Nominated for the Oral History Association Council

Someone was kind enough to consider me as a nominee for the Oral History Association Council.

In order to share my information online, I have listed my bio and candidate statement here:

BIO

Christy Hyman is a cultural worker, environmental advocate, griefworker (as a bereaved mother) and PhD candidate in the program of Geography at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. 

Her cultural work has spanned heritage communities in eastern North Carolina, south-central Virginia, southwest Missouri, and the Seward Peninsula of Alaska. It was within these experiences of documenting cultural life and resilience that Hyman witnessed the memorialization of great triumph, but also tremendous pain. Her own story of losing her son Ricky during the pandemic provided a heightened awareness of how, when, and to whom a life story can be told. Within this anguished positionality, Hyman has developed an inherent respect for the sanctity of human stories.

Hyman’s service commitments include the Oral History Association Social Justice Principles and Best Practices Task Force, Great Dismal Swamp Stakeholder Collaborative, and the People Not Property-Slavery Deeds Working Group. She is the founder of the Ricky Dawkins, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund which honors the life of her son through helping college-bound African American students financially in their effort to attain degrees in the arts.

Hyman also works with environmental justice firms to document the stories of human- environmental connections to landscape. Her dissertation research focuses on African-American efforts toward cultural and political assertion in the Great Dismal Swamp region during the antebellum era as well as the attendant social and environmental costs of human/landscape resource exploitation. Christy will graduate with her PhD in Spring 2022.

CANDIDATE STATEMENT

My Dear Colleagues,

I extend my kindest wishes to you as we continue to grapple with the ongoing adjustments needed to survive and hopefully thrive in the aftermath of the era of COVID-19. As a scholarly community and individually we have contended with the challenges and opportunity of this time. I have considered how the lack of social capital and community efficacy have negatively influenced justice, access to health, wellness, and the ability to do our meaningful work. So many communities are burdened by inequitable access to a living wage and reduced municipal investment and because of these added constraints, surviving from day to day often took precedence over requests for interviews and questionnaires. In a global pandemic social barriers multiplied in devastating ways. My hometown in North Carolina experienced tremendous intersected precarity that will take years to repair. These are the issues that I consider as a bereaved parent, academic, cultural worker and oral historian.

I am dedicated to expressing reverence for every human, for the Earth, and all cultural communities. My time on the Social Justice Principles and Best Practices Task Force has added to my cultivation of ethical imperatives for connecting with the communities for which our work is accountable. As a discipline, Oral History contains an inherent dynamism because it seeks to reveal histories that are not documented in print archives. My principles rooted in social justice foreground the considerations and needs of marginalized communities in tandem with documenting their stories.

If elected, I will promise to uphold the concerns of marginalized communities in the strategic planning process and I will honor the voices of every worker within and beyond our community. Together, we will use the lessons of this difficult past year to benefit the discipline and uplift communities.

With every kind wish,

Christy

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