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Archives offer essential primary information to historians, scholars from other disciplines including historical epidemiology, families doing genealogies, the media—for anyone doing research into the past. What records of this pandemic will future researchers be able to access? The lived experiences of most of the population must be intentionally preserved for the future. Otherwise, the same social inequities that are now hampering our ability to fight COVID-19 will determine whose lives will be remembered—the memories of the wealthy, the white, and the powerful will be privileged over those of the racialized, working people, and those living ordinary lives in extraordinary times. How can we prevent this outcome?

This online webinar explored themes of the RSC Policy Briefing on Remembering is a Form of Honouring: Preserving the COVID-19 Archival Record, which analyzes strategies toward the collective preservation of COVID-19 experiences.

Moderator

Ian Wilson, Former Librarian and Archivist of Canada. Ian Wilson served as National Archivist of Canada, 1999 to 2004, and then, until 2009 as head of the newly amalgamated Library and Archives Canada. Elected President of the International Council of Archives in 2008, he represented the archives community in conferences around the globe. His speeches and publications address emphasize the vital importance of the integrity and inclusiveness of the documentary record in modern society.

Panelists

Esyllt W. Jones, Esyllt Jones studies the interactions between inequality, disease and social movements. Her contributions have earned her numerous awards and established her as an expert in twentieth-century Canadian social history. Dr. Jones has an exceptional ability to engage the broader public with her research. She is an innovative scholar whose work crosses boundaries between social history and medical history, and who builds meaningful connections between the university and the larger community.

Ian Milligan, Associate Professor of History, University of Waterloo Ian Milligan is an associate professor of history at the University of Waterloo. His work explores the impact of technology on historical practice. In 2019, Ian published his most recent book, History in the Age of Abundance? How the Web is Transforming Historical Practice with McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Dr. Kwame McKenzie is CEO of the Wellesley Institute. He is an international expert on the social causes of illness, suicide and the development of effective, equitable health systems. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at University of Toronto and Director of Health Equity at the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health.

Cheryl Prescod, Executive Director at Black Creek Community Health Centre Cheryl Prescod is the executive director at a Toronto Community Health Centre, where she strives to ensure equitable access to health services for vulnerable populations. A coalition builder and dedicated community leader for over 25 years, she brings together diverse stakeholders to address complex issues in marginalized communities. In addition to her academic background in biochemistry, Cheryl obtained leadership training in healthcare and non-profit management from Rotman School of Management, Schulich School of Business and Harvard Business School.

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