George Mason University professor Amaka Okechukwu, PhD. will lead this virtual workshop aimed at exploring the ways oral history and storytelling can be used to further activist causes and social justice organizing.
Oral History can be a powerful tool in building social movements and enhancing social justice projects. It can also be a necessary tool in preserving the history of campaigns and movements. This workshop will focus on the ways that oral history can be used in social justice organizing: to identify and analyze pressing social issues, to frame social issues in campaigns, to assess past and present organizational dynamics, and more. We will examine formal oral history methods and ethical concerns, opportunities and limitations of oral history projects, and explore how anti-oppression principles can be incorporated into oral history projects. We will also explore some projects that have successfully implemented oral history methods in social justice work, and those that work to preserve social movement history.
Amaka Okechukwu, PhD, is an interdisciplinary scholar engaged in research on social movements, race, community studies, public history, and Black archives. She is the author of the book “To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions” (Columbia University Press 2019) and multiple articles. She has worked in organizations such as Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, The Brecht Forum, Brooklyn Movement Center, the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, and more. She has also worked as an oral historian, archivist, and researcher at Weeksville Heritage Center and Brooklyn Historical Society. She is the former co-coordinator of Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at George Mason University.
The program is free, registration is required. Registration for the Activism and Oral History Workshop has closed, as the workshop has reached capacity.