Cultivating Stories through the Practice of Listening: Conducting Oral History Interviews

Thursday, November 10, 2022 - 7:30pm

Do you know someone with a WRL story that you would like to share with other war resisters?

Is there an activitst in your area who you’d like to record? Do you have stories you want to share?

War Resisters League will turn 100 in 2023, marking a century of anti-militarist organizing, collective protest, and organizational growth and repair, with a deep commitment to revolutionary nonviolence as we strive to remove the causes of war including racism, sexism and all forms of exploitation. 

Since 1923, WRL members have resisted militarism through principled nonparticipation and civil disobedience, sharp political analysis, steadfast solidarity across movements and lines of difference, and strategic nonviolent action. Our current moment demands that we take stock of our shared movement history in order to contribute to a nonviolent antimilitarist response to injustice today, in solidarity with oppressed peoples everywhere. 

WRL’s 100th anniversary is an important opportunity to connect past and present. As we prepare for our centennial, WRL is planning to make our archives more accessible to the public and to creatively share our collective history--and we need your help.

As part of that effort, we are inviting our members and supporters to record their own stories through the practice of oral history.

For our first training, you are invited to join former WRL national organizer Kimber Heinz (Public Historian and PhD student, American Studies Dept. UNC-Chapel Hill) to learn the basics of oral history, so that you can record your own story. Bring a friend, a community member you would like to interview, or someone who wants to interview you.

Thursday, November 10, 2022, 7-8:30pm EST

The 1.5 hour workshop will focused on:

  • Why oral history? What is it?
  • Planning for an oral history interview
  • The practice and ethics of informed consent
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Creating interview questions
  • Recording tools and tips
  • Preservation - working with community vs. institutional archives
  • Access - how to share your story with others through creative projects
  • How to plug your story into WRL 100 work and get involved

Download slideshow presentation (PDF)

Watch a video of the presentation here:


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