My Statesman   March 17, 2018

Summary

Using storytelling to help heal racial discord, the Truth and Reconciliation Oral History Project invites Austin residents of color to share their personal experiences of racial discrimination in a safe place. A goal is to elicit compassion via these stories.

State Rep. Jarvis Johnson, D-Houston, shares his experience at last year’s Truth and Reconciliation Oral History Project at Texas Southern University in Houston. (Photo courtesy Steve Miller)

On March 24, students and professors from seven historically black colleges and universities in Texas will gather at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary to interview and video record participants’ stories. These stories will then be cataloged in an online archive.

The Rev. Steve Miller, the event’s founder and a graduate of the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, said, “Where people can’t hear facts and figures, they can hear a story, If people can hear stories from one another, then it may call up a sense of compassion and then enable you to start a conversation around the story rooted in compassion.”