Story+ 2022 | Environmental Justice and Oral Histories

Story+ 2022 | Environmental Justice and Oral Histories

Visit the team page here:

Our team, “Collecting Oral Histories of Environmental Racism and Injustice in the American South,” set out this summer to tackle a methodological quandary: how can we prepare fall 2022 Bass Connections students to conduct ethical oral histories? To answer this deceptively simple inquiry, the project’s undergraduate researchers addressed three related questions, which they would take apart, expand, simplify, and make their own over the course of the six weeks of the program. Their research consisted of literature and website reviews along with expert interviews with people invested in environmental justice and oral history work, both around and beyond Duke. Once they became acquainted with the history of environmental justice as a social movement, they talked to these experts about their experiences, lessons learned, and recommendations for future researchers. Our Story+ team accomplished a feat that can bedevil even experienced researchers: they devoted six weeks to listening, learning, and thinking about research methods, all while centering humanistic values of community power and justice. Their intellectual labor ultimately produced accessible materials that will facilitate the Bass Connections team’s training in oral history, but we believe they can benefit anyone interested in approaches to ethical community engagement and environmental justice.

Check out the links below to see the collective work done by this talented and driven team of students:

Ethical Guidelines for Environmental Justice Researchers by Tri Truong

Community Ownership in Oral Histories by Ariel Chukwuma

Environmental Justice in Resources in North Carolina

EJOHP Resource Repository Brief

Project Sponsor(s):

• Cameron Oglesby, MPP Candidate

• Elizabeth Albright, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy

• Margaret Brown, Franklin Humanities Institute

• Wesley Hogan, Franklin Humanities Institute

• Miguel Rojas Sotelo, Center for International and Global Studies-Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

• Erika Weinthal, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy

Graduate Mentor(s): Nikki Locklear, PhD student, History

Undergraduates: Audrey Alexander, Ariel Chukwuma, Tri Truong

Story+ is a 6-week summer research experience for Duke undergraduates interested in exploring humanities research approaches (archival research, oral histories, narrative analysis, visual analysis, and more). The program combines research with an emphasis on storytelling for different public audiences. In Story+, students are organized into small project teams and have the opportunity to participate in a flexible mini “curriculum” on research methods and storytelling strategies. Team projects may be led by Duke faculty, Duke librarians, or non-profit organizations, and will be supervised on a day-to-day basis by graduate student mentors.