About Voice of Witness

Voice of Witness is the proud recipient of the
2013 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award.

To learn about our work, read this profile in the Smithsonian Magazine or watch the 2 minute video below.


Voice of Witness (VOW) is a non-profit dedicated to fostering a more nuanced, empathy-based understanding of contemporary human rights crises. We do this by amplifying the voices of individuals most closely affected by injustice, and by providing curricular and training support to educators and invested communities in the U.S. and around the world.



VOW Book Series: VOW has so far published fourteen titles in its series. We publish an average of two oral history titles each year, with fourteenth book, The Voice of Witness Reader, released in June 2015. To date, our series has covered a wide variety of social justice issues, ranging from post-9/11 civil rights and the criminal justice system to the experiences of individuals living under oppressive regimes in Burma, Zimbabwe and Colombia. Through distribution, events, and media coverage, we reach approximately 8 million people each year.

VOW Education Program: Our education team offers year-round site visits and workshops for schools and community organizations, a summer intensive oral history training called Amplifying Unheard Voices, and Common Core-aligned curricula through our website and publication The Power of the Story: The Voice of Witness Teacher’s Guide to Oral History. Over the past year, we reached over 12,000 high school to graduate level students.





“These books are amazing… beautifully produced, with incredible editing and literary sensibility. Voice of Witness has done a better job than I’ve seen anybody do with having people tell their stories in a way that really engages you.” –Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, Air America

“The series does not so much weave a tapestry from different experiences as braid a rope, a lifeline by which we might haul ourselves into a less ignorant, more actively compassionate future. In them, the specific illuminates the general, destroying preconceptions, stereotypes, and cop-out responses along the way.”
–Richard Vernon, Sojourners Magazine

“In a time when history is told in cheap television re-enactments, if at all, and personal tragedy is gobbled up in rapidly digestible magazine photos and reality shows, this project goes against the grain.”
–Guardian UK

MEDIA/EVENT INQUIRIES: If you are a book reviewer, journalist, or event coordinator who would like to review one of our titles, request an interview, or inquire about a possible event with a VOW editor or contributor, please email Natalie Catasús at natalie@voiceofwitness.org.

NEWSLETTER: Every month we send out a newsletter to keep readers informed of current projects, upcoming events, special offers and ways to get involved. If you would like to receive the VOW monthly newsletter, click here.

DONATE: As a non-profit, we rely on your support to sustain our work. Current and forthcoming projects include books on Palestine, Haiti, and a community oral history guide. If you would like to support our work, please consider making a tax-deductible DONATION or VOLUNTEERING.

We are grateful to have many incredible foundations and organizations supporting our work. Click here to learn more about Voice of Witness’ Donors and Partners.