and implementation, and mentorship. Jackson oversees BMRC’s administration, implementation of programs, fundraising, and community outreach, and executes the strategic plan. She most recently served as Head of the Archives Research Center at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, and earlier in her career as the Project Archivist at Fisk University’s Franklin Library.

An alumna of Spelman College (BA, History) and New York University (MA, United States History & Certification, Archival Management), Jackson was selected for participation in the 2017 Harvard Graduate School of Education Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians and the 2011 Archives Leadership Institute.  She was also named a 2017 Digital Library Federation – HBCU Library Alliance Fellow.  Jackson is the co-author of the 2016 article, “Funding the Future of African American Religion Archival Collections at the Atlanta University Center’s Robert W. Woodruff Library” in the Journal of Theological Librarianship, and she holds membership within the Society of American Archivists – serving as Chair of the Mosaic Scholarship Selection Subcommittee, Midwest Archives Conference, Chicago Area Archivists, and Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Jackson enjoys sharing her passion for public history and serves as a member of the Advisory Boards for Project STAND and the Arc of Justice Project.

Anita Mechler, Project Manager / Archivist

Anita Mechler has been the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) Project Manager / Archivist since April 2015. She earned her MSLIS and Rare Books and Manuscripts Certification (RBMC) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008 and her CA from the Academy of Certified Archivists in 2016. Mechler is an active member of Chicago Area Archivists, Midwest Archives Conference (Nominating Committee 2018-2019), and Archives and Archivists of Color Section as part of the Society of American Archivists (SAA). She is also a judge for the Chicago Metro History Fair and an SAA mentor. Her proudest achievement at BMRC is developing the Summer Short-term Fellowship Program over the last few years. Mechler is responsible for coordination and training for the Archie Motley Archival Internship Program, organizing the Summer Short-term Fellowship Program, creation of the BMRC Newsletter, and reference services.

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