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Newtown Creek Health and Harms Narrative Project; OHMA Open House

Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus Jerome L. Greene Hall, Room 701 (Case Lounge)

The Oral History Master of Arts program (OHMA) and Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars program present Suzanne Snider who will discuss the use of community-based oral history to politicize victims of environmental injustice and to establish a collaborative public health report and map, based on the testimony of long-term residents in three adjacent New York City neighborhoods.

The Newtown Creek Community Health and Harms Narrative Project engaged oral historians, social scientists, information designers, community activists, and residents (These categories were not mutually exclusive). This project was initiated by Rachael Weiss and Michael Heimbinder; Snider participated in this project as an oral history consultant and community trainer. What connected all participants was Newtown Creek, an estuary that separates Brooklyn and Queens. Over the last 100 years, Exxon Mobil has dumped or leaked between 17 and 30 million gallons of oil into the creek. A disproportionate number of area residents suffer from rare forms of cancer.

There will also be a presentation from faculty and alumni about the Oral History Master of Arts (OHMA), an interdisciplinary program in the field of oral history that focuses on interviewing methodologies and interpretive methods.