Q&A with Wilmer Amina Carter, Founder, Wilmer Amina Carter Foundation

Q&A with Wilmer Amina Carter, Founder, Wilmer Amina Carter Foundation

wilmer_amina_carterTen Questions About the Archiving Project – The Online Library and Museum Heritage Program in the Inland Empire (TOLAMHP)

1. What is The Online Library and Museum Heritage Program in the Inland Empire?

It is an ambitious, sorely needed project whose primary goal is to preserve the African American history and culture in the Inland Empire. Wilmer Amina Carter Foundation in collaboration with local universities plans to collect, digitize, archive, and interpret African American history and culture.

2. What do you hope to accomplish with this program?

The program has three objectives: to increase the awareness of stakeholders in the community about the importance of historical preservation, to engage those stakeholders in the process of preserving the information we collect, and to give the public access to the shared information.

3. Where are you obtaining your information from?

Our plan is to collect and digitize narratives, photos, and artifacts related to the African American presence in businesses, churches, social clubs, sororities and fraternities, non-profit organizations, and political and governmental organizations, to name a few. Citizens have information languishing in basements, attics and memories that need to be dusted off and shared.

4. Is there existing information available about African Americans in the Inland Empire?

Some mention of a few prominent African Americans who made notable contributions to the area is available, but there is a serious dearth of information when it comes to the day-to-day lives of ordinary citizens and their interactions with the government and other cultural groups, not to mention their contributions to the economic, political, and social landscape. That’s where the meaty story is of a people. For example, everyone knows about Martin Luther King, Jr., but how many people know about the efforts of the Inland Empire citizens who built the largest statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the country?

5. Who will this project benefit?

Several groups. Local universities, colleges and high school students in several academic disciplines, particularly library science, African American and ethnic studies, history, sociology, anthropology, and computer science, will receive internships and scholarships to work with us on this project. Citizens in the community will have the opportunity to participate in the collection and digitization process, which will create jobs in the Inland Empire. The Online library and Museum Heritage Program in the Inland Empire will also serve as a prototype in the city, county, and state for other cultures that set out to preserve their heritage.

6. How are you going to collect all this information?

The Wilmer Amina Carter Foundation in coloration with local universities will conduct and oversee interviews, transcribe narratives, and scan photos and artifacts.

7. Where are you going to house all of this information?

Local universities, colleges and libraries have agreed to digitally host the information and make it accessible.

8. When will you get started?

The Online Library and Museum Heritage Program is a three year project which began this year.

9. Why should someone become a sponsor?

This is the moment; this is the time; we have the people and the energy – what we need is sustaining funding that will best utilize the interest and talents of all involved in this project of the century.

10. How do we go about sponsoring this project?

Join us at our first fundraiser gallery brunch Saturday May 17th 10:30 am at the National Orange Show Event Center. Contact Wilmer Amina Carter by email at amina@ef-cbs.com or by phone at 909-820-4406 or give directly to http://thecbsfoundation.eventbrite.com. Take a look at our website www.theCBSfoundation.com/archiving-black-history.

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