Collecting the Stories
The Students of Color Oral History Project took place between 2017 and 2018 during the fall and spring semesters. Created and organized by Dr. Rita Smith-Wade-El and Dr. Marilyn Parrish, this project invited students enrolled in Dr. Smith-Wade-El's Psychology of Racism and University 103 Why We Hate to collect the oral histories of students of color and their experiences at Millersville University. Engaged in variety of ways, students served as interviewers, narrators, and members of the Oral History Project Team. The project team consisted of 34 undergraduate students. Working in pairs, these students interviewed a total of 30 narrators: 10 from the fall semester and 20 from the spring. Student employees in Millersville University's Archives and Special Collections transcribed the interviews, following up with narratos for additional input. All interviews have been transcribed.
In order to generate in-depth discussions, interviewers asked narrators a myriad of questions ranging from general get-to-know-you inquiries to their personal perspectives regarding specific events. Some of the questions asked included:
- What were your everyday experiences like as a student of color at a PWI?
- What were your experiences with racism and microaggression on campus?
- What were your views on the NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem?
- Do you have any advice for incoming students of color?
Using open collaboration between the Psychology Department and Archives and Special Collections, this project utimately aimed to diversify the university's oral history archives so that it included all voices and experiences on campus.