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Conference plenary and special sessions feature social justice issues

Three OHA conference sessions will examine the use of oral history in pursuit of social justice.

Documenting Activism in the age of #BlackLivesMatter and Standing Rock is based on the premise that the simple act of documentation itself is a form of activism. A panel will examine how the smartphone and social media, which have democratized documentary tools, intersect with ethical precepts and archival practices of oral history

Accompanying Staughton and Alice Lynd through 50 Years of Oral History Practice acknowledges the lifetime contributions of the Lynds to oral history practice. In the 1970s, their work Rank and File challenged oral historians to document the lives of everyday people. And in subsequent decades they have used oral history as a tool for social justice in working with draft resisters, steelworkers and others.

Recording on the Frontlines of Labor’s Renewal: Lessons from the Twin Cities’ CTUL Organizing Campaign focuses on the Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha/Center for Workers United in Struggle, commonly known as CTUL. Between 2009 and 2016, CTUL members and their allies won union recognition across the Twin Cities’ entire retail cleaning industry, including stores owned by industry giants like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy and Home Depot, making the Twin Cities the first major metropolitan area where nearly the entire retail janitorial industry is union.