Adrena Ifill Blagburn is the 2015 recipient of the J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award was presented at a ceremony during the SAA Annual Meeting in Cleveland, August 16–22. The award honors an individual, institution, or organization that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of archival activities or programs.
Since founding the strategic communications firm, Ifill/DoubleBack Global Group in 2002, Ifill Blagburn has been a leading advocate for the preservation of archival records documenting African-American Congressional history. As a result of her efforts to educate Black lawmakers about record retention policies, Ifill Blagburn has increased public awareness on the importance of not only preserving these records, but of the benefits of utilizing them for educational and historic programs. As a consultant, she directs the Avoice Project of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. As Chief Strategist for DoubleBack, she has developed exhibits, videos and events for various organizations to reach diverse audiences and empower them “to take history off the shelf.” Ifill Blagburn’s many strategic partners include the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University, the Robert J. Terry Library at Texas State University, the DC Archives and the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives.
Ifill Blagburn is a graduate of Williams College and received her MBA from Howard University. With roots in the Caribbean and North Carolina, she learned firsthand the importance of preserving history and its global impact. Gaining access to “lost” collections and being able to double back with the descendants of unfamiliar historic figures to devise, creative ways to communicate these stories is one of Ifill Blagburn’s favorite things. Her advocacy is partly mission driven, tied closely to providing excellent customer service and assembling a team with in-depth knowledge of her clients’ specialty areas that produces innovative and timely results.