oral history

Seeing the U.S.-Mexico Border through the Eyes of a Refugee

October 1st, 2019|Categories: Activism, Arts, Borders and Boundaries, Exile & Displacement, Home and Belonging, Immigration, Narrators, Refugees, VOW Book Series, Youth Migrants|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

by Gabriel Mendez In early July, Voice of Witness reached out to me and told me about a protest in El Paso happening on July 5th, where artists would perform, talking about their experiences at the border and how the conditions in detention centers are inhumane. I got really interested because I feel that everything related to [...]

Puerto Rico, Two Years after Hurricane María

September 23rd, 2019|Categories: Environmental Issues, Exile & Displacement, Narrators, Puerto Rico, VOW Book Series, VOW Editor Interviews, VOW Story Lab|Tags: , , , , , |

Two years ago, Hurricane María hit the island of Puerto Rico, and today, survivors across the island are still healing. Electricity goes in and out, buildings remain abandoned, and the lingering stress of recovery has weighed on the mental health of citizens. But the story of Hurricane María is about so much more [...]

“Are You Colombian? Sorry.” Danny’s Story in Throwing Stones at the Moon

September 9th, 2019|Categories: Arts, Colombia, Exile & Displacement, Immigration, Narrators, VOW Book Series|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

2019 marks 10 years for Voice of Witness as a nonprofit, and in celebration of this exciting milestone, we’re resurfacing powerful stories from every oral history book in our series. Though time has passed since these stories were first published, many of the themes and issues they address are as relevant and important as ever. For [...]

“Happiness.” Student Stories from Impact Academy

September 6th, 2019|Categories: Arts, Education, English Language Learners, Germanacos Fellows|Tags: , , , , , |

By Stephanie He | Based on an interview conducted with Caroline Le Stephanie He is a student at Impact Academy of Art and Technology in Hayward, CA. This story was written as part of a classroom project led by our Germanacos Fellow, Maria Bucon-Scales. After reading oral histories and The Things They Carried, Maria's students interviewed a [...]

Creating a Brave and Safe Space for Storytelling

August 15th, 2019|Categories: Activism, Brave Stories, Narrators, Say It Forward, VOW Book Series, VOW Story Lab|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

by VOW Staff We at Voice of Witness know well that the process of story sharing can be transformational and life-changing for both audience and storyteller. But behind the simple act of asking others to share their stories, there are nuanced and always-changing uncertainties related to story ownership, trust, retraumatization, and sometimes the very [...]

Meet Our Summer Interns Margaret and Eliana

August 8th, 2019|Categories: Activism, Arts, Education, Say It Forward|Tags: , , , , , |

This summer, we have been fortunate to have four wonderful interns join us to support our work. In this post, two of our interns Margaret O'Hare from Haverford College and Eliana Swerdlow from Yale reflect on their summer at VOW. Margaret O’Hare My internship at Voice of Witness this summer has been an incredible learning experience and [...]

Meet Our Summer Interns Molly and Ari

August 8th, 2019|Categories: Activism, Arts, Education|Tags: , , , |

This summer, we have been fortunate to have four wonderful interns join us to support our work. In this post, two of our interns Molly Hawkins and Ari Kim from Haverford College reflect on their summer at VOW. Molly Hawkins In mid-July, Ari, Margaret, and I were able to attend an oral history workshop [...]

Reader to Witness: Stories of Undocumented Lives

August 2nd, 2019|Categories: Activism, Borders and Boundaries, Exile & Displacement, Immigration, Narrators, Refugees, VOW Book Series, Witness|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

by Eliana Swerdlow The human rights crisis at the United States and Mexican border sits at the forefront of my consciousness. As I go about my daily life, I think of the stories of many individuals who are suffering at the hands of the American government. As the media reports, we’re at a dangerous moment [...]

Oral History Projects from our 2018-19 Germanacos Fellows

July 26th, 2019|Categories: Arts, Education, English Language Learners, Germanacos Fellows|Tags: , , , , , |

Since 2015, the VOW Education Program's Sharing History Initiative has supported passionate and underfunded teachers, storytellers, and community leaders in bringing social justice-based storytelling into their communities. In summer of 2016, the VOW Education Program launched the Germanacos Fellowship for Sharing History, which provides support for outstanding Sharing History Initiative participants to explore groundbreaking new [...]

From the Archives: Irma’s Story in Inside this Place, Not of It

July 23rd, 2019|Categories: Brave Stories, Criminal Justice, Gender Inequality, Narrators, VOW Book Series, Women in Prison|Tags: , , , , , , |

2019 marks 10 years for Voice of Witness as a nonprofit, and in celebration of this exciting milestone, we’re resurfacing powerful stories from every oral history book in our series. Though time has passed since these stories were first published, many of the themes and issues they address are as relevant and important as ever. Today, [...]