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 took place remotely via Zoom on August 2, 2022. At the time of this interview, Vivian was a heritage Spanish teacher at Prospect Sierra Middle School in El Cerrito, California. Vivian began this interview by describing the role of theater and the school play in Spring 2022. Having been starved of Drama by being online for so long, students came alive and responded most to the space in which dramatic expression was encouraged. Vivian mentioned at several points in the interview how the role of the teacher has become one of mediating and facilitating a wide range of social, political, and identity conversations for young people who are hearing many different opinions and who come from different contexts, but for whom polarization is already forming as a way to relate to groups. She added that being a teacher in a bilingual program meant that she witnessed different kinds of realities of students, and looked forward to creating space where expression could be conveyed in 'messier ways'. Vivian described various dynamics in how 7th and 8th graders navigate gender identities and masculinity in social interactions.
Anna Levy is a researcher, strategic analyst, educator and oral historian. Most of her work is at the intersection of accountability politics, structural inequality, historical and collective memory, and the role of civilian movements in economic and political transitions. She uses mixed research methods to map out the pressures and incentives guiding complex systems--including the political economy of organizations or cities in crisis, militarized border bureaucracies, or the shifting legal and digital frontlines of collective civic action, among others. Anna uses oral history to bring out the multiple, intersecting experiences that make up the day-to-day of those systems in order to help inform advocacy, policy and power shifts. She teaches on emergency and disaster politics at Fordham University and is an avid capoeirista. Her website is | Jafsadi.works.
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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.