OHA Statement on Diversity and Inclusivity

OHA Oral History Association

As we emerge from a divisive election cycle, the nation, our cities, our communities, even our neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools feel more divided than ever.  The Oral History Association reaffirms our values of DemocracyInclusivity, and Quality to “bring together people interested in oral history as a way of collecting and interpreting memories to foster knowledge and dignity.”

Our membership remains committed to documenting personal narratives of complex and diverse histories and advocating for a collaborative practice of oral history which values and honors people, communities, subjects, and events that otherwise might not be included in the historical record.

An open exchange of stories and ideas can only occur when participants are free from fear. With this reaffirmation of our fundamental values of respect, empowerment, diversity, engagement, and inclusion, we reject the current rhetoric of hate, division, exclusion, and discrimination.

Oral history, the acts of questioning, listening, recording, and preserving diverse historical perspectives, remains a powerful model for bridging divides, advocacy, public engagement, and greater historical understanding.  The Oral History Association will strengthen our commitment to uphold our core principles and values and continue to welcome diverse individuals and communities into our Association and at its meetings and activities.

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