Saturday, September 26, 2009

Senator helps launch Hispanic history project

Udall helps launch Hispanic history project

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-NM, today helped launch a new initiative to preserve the stories and experiences of Hispanic Americans through the StoryCorps Historias oral history project – which will visit several New Mexico cities over the next year.

Udall, a member of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force, joined members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and others on Capitol Hill for StoryCorps Historias’ official launch. StoryCorps Historias will record the stories of nearly 1,000 Hispanics and Latinos over the next year through visits to 10 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. New Mexico stops are planned for Albuquerque, Taos and Alamosa.

Udall, a longtime fan of the StoryCorps project, originally broached the idea of a Hispanic- and Latino-focused initiative several years ago while a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. At the time, Udall and fellow members of a House subcommittee were hearing an update by StoryCorps on a separate project focusing on the stories of African Americans, called the Griot Initiative. Udall encouraged StoryCorps representatives to explore a similar project for Hispanic Americans.

“I am so pleased to see that idea come to fruition with today’s announcement of StoryCorps Historias,” Udall said. “As Senator from a state where almost 45 percent of residents are of Hispanic descent, I know firsthand how important the lives and experiences of Hispanics are in telling America’s story.”

StoryCorps was founded in 2003 with a mission to honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening. In partnership with National Public Radio and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, StoryCorps has recorded more than 27,000 interviews with over 50,000 participants from across the nation to date.

"Since StoryCorps first started its work in 2003, the aim has been to create a growing portrait of who we are as a nation. At 50+ million strong, Hispanics represent 15 percent of the U.S. population and are the fastest-growing segment, which is why it is so important that we record and preserve their stories,” said StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay.

For more information on StoryCorps Historias:

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