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“A Fuller, More Accurate Picture of the Past”: Oral History Projects from Karyn Thomas’s Classroom


Our next set of featured student oral history projects are from History/Social Studies teacher Karyn Thomas, who teaches in Val Verde Unified School District. Karyn shared this about her involvement in the oral history project this past year:

I have had the pleasure of encountering a diverse group of students throughout my 16 years of teaching in the Inland Empire. It has been my honor to learn more about and appreciate the experiences, identities, and perspectives of my students. The Oral History Project helps students become active storytellers and provides a fuller, more accurate picture of the past. It encourages them to create a multicultural tapestry of their community.

Karyn had each student to ask their narrators the same questions, including the following question: How would you describe the community you live in? If you can change anything in your community, what would it be? Why? Narrators shared answers that highlighted narrators’ desires and hopes for their communities while recognizing the challenges they and other community members face. Students’ artivism reflects their narrators’ responses, specifically, to this question about community.

We hope you spend more time reading through these amazing oral histories that highlight our communities in the Inland Empire (the I. E.). Find them under "Oral Histories" at the top of the page.

Artivism by Alecs

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Website created for Oral Histories of the Inland Empire (2018).