A New Voice

Hello Groundswell community! My name is Sarah Hollingsworth, a recent graduate of California State University Monterey Bay and a new blog coordinator for Groundswell. I now attend Columbia University’s Oral History Master of Arts program. My experience with oral history runs deep into the Salinas Valley, where I conducted oral history interviews with the unique homeless population that camps and lives in Chinatown. If you would like to hear more about my project, Oral Histories of Chinatown: Embracing the Street, come join me and other oral history practitioners at The Oral History Association’s annual meeting in Madison, Wisconsin from October 8-12.

Groundswell is now a part of my story. Whether highlighting the perils of economic inequality or re-writing a history that has been erased, whatever the social justice controversy may be: Groundswell supports creating space for the oral history interview to encourage social change. My hope it to develop the blog as a way to share the ideas, strategies and stories of practitioners using oral history to support social justice.

I believe in oral history and in the power of the interview to uncover the nuances of inequality and discrimination hidden in our society. I hope that the blog will bring interested individuals and communities together to talk about how people are using the oral history interview for social change and to look at the often unique and unconventional methods and strategies used by this growing community.

To complete my first blog post I want to share my experience participating in the first session of the Anti-Oppression PSN (practitioner support network) chat series that took off in September. A group of about 8 practitioners discussed oral history projects taking place throughout the nation. We engaged in dialogue about anti-oppression principles that should guide our work as we make decisions about how to use and apply oral history interviews. Please join the next PSN on Friday, October 24th! Registration details can be found on the Groundswell website. The Practitioner Support Network is dedicated to creating space to meet, discuss important issues and share ideas related to our work. Please join this next PSN and see what others in the Groundswell community are doing!

I welcome you stay tuned each Monday for our next blog installment, please feel free to share your ideas, suggestions and feedback!