Thanks to the hard work of our students last year and the amazing response from our school community to 111th and Roberts, we are lucky enough to keep Voice of Witness class going for another year! These passionate and talented seniors hope to build off of the momentum and movement towards a more empathetic school community that last year's class started, but are excited to add their own unique twists and projects. While the core values of VoW that focus on creating a movement of outrospection and empathy through the vehicle of oral history remain the same, what this class will create to promote these values is something totally new. Unlike last year, we won't have one final product of a book as our main focus and instead get to tap into the array of talent and interests of our students to come up with several different projects and ways to share stories that will continue to honor the stories shared in 111th & Roberts while adding all new voices and stories to mix as well. Some ideas that are brewing right now involve utilizing GPS mapping software to create a digital story map of our community, creating a play based on the oral history stories shared, and even hosting school and community-wide events that help create forums for students, teachers and community members to come together and learn more about each other. To keep up with this exciting new class and follow all their projects throughout the year, sign up for our weekly student-written newsletter here.
The documentary, Voices of Stagg, is here!
If you have been following our website you know that Stagg VOW has been lucky enough to welcome Kenneth Erdey into our classroom and school community to document the amazing work and inspiring stories of our students. After filming our students for over a year, KRE Films is proud to share the full-length documentary, Voices of Stagg, with the Stagg community! Check out the newest trailer below and contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the documentary premiere on Tuesday, August 2nd at Stagg High School.
This summer we have been so excited to share 111th & Roberts: Where Our Stories Intersect with the world! Not only is our book being sold at 826 Chicago Writing and Tutoring center, it has also gone international as a part of London's Empathy Museum's "A Thousand and One Books Library" campaign. You can track our book here, along with the other titles donated to library, to see who is reading it and follow its journey around the world.
In addition to sharing our book, Mr. Wendelin and I also had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco to share our students' hard work with other educators, students, community organizers and oral historians from all over the country at the Voice of Witness Amplifying Unheard Voices 2016 workshop. Not only did we get to share the amazing work and reflections of our VOW students along with the courageous stories from 111th & Roberts, we also got to connect with wonderfully inspiring people including our VOW partners and mentors, Cliff Mayotte and Claire Kiefer, and learn even more about the power and craft of oral history to bring back to next year's VOW students! Check out this great article from Voice of Witness interns Miriam Hwang-Carlos and Charlotte Edelstein reflecting on the workshop. After all the support and guidance we received from Cliff and Claire and the entire Voice of Witness staff, we were honored to take part in such an awesome workshop and finally thank them all in person!
VOW Red Carpet in Review
On May 11th we were fortunate enough to host an amazing red carpet book release event for 111th and Roberts: Where Our Stories Intersect. While we've already posted pictures and more details about the evening on our Events page, today we received an amazing video put together with the help of our district's Director of Communications, Carla Erdey. The video is a wonderful summation of our program's goals and an amazing tribute to the hard work and dedication of our students. We couldn't agree more with what Joy says in the video, "I feel like this could be the start of something big..." We hope it is too and can't wait to see where Stagg VOW takes us next!