Telling Lives: Community Based Oral History

In 2011 and 2012, CCOH staff and volunteers from our Oral History Master of Arts program 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, our former director of Education and Outreach, now a member of CCOH-INCITE, and Mary Marshall Clark 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.

Kendall Jackman - Picture the Homeless

John Choe - One Flushing

Joanne Sandler - Gender at Work

Vivek Rai - UN Women

Ginan Rauf - University of Bridgeport

Mary Marshall Clark - CCOH Director

Terrell Frazier - CCOH Education and Outreach Director