Telling Lives: Community-Based Oral History Workshops

In 2011 and 2012, Center for Oral History staff offered free bimonthly workshops for activists and activist organizations in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area to teach the principles of oral history to document and advocate for the communities they represent.  We were inspired to conduct this workshop series by the work of MacArthur awardee Louis Massiah, who directs Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia. Louis teaches the principles of documentary filmmaking, including video training, to community leaders in Philadelphia who use video as an advocacy tool for themselves and their communities.  We have worked with community leaders in New York from Picture the Homeless, Gender at Work, One Flushing, and UN Women—as well as professionals interested in issues of immigration, poverty, and other social issues. Terrell Frazier, former director of Education and Outreach at CCOHR, and Mary Marshall Clark, CCOHR's director, led and organized this series, and the outcomes of that work are highlighted by these video interviews with CCOH staff and community leaders who participated in the series. The two documents we used most frequently in our training sessions are linked to below as PDFs.  We will continue to add content to this site as it is developed by our community partners.