In the fall of 2017 Listening for a Change received funding from the LGBTQI Giving Circle of the Community Foundation Sonoma County to implement a video oral history program that will focus on reciprocal interviews among the youth, aging population and disenfranchised of Sonoma County. Engaging one’s community through sharing stories creates opportunities for understanding and mentorship. Video stories promote understanding and acceptance of our shared humanity.
Not only does listening to another’s story build understanding and acceptance, but with this work opportunities were created for LGBTQI youth and elders role modeling and community building. This was also an effort to reach out to our disenfranchised youth—whether suffering from discrimination because of sexual orientation, color, low economic status, English language challenges, etc. This program offered innovative opportunities to build a stronger LGBTQI community and create a more inclusive welcoming community-at-large.
Three, day-long workshops were planned and implemented that included morning lessons and experiential involvement on learning oral history interviewing skills and afternoon sessions in which video recording was made by panels of elders interviewing youth and panels of youth interviewing elders.
Everyone has a story—through listening to one another, one comes to know, respect, appreciate, and admire the challenges overcome and strengths possessed by each person.
Poster created to invite LGBTQI community to participate in workshops:
Excerpts from video interviews of some of the LGBTQI Oral History Project Workshops as well as interviews conducted by students in Listening for a Change’s Neighborhood Listening Project in Sonoma County schools: