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The Moxie Project

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The Southern Oral History Program is delighted to partner with the Carolina Women’s Center, the History Department, and the Women’s Studies Department, to launch a pilot of The Moxie Project at UNC: Women and Leadership for Social Change.   The Moxie Project represents an ambitious new collaboration that seeks to deepen the SOHP’s involvement with undergraduates and strengthen our ties with academic departments at both UNC and Duke. It builds on our long tradition of collecting oral histories with women activists across the South, and will put those histories in the service of preparing a new generation of leaders who will have a deep understanding of the historical role women have played in the region, as well as of the challenges and opportunities facing their state and country.

The Moxie Project was developed by SOHP’s Associate Director Rachel Seidman in her previous position at Duke University, in collaboration with Duke University Women’s Center Director Ada Gregory. We are excited to bring the program to UNC and are very grateful to the history department, the Carolina Women’s Center, the Women’s Studies Deparatment, and the Provost’s office for support.

In this pilot year of the expansion of the program to UNC, students will take a Summer Session 1 class at the Southern Oral History Program, taught by Field Scholar Joey Fink and supported by the History Department, in which they will study the history of women’s activism in the South and learn oral history methodology. They will then spend the rest of the summer in paid internships in women’s organizations in the Triangle, with funding from the Provost’s office. While interning, the students will also interview women activists and meet once a week for a summer seminar. In the fall, they will participate in a series of colloquia, which will provide them with a chance to reflect on their experiences and create a final project based on their oral histories, observations in their organizations, and research.

The project builds on the success of our 2012 summer course, “The Women’s Movement in the Triangle: Oral History and Civic Engagement.”  In that 5-week course, students combined classroom study of the women’s movement, oral history methodology, and short-term internships in local women’s organizations.