Tag Archives: social change

Building understanding one book at a time

24 Oct

Back in 2009, oral historian Anne Marie Pois interviewed three of the founders of Reading to End Racism (RER), a non-profit group in Boulder County that sends trained readers into the schools to read specially chosen books to students that stimulate conversations about discrimination and overcoming it. 

This week we release “Reading to End Racism: Building understanding one book at a time,” an “MROHP Short” produced by Jenna Woods, that distills that interview into an engaging and inspiring introduction to the program.

This video features founders Ghada Elturk, Jean Gore, and Daniel Escalante talking about efforts to make Boulder “a racism-free zone,” experiences in their own lives that sensitized them to issues of racism, what it means to become an ally of those who experience discrimination, and how RER creates change through its effect on both readers and students.

As Daniel Escalante says,

It’s through stories that we can begin to learn about each other, understand each other, begin to have compassion for each other. It’s hard to discriminate against somebody that you care about.

Watch “Reading to End Racism: Building understanding one book at a time” here or on YouTube.

Video: Alternatives to Violence

20 Dec

“ALTERNATIVES TO VIOLENCE CONTINUE TO BE MY LIFE’S WORK,” says Jean Gore, who on December 11, 2010, was the recipient of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s award for “Lifetime Commitment for Peace and Justice.”

Born in 1925, Jean Gore says that trying to make things better in the world has been a way of life for her.  In particular, she has spent much of her life trying to create a culture of peace internationally–through work with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Peace Brigades in Central America; and the Reading to End Racism program in Boulder; to name just a few of her dozens of involvements over many decades.

Earlier this year, Ms. Gore created a short video with students in Kayann Short’s “Activist Archive Digital Storytelling Project,” a service learning project for Dr. Kayann Short’s course, “Innovative Approaches to Contemporary Issues through Service.”  You can view the video, “Alternatives to Violence,” here or on the Boulder Library’s YouTube channel.

The oral history program also has four interviews with Ms. Gore in our oral history digital archive.

A Dinner Party Makes History

23 Jun

Artist Judy Chicago stands in front of her now-famous art installation "The Dinner Party"

THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AGO, in 1976, artist Judy Chicago invited the world to a dinner party that already had more than a thousand guests. “The Dinner Party” is “an important icon of 1970s feminist art and a milestone in twentieth-century art…. [It] comprises a massive ceremonial banquet, arranged on a triangular table with a total of thirty-nine place settings, each commemorating an important woman from history. The settings consist of embroidered runners, gold chalices and utensils, and china-painted porcelain plates … rendered in styles appropriate to the individual women being honored. The names of another 999 women are inscribed in gold on the white tile floor below the triangular table.” (This description is taken from the web site of the Brooklyn Museum, which now permanently displays the art installation as the centerpiece of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

Anne Marie Pois, an oral historian with the Boulder Library’s Maria Rogers Oral History Program, was involved in the creation of “The Dinner Party.” She has made a short video,  “Right Into History: The Dinner Party as Catalyst for Social Activism,” which you can watch here, in which she tells the story both of the collaborative process of creating this now-famous piece of art and the ways in which it contributed to her becoming a history professor (she taught in the Women’s Studies Department at the University of Colorado for sixteen years) and a life-long social activist. Continue reading

The Gift of Nonviolence

17 May

LAST WEEK, our oral history program was fortunate enough to receive a donation of three videos that use techniques pioneered by the Center for Digital Storytelling to create a visually dynamic, emotionally engaging way to share personal stories.

This week, we’d like to share with you the first of those digital storytelling videos. “The Gift of Nonviolence” is Dr. LeRoy Moore’s moving account of how an abusive childhood taught him an important lesson about nonviolence, which later shaped his career. Dr. Moore went on to teach courses in nonviolent social change at the University of Colorado and used nonviolence to work for the closure and cleanup of the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant.

To create this video, Dr. Moore worked with students of Dr. Kayann Short’s class “Innovative Approaches to Contemporary Issues through Service.”  This video is archived on The Memory Box Project site online (www.colorado.edu/memorybox) and at the Boulder Library’s Carnegie Branch Library for Local History. The Boulder Library will be exploring more uses of Digital Storytelling in the coming year.

To hear longer interviews with Dr. Moore and many others about Rocky Flats, visit www.boulderlibrary.org/oralhistory.

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