April 2, 2014 | Category: Blog | Author:

Documenting social justice movements

SoMove at Giovanni’s Room

JOIN IN THE SoMOVE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR! A group of oral historians, archivists, media-makers, organizers and other activist nerds under the banner of SoMove is touring North America to collect “oral histories and ideas from radical, Left and progressive social movement activists and organizers across the continent. To share these stories we will create and curate a traveling installation and an online, multimedia platform.” The photo above depicts SoMove at their stop at Giovanni’s Room in Chicago, the nation’s oldest continuously-operating queer bookstore. This “Social Movements Oral History Tour” also makes stops this spring and summer in Baltimore, Washington, Toronto, Detroit and other locales. They’ll be gathering stories and wisdom from people in movements on immigration, criminal justice and more.

SPEAKING OF SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENTS: Last week, a reader named Barbara Lewis sent us a list she’d compiled of 100 social justice organizations, for a website called, an online resource for people considering or training for careers in social work. The list includes lots of big national groups like the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Reading the list, I was heartened by the range of groups, and struck by the fact that many of them have done artistic interventions — not least of all in storytelling. Groups like CODEPINK or the Ms. Foundation for Women have done or supported projects in street theater, documentary film and other storytelling forms.