Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change is a network of oral historians, activists, cultural workers, community organizers, and documentary artists that use oral history to further movement building and transformative social change.
Our network grew out of an initial in-person gathering of 15 activist oral historians in the fall of 2011. Today the Groundswell network includes hundreds of individuals from all across the United States, as well as from other countries.
We believe that oral history can be a source of power, knowledge, and strength in our struggles for justice. Oral history provides a unique space for those most impacted by injustice to speak and be heard in our own voices. Groundswell’s mission is to provide mutual support, training, and resources in the practice of applied, community-based oral history in order to build the creativity and power of social justice movements.
In seeking to create a supportive community we welcome practitioners of all skill levels and backgrounds. We believe that oral history is both an art and a skill demanding thoughtfulness, preparation, research, training, practice and a high degree of integrity and follow-through. We promote high standards of quality and celebrate the many forms in which movement-relevant oral history and storytelling work happens.