Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Center forBlack Digital Research, #DigBlk

#DigBlk Principles

#DigBlk Principles


#DigBlk, like the Colored Conventions Project, emulates the principles created by social change organizations. These principles guide the work we do, how we do it, and the choices we make. This is a living document, one meant to offer accountability to each other, our partners, and the communities and fields in which we work.

#DigBlk Principles

Principle 1

#DigBlk affirms the connections between past and present organizing for Black people’s dignity, rights, and justice. We seek to enact and expand on the values of collective organizing modeled by the movements and organizations we study.

Principle 2

#DigBlk mirrors the Colored Conventions’ and the National Association of Colored Women’s (NACW) focus on labor rights and Black economic health. We build and prioritize structures that support and honor our members’ contributions to the project through equitable compensation, acknowledgment, attribution, opportunities, and training.

Principle 3

#DigBlk affirms Black women’s centrality to organizing in the long nineteenth century even as many historical records and narratives erase and anonymize the contributions, labor, and expertise that made these movements possible. We pledge to center and support Black women’s labor and leadership in our own historical work and in our project practices.

Principle 4

#DigBlk actively resists the reduction of Black life to mere data points and refuses to traffic in disembodied data. We preserve context and collectives by naming Black people whenever possible. Our use of digital technologies is committed to affirming the dignity of Black life by expanding access to scattered Black histories and by sharing knowledge which documents and contributes to Black historical understanding.                                

Principle 5

#DigBlk affirms Black life and well-being. Recognizing the historic and ongoing disregard for Black health, we enact practices that build community, support wellness, and cultivate Black joy.

Principle 6

#DigBlk studies Black movements committed to collective empowerment. We extend the organizing legacies of the Colored Conventions and the NACW’s motto “lifting as we climb.” We resist hierarchies that valorize singular leadership; instead we seek to create more equitable forms of leadership that share and spread resources and opportunities across our team and partners. 

Principle 7

#DigBlk advances its work through partnerships grounded in shared commitments to Black history, learning, and life. We partner with Black organizations, communities, and institutions that honor engagement with Black legacy and descendent communities.

Principle 8

#DigBlk affirms that Black artists and cultural makers sustain Black joy, health, and futures. We work with Black artists and arts organizations to preserve and share these histories.

Updated 9/29/21