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Women’s March On Washington: Experiential Learning Oral History Project

On January 21, a major milestone in the history of U.S. women’s rights and social movements will unfold in Washington DC. This march occurs the day after another historical milestone, the Presidential Inauguration and the transition of power from the first African American U.S. President to a President whose election has heightened a sense of fear and marginalization in diverse segments of the population. In this context, the Women’s March on Washington is a grassroots movement to advocate for women’s rights and to show solidarity and unity across marginalized populations (e.g., women, the LGBTQ community, people of color, Muslims, and immigrants). It is an explicitly inclusive and intersectional movement, with all supporters of women’s rights encouraged to attend, and with the aim to create a diverse grassroots coalition for change. Every U.S. state and multiple countries outside of the U.S. are mobilizing participation.

This novel collaboration between the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research (CGSWSR) and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) provides students the opportunity to (a) interview people with diverse viewpoints and backgrounds at the inauguration and the march, (b) observe and learn from the juxtaposition of these two critical historic events, (c) document these events and their impact, and (d) create multimedia products that place these events and their meaning in historical context and bring this to life for scholars, students, and the public in the UF community and beyond.

Project Objectives

1. Establish interdisciplinary partnership between CGSWSR and SPOHP to create timely and innovative scholarship and experiential learning opportunities for the students attending and many more students who can be involved in post-event projects

2. Capitalize on a unique and timely opportunity for students to learn about the relationships among politics, social movements, and social action

3. Document a critical moment in U.S. political history and women’s history, situating it in historical context

4. Explore the human impact of this historical moment and what it means for different people’s sense of safety, belonging, diversity, and inclusion

5. Train students in methods of oral history data collection (e.g., interviewing, recording, transcribing)

6. Train students in methods of creating multimedia public scholarship (e.g., podcasts, minidocumentaries, articles) for scholars, students, and the public

7. Promote civic engagement and learning among students, scholars, and the public

This project represents a novel and timely opportunity that exemplifies UF’s and CLAS’s commitments to interdisciplinary collaboration, experiential learning, and scholarship with broad public impact.

Sponsored in conjunction with