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Search for New OHA Host Institution and/or Executive Director

The Oral History Association (OHA), the principal organization of practicing oral historians in the United States, is seeking a host institution and/or executive director beginning January 1, 2023. 

Since it’s founding, the OHA was run by an Executive Secretary, but the organization decided to go to an Executive Office model in 2011. The first Executive Office was at Georgia State University from 2012-2017. The five year term of the current Office at Middle Tennessee State University ends in December of 2022.

Therefore, the Executive Office Search Committee has published an Invitation to Submit a Letter of Interest. For the full RFP, please see this link: http://www.oralhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2021-Executive-Office-Search-RFP.pdf

The Search Committee is committed to working with prospective applicants as they prepare Letters of Interest. Please feel free to contact Search Committee Chair Lu Ann Jones (luann_jones@nps.gov) and committee members Kelly E. Navies (naviesk@si.edu) and Zaheer Ali (mail@zaheerali.com) to indicate your intent to pursue this opportunity and to address any questions you may have. Initial expressions of interest are due October 15, 2021.

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OHA’s Response to the Violent Attacks Against Asian Americans

March 22, 2021

In light of the recent violent attacks against the Asian American community, the OHA has done several things to support our friends and neighbors. We have signed onto a statement with fellow professional societies affiliated with the American Council of Learned Societies, decrying the violence. You can find the statement here: https://acls.org/ACLS-News/ACLS-News/March-2021/ACLS-Statement-Condemning-Anti-Asian-Violence. The Council has also gathered together resources that we might rely on as we stand firm against racial injustice pitted toward Asian and Pacific Islander communities. They include:

You can also:

If you have other resources you think we should include, please contact the Executive Office at oha@oralhistory.org. We will continue to post everything we receive on this page.

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Chinese and Spanish Translations of the OHA’s Principles and Best Practices Now Available!

The Principles and Best Practices Documents are now available in Spanish and Chinese! The documents are linked in the Principle and Best Practices suite of documents: https://www.oralhistory.org/principles-and-best-practices-revised-2018/.

Thank you to Denise Amparan, Administrative Assistant, and Vianey Alejandra Zavala, Manager of the University of Texas at El Paso Institute of Oral History, for completing the Spanish translation of the documents:

http://www.oralhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/OHA-Best-Practices-Translation-to-Spanish-2020.pdf

Thank you to Lili Wang (North China Electric Power University), Xiaofan Liu and Chenxi Gu ( Communication University of China) for completing the Chinese translation of the documents. And thank you to Bin Liu (North China Electric Power University) and Xiaoyan Li (Cui Yongyuan Center for Oral History, Communication University of China) for editing the translation:

http://www.oralhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/OHA-Principles-and-Best-Practices-Chinese-revised.pdf 

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OHA Statement on the Killing of George Floyd and Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

June 5, 2020

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed by a member of the Minneapolis Police Department. Following Mr. Floyd’s death, protests and calls for change and an end to police brutality have risen throughout the United States and internationally. The Oral History Association stands in solidarity with the family of Mr. Floyd, Black Lives Matter, protestors, and communities of color, and we echo this call for change. The killing of George Floyd is not an isolated incident, but another event in a long history of state violence and brutality toward people of color in the United States—a history that predates our country itself.

Institutionalized white supremacy is a disturbingly prominent part of American history, placing barriers to economic, social, and educational equality and creating a criminal justice system which is deeply punitive towards Black Americans. Further, militarized police actions that threaten a free press and freedom of assembly have worked to create a terrible legacy of violence and suppression towards those working to change this country.

As oral historians, we understand that through the stories of people—citizens and activists—we can confront oppression and work to create an equitable and just society. In our commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and respect, and to a historical record that documents the experiences of unheard and marginalized voices, we must listen to and amplify the demands of people and communities of color. We must continue to document and expose the injustice so many have suffered for centuries, and develop new projects to expand these efforts.

In this work, it is essential we adopt anti-racist methods and practices. Further, we can and must work to address institutional racism in our institutions and our field, through developing and supporting leaders of color, providing anti-oppression training, and continually working to center the voices and experiences of those most directly impacted by oppression. People of color, whether they be colleagues, narrators, students, or patrons, must be supported and valued. Historical knowledge around police brutality and systemic racism is essential to addressing both, but Black and Brown people must have a clear, equal, and respected role in developing this knowledge.  

Many of our members have dedicated their careers to documenting stories of democratic citizen action and how these efforts can enact change. We have a responsibility to understand and celebrate these successful efforts, and to engage in this work ourselves. There are a number of ways we can support current protests and calls for justice: register to vote, sign petitions, support protestors or participate in protests ourselves, donate to groups and funds working to end police violence and systemic racism, call our legislators, and educate ourselves.

As Black Americans and those acting in allyship in our communities, states, and country engage in difficult and transformative work to end police violence and racism, work that will continue long after the current moment, we are committed to supporting them and participating, now and in the future. Black Lives Matter.

The following organizations have endorsed this statement:

Baylor University Institute for Oral History
Columbia University Oral History Master of Arts Program and
Columbia Center for Oral History Research
Oral History Archives at Columbia
Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic (OHMAR)
Texas Oral History Association (TOHA)
UNT Oral History Program
UW-Madison Oral History Program

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Highlight: OHA 2019 Diversity Scholarship Award Winner- Anahí Naranjo

Anahí Naranjo Jara is an environmental justice advocate and storyteller from Quito, Ecuador. Anahí is using oral history to highlight the resilience of communities on the frontlines of environmental and social injustices historically silenced in dominant discourses.  Her Pachamama Oral History Project “aims to elevate and center agrarian indigenous individuals in the Ecuadorian Andes to highlight the impact of climate change on the physical and cultural landscape of the region.”

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