Symbols of Resistance: An Intern at the Freedom Archives Highlights Her Experiences

The Freedom Archives contains over 12,000 hours of audio and videotapes, as well as thousands of paper materials, which date from the late-1960s to the mid-90s and chronicle the progressive history of the Bay Area, the United States, and international movements for justice. The archives contain in-depth oral interviews; reports on social and cultural topics; voices of organizers, activists and political prisoners; and pamphlets, journals and other materials from radical political organizations and social movements. These materials represent a commitment to anti-imperialism, human rights, and highlighting marginalized voices and organizations normally unheard or distorted in establishment media.

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May 31st PSN – What Are The Radical Roots of Your Oral History Practice?

On May 31st, a group of six joined PSN moderators Fernanda Espinosa and Amy Starecheski to share ideas about the radical roots of our oral history practices. The topic is part of a larger project on the radical roots of public history. Amy and Fernanda are working to collect projects with a radical perspective to include in a future publication.

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May 31 PSN: What are the roots of your radical oral history practice?

Oral history is not just something that historians do to create sources for archives. As part of a larger collective research project to document the radical roots of oral history and begin a process of decolonizing oral history practices, we invite you to join this video chat to share the roots of your radical oral history practice. What inspired you to do this work? How did you learn? Who are your oral history ancestors and mentors?

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March 25 PSN: Storytelling and Fundraising

This PSN explores the role of storytelling and listening for activists and organizers who are, want to be, or need to be involved in fundraising. The chat will examine the various roles narrative can play in working with individual donors, volunteers, boards, grants, and foundations -- as well as the ways utilizing storytelling might support, or perhaps undermine, the social justice work of our organizations.

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Feb 3 PSN: E-Security for Oral Historians in the Age of Trump

As people using oral history for social justice, we often collaborate with and record the stories of people, such as undocumented immigrants or queer and trans people, who are particularly vulnerable to potential harm if their stories are shared in ways they did not consent to. And as activists, we may be targets of surveillance. What do social justice oral historians need to know about cyber security? Where do we draw the line between being paranoid and being naive? In this chat, we will share strategies and skills for managing electronic security for oral history projects.

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Feb 21 PSN: Oral History and Decolonization: Reclaiming Stories and Ancestral Wisdom

Indigenous-led movements like that to protect the water at Standing Rock highlight the power of ancestral wisdom in transformative change. As movement-oriented oral historians and practitioners, how can the process and practice of oral history help us root ourselves in the wisdom of our own traditions and ancestors?

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Building Movements with Oral History in 2017

Dear Groundswell Community,

We experienced a lot in 2016. A presidential election that shook this country to its core. Native American led organizing against environmental destruction and for Native sovereignty. Black led organizing against police brutality and anti-Blackness. Movements led by undocumented people against their exploitation and criminalization. Many personal and collective tragedies and triumphs. And everything in between.

As we approach 2017, may we be reminded of the power of people’s voices (and the documentation of these voices) in the building of strong, inclusive, liberatory social movements.

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Student-Farmworker Collaborations that Yield Stories and Build Justice

We hear a lot about immigrants in the media. It’s a story we all think we know about how times in Mexico and Central America are hard and how this hardship drives men and women to cross borders and take other people’s jobs. Many of us want to help, some of us want these people to return to their country of origin, but few of us take the time to ask questions and listen. Mainstream media rarely let immigrants speak for themselves.

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Building the StoryCorps Justice Project: Call for Groundswell Practitioner Perspectives

StoryCorps, the national oral history project, is launching the Justice Project – an initiative that will amplify and preserve the stories of people whose lives have been impacted by mass incarceration and the justice system nationwide   We hope to use this and other Groundswell spaces to generate response, engagement, and reflection as we build this project.  Please help us build the best project possible.  

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July 8 PSN: The Archivist is IN: An Open Q&A with Members of the XFR Collective,

Join members of the grassroots archival collective XFR (pronounced "transfer") Collective for a conversation about how to organize, safeguard, and archive oral history materials. What questions should you ask as you begin an archival project? What kinds of tools might you use to make sure that your digital and paper files are findable? Bring your own questions, and join us for what we hope will be just the start of an ongoing conversation.

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