As a staff member of the Voice of Witness (VOW) Education Program, I spend every day working to transform the way students see the world and their place within it.
It's a lofty goal, but we see it happen in classrooms all the time! My cat, Meal, can attest (he's one of VOW's biggest fans). He's seen me through many a day of writing lesson plans for the books in the VOW series, quietly purring "Meow for VOW" from his sunny spot on the dining room floor.
Students who read the oral history books in the VOW series hear from undocumented immigrants, refugees, and the wrongfully convicted, among many others whose voices are rarely heard. They discover unexpected moments of connection that lead to a more nuanced understanding of the world around them.
I used to teach children of incarcerated parents at a public high school as well as inmates at San Quentin State Prison. Many of my students--at both the high school and the prison--had spent the majority of their school careers feeling disenfranchised and disconnected. They were the students who didn't feel like they were part of a larger community. They didn't feel heard.
At Voice of Witness, we work hard to connect students with important, unheard stories, and to empower them to tell their own stories in their own voices. We do this by supporting teachers with oral history training, books, lesson plans, and one-on-one curricular consulting.
From day one, we've offered our services and resources for free to thousands of students and teachers around the U.S. who otherwise could not afford them. This would not be possible without the generous support of people like you, and we rely on your help to continue this work.
With the Make History Campaign, our goal is to inspire more students—our next generation of leaders, teachers, history makers—to meaningfully engage with the world.
Your donation will help us bring this work into more classrooms and communities. It will enable us to facilitate a workshop at an underserved school, to supply a recorder for a student who doesn't have access to one, to help one more student feel connected.
Your support today will help teachers and students make history tomorrow!
Thank you, so much.