Whenever we talk to folks about Voice of Witness, we often hear one of two responses: "Wow, that's incredible work--how can I get involved?" or "I think it's really important that you do a book about X. No one's done that yet." Both responses are heartening for us because it reminds us that we're not alone in our beliefs: that there is immense power in a story; that sharing unheard stories can be transformative and healing; and that there are countless more stories out there that need to be shared in order to engender greater understanding and engagement with the most crucial human rights issues of our time.
You're reading this letter because you're one of the many amazing individuals who have supported Voice of Witness over the years. Without you, we couldn't have come as far as we have with our book series, which has given voice to, among others, men and women who have been wrongfully imprisoned, innocent Americans swept up in post-9/11 backlash, and people struggling to survive under oppressive regimes in Sudan, Burma, Zimbabwe and Colombia.
Every day, through the Voice of Witness Education Program, we get to see first-hand the powerful immediacy of these stories for young people. We can't put it any better than Praveena F., a sophomore at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, CA: "The gift of sharing and hearing someone else's journey was a life-changing experience. I could block out the prevalent rays of labeling and judgment and see the world with better perspective. I can only hope that more students will have the wonderful opportunity I was given." Last year, our education program reached close to 9,000 educators and students through summer workshops, trainings, free hands-on support to teachers, and The Power of the Story, our teacher's guide to oral history.
Thank you for helping us grow this work beyond our wildest dreams.
Voice of Witness remains a lean organization with a small, exceptionally dedicated and talented staff. We couldn't do any of this without the support of individuals like you.
Your contribution, no matter the amount, will make a difference. Thank you in advance for allowing us to deepen our educational work and develop new oral history projects on Haiti, Native American youth and Chicago public housing. The scope of the work is large, but it's the nuts and bolts that drive it.
$10 buys a teacher a Voice of Witness book to teach to her class of 30, or a phone card for a local interviewer in Port-au-Prince.
$25 buys a day of transportation for that interviewer so she can conduct interviews and research.
$100 buys a basic digital recorder.
$1,000 pays for supplies for an entire project team, from pens to flash drives.
Click here to make a donation today. Thank you again for your gift, and for helping us amplify these important, unheard stories.
Dave Eggers Mimi Lok
Cofounder, Voice of Witness Executive Director, Voice of Witness