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Burmese Refugees Collecting Oral Histories Receive Grant to Continue Storytelling Project

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Burma oral history grants
The Karen Organization of San Diego serves the Karen community and other refugee families from Burma. Photo credit: https://karensandiego.org/

California Humanities has awarded nearly $100,000 in grants to 20 new public humanities projects, including one in San Diego, the organization announced Monday.

The projects and public programming supported by the Oakland-based nonprofit include plays and screenings, exhibitions, workshops and public art.

The Humanities for All Quick Grant program is a competitive application that provides up to $5,000 to support small-scale local public humanities projects.

The San Diego recipient is the “Our Voice, Our Power: Oral History Project” by refugees from Burma resettled in the region, a program in association with the Karen Organization of San Diego.

To raise awareness about ongoing ethnic conflicts and struggles in Burma, refugee youth from Burma who have resettled in San Diego launched an oral history project, collecting stories from their parents and grandparents.

Drawing from the oral histories, this project plan to present a public storytelling performance and presentation in June. The stories will be based in California, Burma and refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border.

Other projects that received grants include a Riverside civil rights tour, a collection of historic items related to Mexican-American communities in Claremont and activities around women’s African drumming in Los Angeles.

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