ICA USA Fall Archives Sojourn 2015: Exploring the Future of Our Past

From Sept. 21-25th, the ICA Global Archives team came together for the largest sojourn to date, with 50 colleagues joining both in person and virtually. The sojourn had three major areas of focus:

Historic Use of the GreenRise Building

The task before this team was to find evidence supporting the use of the building as a place where innovative social justice programs were designed, coordinated and implemented over 44 years. This work is integral to the process of the ICA GreenRise applying to become a National Historic Landmark (NHL). (read more about this in the GreenRise article)

The search for documentation focused on three areas of ICA work to meet necessary criteria: Uptown 5 (local); Town Meeting ‘76 (national); and The Band of 24 Human Development Projects (global). The team found the necessary documentation to build a case for the use of the building and new documents were created. The next step is preparing the application for submission to become an NHL in January 2016.

Training Inc.

The Training Inc. team was called to celebrate 40 years of Training Inc. and discern what aspects of the curriculum are relevant to the future of ICA. The group was able to archive key documentation of both the beginning and most recent years of Training Inc. and articulate the ‘heart of the matter’ that made Training Inc. successful. The work of this team resulted in a draft of an ‘Image Transformation Toolkit’ to be used in future conversations and programs related to image transformation.

New Religious Mode

This team drew in the most newcomers to the archives. The team aimed to make the wisdom of the past relevant to ICA’s current sustainability work while still maintaining the depth of the original curriculum.

The teams worked during the day and celebrated each day’s accomplishments with wine and cheese, reflecting on what they learned and hopes for the future. To close out the week, the three groups reported out their progress and reflected on how to proceed.  Another notable accomplishment from earlier this fall was A Chronological History of the Ecumenical Institute and the Institute of Cultural Affairs, 1952 – 1988, published by colleagues Beret Griffith and David Dunn. They are currently working on expanding to the end of the 90s.

This post was first published on the ICA USA website.