Edited and with an Introduction by Dave Eggers

For ten years, Voice of Witness has illuminated contemporary human rights crises through its remarkable oral history book series. Founded by Dave Eggers, Lola Vollen, and Mimi Lok, Voice of Witness has amplified the stories of hundreds of people impacted by some of the most crucial human rights crises of our time, including individuals living under oppressive regimes in Burma, Colombia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe; public housing residents and undocumented workers in the United States; and exploited workers around the globe.

This selection of narratives from these remarkable people is many things: an astonishing record of human rights issues in the twenty-first century; a testament to the resilience and courage of the most marginalized among us; and an opportunity to better understand the world we live in through human connection and a participatory vision of history.

Read a Q&A with Dave Eggers and Mimi Lok in Salon

A Note of Clarification & Gratitude

We regret that the interviewers, translators, and assistant editors who contributed to the narratives featured in the Voice of Witness Reader could not be individually credited in the book. For various reasons, narrator security being chief among them, we generally refrain from identifying interviewers and editors in connection with specific narratives.
For future editions, we look forward to including an acknowledgements page that lists all of our contributors over the years, and to providing greater insight into their role in creating these books. In the meantime, we invite you to visit our volunteer network page. These incredible individuals have, collectively, contributed thousands of hours to Voice of Witness book projects, and their work is essential to each step of the process—from research and interviewing to editing, transcription, and translation.
We give special thanks to all of our volunteer interviewers and assistant editors around the world, who have conducted hundreds of oral histories over the years, and who have helped shape these into compelling, powerful narratives that honor the experiences of our narrators and inspire empathy and dialogue among our readers. We are truly grateful for their dedication and generosity.