Say It Forward: The Voice of Witness Community Guide to Oral History (Call for Submissions)
The Voice of Witness Education Program needs your help developing our new book, Say it Forward. We are currently seeking coordinators—people embarking on or planning their own oral history/storytelling projects with community groups and organizations—to work with us on a section of the book devoted to project case studies. These case studies will include thoughtful reflection on the experience of the project’s coordinator and participants (people sharing their oral histories) as well as interview excerpts from the oral history project in question.
This book is intended to be a “report from the field” of social justice-based oral history, and will serve as a resource for people interested in creating community storytelling projects of their own. Geared toward beginners, Say it Forward will give voice to the many approaches, strategies, and challenges that communities experience when engaging with powerful, unheard stories.
WHAT WE OFFER: Voice of Witness will provide primary instructions and materials in oral history training, guidance, and mentorship through all aspects of the project. We will edit your chapter in adherence to the Voice of Witness style guide and will be responsible for the publication and promotion of the book. Each case study facilitator will receive two complimentary copies of the book upon publication.
WHAT WE NEED: When your project is complete, we’ll ask you to submit a 10-15 page write-up of your experience with a focus on the process, addressing essential questions such as: What was the experience like for you as a facilitator? What was it like for the participants? What unexpected challenges arose? Which communication strategies were useful in creating a safe space for difficult conversations? Which moments were surprising? A first draft of your completed chapter will be due in October of 2014.
SAY IT FORWARD CURRENT STATUS: Voice of Witness is currently working with coordinators doing oral history projects with the following groups and organizations:
• a post-release theater program for young men (18-24) exiting jail
• the fishing community of Santa Cruz, California
• a group of Oakland students working to create alternate narratives of their city
• undocumented Muslims in the Bay Area
• people wrongfully convicted and exonerated for arson crimes
• current and former residents of Fukushima, Japan
If you have a project in mind (or in the works) that you think would be a good fit as a chapter in our book, please send a 1-2 page proposal summarizing your project (including a timeline) to Cliff Mayotte. The deadline for submitting a proposal is March 15, 2014.
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