As summer winds down, the Oral
History Association is gearing up and getting excited to see all of you in Salt
Lake City this October! Personally, I am
looking forward to one of my favorite weeks of the year when I get to hear
about all the remarkable oral history work being done by our members, reconnect
with old friends and collaborators and return home energized and full of new
ideas. We look forward to seeing many of
you in SLC and, as president, I am excited to share with you what the
organization has been working on this past year.
Before you all arrive, the OHA
Council will be spending all day Tuesday dedicated to strategic planning. We will be brainstorming about the future
direction of the organization, discussing and incorporating feedback from those
of you who responded to the survey we circulated this summer and beginning to
formulate a draft of our new strategic plan. Later in the fall, we will continue to revise
and share this draft.
I encourage all of you to attend the
OHA business meeting on Saturday morning from 7-8:30 a.m. (yes, I realize it’s
early, but we will have coffee and tea available for those who need help being
coherent at that hour of the morning).
The business meeting is great place for you to hear what the OHA has
been working on, comment on policies and changes proposed by the organization
and bring new ideas, thoughts and concerns to the leadership. It is also the occasion when I will pass the
gavel to our incoming president, Allison Tracey-Taylor. With Allison at the
helm, OHA’s future is bright!
Be on the lookout for more surveys
and requests for feedback. The Diversity
Committee is seeking your input so they can better serve our membership. Fill
out their short survey here: https://calstatela.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3dPf2uysVwhltUp
also ask you to provide feedback and comments on our newly developed sexual harassment
policy and on the Archives Principles and Best Practices Committee. We welcome your insight and input in all of
It is hard to believe I’m wrapping
up my year as OHA president. What I have
valued most about my time as part of OHA leadership has been the dedicated group
of people I’ve met and worked with – from members serving on committees or on
council to the executive office staff. I’ve felt particularly grateful to OHA and to
my oral history work in this crazy, chaotic and sometimes very stressful world we
Focusing on OHA and this
organization’s purpose reminded me weekly how fortunate we all are to do the
work that we do and to have an organization that succeeds in promoting our
practice and supporting oral historians and oral history work across the U.S.
and the globe.
I also spent a lot of time this past summer listening
to interviews with local political women from the Women, Politics and Activism
Project I’ve directed for the past six years.
Hearing these women’s voices and their words lifted my spirits. They tell stories of resilience, triumph and,
sometime, defeat. As I listened, I felt
grateful on the most basic level – that these stories, whether important or
not, will all be preserved for posterity; that their efforts, whether
successful or not, will be remembered.
Wishing you all a wonderful end-of-summer
and early fall. Please reach out if you
have any thoughts or concerns. I’ll see
you in Salt Lake!