September 6, 2006
Our university is honored to participate in the development of Avoice the online library that is chronicling the major contributions African American members of Congress have made to our country's history. Since the Reconstruction era, these dedicated lawmakers have had an enduring impact on our society and on the conscience of our nation. This new online archive will tell their story more fully, and with greater accessibility, than ever before.
The University of Texas is equally honored to join such esteemed partners in this project the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Howard University, and Dell. For our part of the collaboration to make Avoice a significant worldwide web presence The University of Texas Libraries will continue to digitize archival materials from individual members of Congress placed in Howard University's research center and other historical black colleges and universities. UT Austin has designed and implemented the information architecture for the web site, developed the search terms to make research possible, and will host and maintain the digital archive, which will become an integral component of the UT Libraries web site.
We will also work with our partners in Avoice to enhance ways for the information to be used, especially for academic and educational purposes, and we will share the archive with other institutions of higher learning in order to make the information broadly accessible.
The great Barbara Jordan a member of the Congressional Black Caucus spent the final 17 years of her life living in Austin and teaching at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas. I'm confident she would have been pleased with this partnership pleased to see our university using the strength of its technology in public service, preserving and presenting the long and noble narrative of black political power in America. She told us often that we Americans need to understand where we have been as a nation struggling with the principles of justice and equality in order to face the future as one people and become the America as good as its promise.
Congresswoman Barbara Jordan once observed, A spirit of harmony can only survive if each of us remembers . . . that we share a common destiny.
It is my privilege to join you here today in the spirit of harmony as we ensure the preservation of these important chapters of our common history. Thank you all for being here.
To view the webcast, please visit the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation website.