President’s letter

By Amy Starecheski
August 2022 Newsletter

As we look towards the Annual Meeting in LA, and the end of my presidential term, I would like to share some updates.

Our long-stalled project to create a document to provide guidance in valuing and evaluating oral history work is back underway, and the task force working on that (Mary Larson, Leslie McCartney and Michael Franklin) should have a draft for your feedback this fall. We are always thinking about how OHA can best serve and advocate for our members, and this seems like an important piece of that mission.

The editorial team leading the Oral History Review will be coming to the end of their term of service at the end of 2023, and we have convened a search committee to find a new team to lead the journal. Thank you to Crystal Baik, Kimberly Springer, Debra Elfenbein, Simona Tobia and Erin Jessee for taking on that work. They will be circulating a call for proposals in the fall. Stay tuned.

As part of our series of conversations on OHA’s Culture of Service, and culture in general, in July we convened a gathering to envision what a truly welcoming OHA would look and feel like. The teams that bring oral historians into our spaces, and especially into leadership roles–our conference planning, Nominating, Diversity and Equity Audit teams–have been given the notes on those conversations. And our brand-new Committee on Committees is making use of the insights members shared as they plan outreach for new committee members in the coming month. Congratulations and many thanks to Linda Shopes, Lisa Arrastia, Ellen Brooks, Jose Angel Guitierrez and Reginnia Williams, who together will be making all of our committee appointments this year.

Through all of these efforts, OHA is becoming more inclusive, transparent and responsive to members. I am honored to serve this organization and look forward to celebrating our shared accomplishments in LA in two months!

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