In oral history, deep listening requires the interviewer to open themselves to the narrator's stories. Such stories can be challenging and even painful. We often discuss how to support our narrators in telling difficult stories, but rarely how to take care of ourselves as we listen to them. In this chat we will build on conversations, in both the academic and the activist world, about burnout and resilience. The goal is to share experiences and develop self-care strategies for social justice oral historians.Read More
On March 10th, 2016, twelve people participated in the PSN Chat titled "Success Stories: From Oral History to Social Change". Practitioners Alisa del Tufo, Manissa McCleave Maharawal, and Mark D. Naison shared their experiences in successfully engaging oral history in service of social justice. Here is a video report back of the chat.Read More
Before you read further, please google the phrase East Garfield Park. Okay, aside from the ubiquitous Wiki entry, what did you find? Our guess is you saw mostly hits that involved crime and gentrification in some way. The mainstream dominant media portrays this community in the heart of Chicago’s West Side as crime ridden, poverty stricken, and little else. East Garfield Park organizations and residents strive to rewrite this narrative.Read More
The Forced Trajectory Project (FTP) is a long-term multimedia project that documents the effects of police violence on communities, beginning with families whose loved ones have been murdered by police.
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.Read More
April's PSN Video Chat aims to develop strategies for utilizing storytelling to affect positive change in the natural world and to emphasize the human race's responsibility to our planet. This chat will examine the various roles narrative can play in environmental activism, from how storytellers can convey complex scientific knowledge to the general public to how personal storytelling can be used to affect public policy.Read More
What does it take to move from oral history to actual change? As practitioners seeking to engage oral history as a method for not only documenting, but actively contributing to social change, we often talk a lot about our struggles. But we also need to celebrate and learn from our victories! In this special PSN video chat, we invite three practitioners to share how they’ve successfully engaged oral history in service of social justice.Read More
In this Practitioner Support Network video chat, we will discuss the potential and special challenges of interviewing about the body, and will develop strategies for interviews focused on embodied experience such as breastfeeding, living with a disability, being transgender, or dancing as well as strategies for keeping the body in focus in all of our work.
Darryl B’s voice is clear and confident. ‘Today I would like to say that I am an American proud Black Gay man, and those are how I identify myself.” The audio then leads us into Darryl telling how his mother’s activism formed him into the person that he is today. Next, he tells the story of being unwarrantedly banned from a club in Greensboro and subsequently harassed, physically attacked, and arrested by police officers. “I wonder if my skin color were different, how would that situation have gone?” he reflects.
n our November PSN, a group of practitioners came together to develop strategies to maintain the momentum in volunteer-powered, and volunteer-led, oral history projects. You can read the full minutes here, and here are a few of our favorite tools, organized by each phase of a project (with thanks to Alice Kovacik for the great notes!):Read More
An intergenerational framework in oral histories can be useful to both parties involved--the interviewer/youth can learn valuable lessons from the person being interviewed, while the interviewee/elder can find it very fulfilling to pass their stories down to the next generation. This can particularly be useful in activist groups to form bonds and build community that might otherwise be fractured by generational differences.Read More
Black Women's Blueprint is using oral history interviews and oral testimony as the basis for a Spring 2016 Black Women's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, focusing on rape and sexual assault against Black women in the United States. In this interview, Naimah describes Black Women's Blueprint's approach to interviewing victims and survivors, and reflects on what it means, in practice, to respect, honor, and be accountable to the women they interview - at all points in the process.Read More
This reportback shares our thoughts on what it might look like to bring a language justice perspective to oral history practice. The notion of “language justice” recognizes that language is power. Language can be both a tool of domination and oppression as well as a powerful means for facilitating inclusive democracy and cross-community movement building and learning. Interviewing and sharing oral histories across languages presents unique opportunities and challenges. In this chat, we explored participants’ experiences, questions and strategies around navigating the technical and ethical issues that arise in doing oral history in bilingual and multilingual environments.Read More
In this chat, we’ll explore participants’ experiences, questions and strategies around navigating the technical and ethical issues that arise in doing oral history in bilingual and multilingual environments. Together, we’ll consider what it might look like to bring a language justice perspective to oral history practice.Read More
We're thrilled to introduce you to two new members of our Groundswell team. Amaka Okechukwu (a core member of our GS2015 planning team this past year) will be joining Sarah Loose as one of our Co-Coordinators and Maggie Von Vogt has come on board as Groundswell's new Blog Coordinator!Read More
In this interview, Amy describes how she incorporates an anti-oppression framework into both her teaching, as a professor of Columbia's Masters program in Oral History, as well as her own projects. In particular, she describes the importance of engaging in a process of ongoing consent and the interviewer's responsibility to reflect on and gauge their power and privilege in an interviewer/interviewee dynamic.Read More