In 2011, as the centerpiece of my thesis project for a MA in Oral History from Columbia University, I brought together a group of 16 activist oral historians for a two-day retreat outside of NYC. Together we discussed the limits and the possibilities of oral history as a method for not only documenting, but actively contributing to movements for justice. (You can read the synthesis report from that initial Gathering, here.)
Out of that retreat we developed Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change, now a dynamic and international network of over 600 oral historians, activists, cultural workers, community organizers, and documentary artists. Groundswell’s mission is to provide mutual support, training, and resources in the practice of grassroots oral history in order to build the creativity and power of social justice movements.
Currently I serve as Groundswell’s national co-coordinator, together with Amaka Okechukwu. I also coordinate a local Groundswell Collective in Oregon.