Mini-Con: Oral History, Social Movements, and Social Justice

April 5, 2014 | 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm | Chicago History Museum, Chicago, IL

See the promotional flyer here!

On April 5, 2014 the National Council on Public History held the first of three mini-conferences organized by Chicago Groundswell member, archivist, and historian Peter Alter at the Chicago History Museum. Groundswell: Oral History For Social Change and SoMove gave presentations to a group of about thirty participants including activists, oral historians, archivists, museum professionals, students, and professors from Loyola and DePaul Universities, and Columbia College. Chuck Arning from the National Park Service represented the National Council on Public History. Chuck talked about some of the topics across the humanities and sciences which NCPH supports. NCPH Executive Director John Dichtl was also present.

Interpretive Ranger Chuck Arning introduced the mini-conference by talking about ways the NCPH encourages sometimes uncomfortable conversations about environmental and historical issues, about relevant publications, and how his work at the National Park Service has allowed Chuck to engage in open dialog with a wide range of organizations, institutions and groups.

Groundswell Chicago member Marie Scatena gave an overview of Groundswell utilizing the website to connect Sarah Loose’s organizing in Oregon and her MA thesis in Oral History at Columbia University as well as Alisa Del Tufo’s Thresholds Collaborative that uses oral history to support grassroots community change. Marie then facilitated small group discussions about topics generated in earlier Groundswell meetings, and ended with small group ‘lightening reports’ of their discussions.

Freelance writer, researcher and multimedia producer Puck Lo and teacher, writer, radio and film documentarian and Groundswell member Bake Nemec spoke about their respective journeys in independent media and with SoMove.