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Social Justice Oral History Conversations Internship Fall 2023

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is dedicated to documenting and celebrating African American history and culture. Located in Washington, DC we are the only national museum that tells the American story through the African American lens. The museum amplifies voices too often marginalized or silenced—and uplifts the African American experience of hope and resiliency, of struggle and pain, of triumph and joy. One of the Museum’s most powerful tools for giving voice to the African American experience is our Oral History Initiative, which is dedicated to documenting, interpreting, and preserving the African American experience through the medium of oral history.
The Oral History Intern will support the Oral History Initiative (located in the Office of Digital Strategies and Engagement) at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) by participating in the Social Justice Oral History Conversations Project. This project is designed to capture intergenerational oral histories from veteran and youth activists. The intern will be trained by the oral history initiative coordinator to conduct research, prepare questions, and conduct a conversational oral history with a veteran social justice activist. The intern, between the ages of 18 and 29, shall possess a background in the study of African American history and culture and experience in social justice activism. A background in oral history is not required. Training will be provided. Limited travel may also be required.
This internship is designed to provide an introduction to professional oral history work in a museum setting, and the intern will develop their verbal, written, and professional skills. Each assigned duty will help with the development of skills needed to succeed in a museum setting. The coordinator of the Oral History program will mentor the intern maintaining records, conducting background research for interviews, completing required documentation and conducting interviews. The Oral History Intern will also be able to observe how oral history projects are carried out from conception to implementation, including research, developing questions, contacting interviewees, gathering metadata, and writing field notes and interview descriptions.
Applicants must be in the DC metro area or relocate for the internship.
Duties shall include:
·      Attending mandatory training
·      Preparing background research
·      Conducting preliminary interview
·      Conducting formal/conversational interview
·      Collecting oral history documentation forms
·      Writing field notes
·      Writing summary of interview