How can historians support activists and campaigners?
History Acts aims to develop links between historians and activists. The organisation was co-founded by Steffen Blayney (2009, Modern British and European History), who is now a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield. It draws inspiration from the importance of history in many movements and campaigns: the women’s movement, the peace movement, environmental activism, land reform, workers’ rights campaigns, and many more.
History Acts has been organising events in London with panels made up of both historians and activists since 2015, and since the Covid-19 pandemic their website has become a pivotal part of the organisation. In recent months, History Acts has been organising open-access online meetings, recordings and write-ups of which are available on their website. Meetings have included, ‘Black History Matters’, a discussion which focused on how historians can support campaigners and challenge institutional racism, and ‘Recording a Crisis’, which reflected on how historians and archivists can ensure that the voices of those affected by the pandemic are being heard.