Oral History for Social Change

Solicited by the Oral History Association Endorsed by WHA

Friday, March 31, 2023, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Type: Workshop

Tags: Oral History


This workshop will explore the question: What does oral history collection look like when social change is a goal? Participants will learn the best practices for oral history projects that seek to use stories and storytelling for a social justice purpose. We will learn about projects that have successfully utilized oral history in social justice work, and we will develop a roadmap of anti-oppression practices in oral history from project planning to archiving and sharing. Topics to be covered include ethics in interviewing, best practices for working with marginalized communities, legal release agreements, preservation, and public access.

Session Participants

Presenter: Virginia R. Espino, UCLA
Virginia Espino is the daughter of Mexican parents. She grew up in the barrios of northeastern Los Angeles where she currently resides. She holds a PhD in 20th Century U.S. History with a focus on the Chicanx experience from Arizona State University. She is an oral and public historian whose interests include the intersection of race, class and gender in working class culture and identity formation. Much of her work over the past 10 years includes the recovery of lost or hidden histories through oral history interviewing and making those histories available to the public at large. Espino is the Producer and Lead Historian on the award winning documentary, No Más Bebés. Based in part on her dissertation research, No Más Bebés investigates the history of coercive sterilization at the Los Angeles-USC Medical Center during the 1970s. She currently lectures for Chicana, Chicano and Central American Studies and Labor Studies at UCLA and serves on the board of the California Latinas for Reproductive Justice.