Announcing Spring PSN Lineup and Two New PSN Initiatives!

After several years of hosting Practitioner Support Network Video Chats, we are excited to announce that we are starting two new PSN initiatives in 2016: PSN Problem Solvers and PSN One-to-Ones.

  • PSN Problem Solvers will be shorter video chats where a smaller group will convene to workshop a problem a member is facing in their work, or a new project they are starting.
  • In PSN One-to-Ones, we will pair members for mutual support, encouragement, and mentoring for a six month period.

Scroll down to read more about both programs.

We need your participation to make both of these programs work! So, propose a Problem Solvers chat, sign up for a One-to-One (February 15th deadline), or register for one of the three traditional PSN Video Chats in our Spring lineup!

Groundswell’s Practitioner Support Network
“One-to-One” Program

Do you wish you had someone you could touch base with on a regular basis to get feedback and support on your projects? Are you interested in growing your community of storytelling/oral history colleagues and peers who are committed to social justice?

Groundswell’s Practitioner Support Network’s “One-to-One” program is a new initiative to pair up social justice oral history practitioners for peer support. We know that doing movement-relevant oral history work can sometimes be tough, tiring, and isolating. Sometimes it helps just to have someone to puzzle things through with, whether it’s to talk about some of the trickier ethical questions that come up, problem-solve on a technical aspect, bounce around a not-yet-totally-formed idea, or just keep us on track with our project goals. Through our PSN One-to-One program, we hope to facilitate the building of supportive relationships between practitioners committed to oral history for social justice.

How does it work?

  • Anyone can sign-up to be part of the program (though we encourage participants to become official Groundswell members!). Groundswell’s PSN Working Group will pair up and put practitioners in touch with each other.
  • Pairs agree to meet (either online or via phone) once a month throughout the duration of the program (March - October 2016). Pairs are responsible for scheduling their own sessions, at times that work best for them.
  • While it’s up to each pair to find a rhythm for check-in sessions that work for them, we suggest setting aside an hour for each session, and splitting up the time evenly, so that each partner has about 25-30 minutes to check-in and discuss their own work.
  • Groundswell PSN Working Group members will occasionally check in with pairs to see how it’s going.
  • Pairs agree to fill out a short eval at the end of the program about their experience.


  • January 15th: Registration opens.
  • February 15th: Deadline to sign up if you want to participate!
  • March 1st: One-to-One participants are matched up and pairs begin monthly sessions.
  • October 31st: End of 2016 program.
  • November 15th: Deadline to complete short survey about your experience.


Please note: We can’t promise that we will find a One-to-One partner for everyone who signs up to be part of the program, but we’ll do our best!

PSN Problem Solvers 

Do you have a burning question about the work that you do? A practical concern you've come across during your social justice oral history or storytelling work? An ethical challenge you see in your field that you'd like to bring attention to? An upcoming or ongoing project you want to workshop to peers? 

Then consider participating in our new PSN Problem Solvers initiative!

PSN Problem Solvers aims to provide direct conversation amongst peers on a wide range of topics related to oral history and social justice. These questions can touch on virtually anything specific to your social justice oral history work, from the practical and logistical to the philosophical and ethical. PSN Problem Solvers chats will be similar to our PSN Video Chats in that:

  • you can use them to pose a question you want to work through;
  • you'll be speaking with other social justice and oral history practitioners who are interested in the same topic;
  • and they'll be held on online, through our zoom platform (we will guide you through this part).

How are they different from our regular PSN Video Chats you ask?

  • They'll be shorter (around 30-50 minutes, depending on the topic);
  • there will be less participants (4 additional people will commit to the call);
  • you can choose who will participate (but we can help you to find participants too);
  • you can choose a date and time works for you;
  • and, with the participants' permission, it can be recorded so that others can learn from your conversation.

Our aim is to get your questions out there swiftly to a community equipped to help you answer those questions thoughtfully. Once you reach out to PSN Problem Solvers the PSN Working Group can help you work through the nuts and bolts of getting the chats started.

Email for more info or to propose a chat topic, fill out our google form

We will begin accepting proposals for PSN Problem Solvers chats on January 15th, 2016.