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The Human Rights Campaign Oral History Project focuses on the HRC’s mission, achievements, growth, and role in the LGBTQ movement. The goal is to produce an archive with more than 150 hours of interviews, conducted with 40 individuals over 80 sessions.

These interviews will center on the organization’s most transformative moments, like the early AIDS crisis, marriage equality, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and the expanding focus around diversity and state work, with the recognition that these developments are crucial not only to the organization’s history, but to that of the LGBTQ movement more broadly.

The project asks: what can a single organization tell us about a social movement and social change? How do historic moments shape organizations and vice versa? How do institutions with diverse constituencies reconcile competing needs and agendas for a forward-thinking movement, all while effectively responding to consistent external attacks? By promoting public knowledge about the unique history of the HRC in a way that can inform and contextualize the ongoing pursuit of equality, this work foregrounds the past with an eye toward the future.


Maurice Ivy Dowell
Project Coordinator