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 Amanda Pierro was conducted remotely using the platform Zoom on June 9, 2021. Amanda Pierro is a social worker and the Director of Peer Services at the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties Inc. At the time of the interview, she had been living in Hudson for fifteen years. She discusses her family’s home in Hudson, and the four generations of her husband’s family who are connected to the home since they built it in the 1940s. She describes being a part of a large, close-knit Italian family that are long-time Hudson residents. Pierro describes her own childhood, growing up as a military dependent including a period living in Japan. She talks about her adolescence outside of Washington DC, and her choice at age 19 to move away from home to upstate New York. She explores her vocation for social work, and her early sense of clarity about what she wanted to do for work. She discusses working in Troy NY, and living in Albany NY as a young, single woman. She also talks about becoming a mother at age twenty-four and continuing to work. She talks about her associates degree, as well as the decision to do a bachelors and master’s degree while parenting and working. She describes the daily rhythm of working at a Head Start center in Troy NY, as well as in a non-secure juvenile detention program in Florida. She also speaks about the many roles she has held at her current organization, and how her sense of her own role has developed over the course of her career. She reflects on Hudson as a place that she loves for its ability to hold together in spite of its many contradictions. This interview may be of interest to those who want to learn about upstate New York in the 2000s and 2010s; motherhood; multigenerational families; military families; coming of age and social independence; social work; case management; victim advocacy; Health and Human Services; juvenile detention and justice; Head Start; workplace community; work during the COVID-19 pandemic; family life during the COVID-19 pandemic; work-life balance, especially for women.
Rosanna Dent is a historian of science who grew up and lives in Philadelphia, a white settler on Lenape land. She teaches at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ. She is interested in interactions and relationships between researchers and research participants both throughout history and in current practice. She values oral history particularly to capture the affective, emotional, and political realities of technical and scientific work, and also as a mode of knowledge construction that can be collaborative and reparative.
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.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”