This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview with Victoria de la Torre was conducted remotely via Zoom on October 13, 2020 while interviewer Annelise was in Oakland, CA and narrator Victoria was in Martinez, CA. Victoria teaches STEM and provides para-support to students with special needs at Rocketship Futuro Academy, a public-charter elementary school in Concord, CA. Victoria is the daughter of two teachers and was born and raised in Massachusetts. Prior to beginning her work at Futuro Academy, she explored a number of different career paths working in photography, as barista, among other jobs. She has two young children, who she single parents part-time. She describes her school as a close-knit environment serving a low-income and predominately Black and Latinx student body. She vividly describes the day her school shut down to transition to remote learning following the arrival of the COVID-19 outbreak in the San Francisco Bay Area. She describes the challenges of getting students the supplies they need to work from home and her concern for the well being of her students, some of whom are homeless or living in homes where violence in present and food is lacking. She reflects on the challenges of catching and holding students' attention through online learning and the complete of erasure of work-life boundaries. She discusses the efforts her school has gone to integrate anti-racist curriculum following the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor protests. She encourages schools to acknowledge the profound challenges this time has brought into the lives of their students and to teach in a way that responds to the trauma students may be facing.
Annelise Finney is a European American cis-woman, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently works as a radio journalist covering reparations in California and breaking news in the Bay Area. Previously she worked as defense investigator for public defenders offices in New York City and San Francisco. She is an alum of the 2016 Oral History Summer School. She is also an avid sewist, hiker and cook.
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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.