Participants willing to share their experiences are being sought to take part in The Chicagolandia Oral History Project. The study will document the lives, work, and culture of Latinx suburban communities around Chicago, including Elgin, Waukegan, Aurora, Joliet, and beyond.
The goal of The Chicagolandia Oral History Project is to record the stories of the triumphs and struggles of the past to create a more just and equitable future for all Latinx communities. The project uses oral history to create community dialogue about the history and future of Latinx communities in Chicagoland.
Project researcher Antonio Ramirez, assistant professor of history at Elgin Community College, was awarded a 2019 Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Faculty Fellowship for his Latinx oral history proposal. The award supports faculty research projects in humanities and social science. Ramirez was one of 26 recipients in the country.
“A big goal of mine is to recruit more interviewees,” says Ramirez. “I want to make sure the broader suburban Latinx community is aware of the project, and encourage individuals to get their stories on tape for future generations.”
Ramirez began collecting stories this fall with interviews of Spanish-speaking custodial staff at the college. Next year, the project will expand to the greater Elgin community and beyond. Clips from the oral histories will be posted to Ramirez’s website, www.chicagolandiaoralhistory.org, as well as the ECC Library’s website.
Participants can record in either English or Spanish. To be a part of the project, contact Ramirez at 847-214-7073 or go online to www.chicagolandiaoralhistory.org/your-story.