Gabriela Arias

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I am a senior and an Africana Studies major at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY.

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My name is Gabriela Arias—Gabi for short. I am 21 years old. I was born and raised in New York City, however I have called Wallkill, NY home since 2001. As a member of the first generation in my family to be born in the United States, I am proud of my roots. The African ancestry of Dominicans from across the diaspora is central to my identity as a Dominican-American woman. The history and culture of Afro-Latinos fascinates me and is an academic interest which I have been fortunate enough to explore at Hamilton College. An Africana Studies major, I am especially interested in the intersections between institutions of public history and the process of historical preservation in communities across the African diaspora. Throughout my college career, I have researched the complex relationship between personal and family histories, particularly in marginalized communities, and their preservation in the archives. For the past two summers, I held internships where I was engaged in digital archival work and humanities-based technology research. In 2009, I aided in building an online, interactive digital archive dedicated to the 1976 student protests in Soweto, South Africa. This summer, I delved into two exciting research based internships. First, at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, I processed and digitized their extensive collections on the LGBT Puerto Rican community in New York City. Second, I interned at El Museo del Barrio and aided in the development of their website and potential mobile application. An aspiring archivist, I intend to begin graduate school in the fall of 2011 in a Library and Information Sciences program with an emphasis in cultural archival preservation.

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