The Center for Communication, Difference and Equity is deeply interested in recording oral histories that address race. To that end, in partnership with numerous communities across University of Washington and beyond, we have organized a StoryCorps event in May 2017 to generate and archive conversations between friends, loved ones, and colleagues centered on the theme of “the first time” experiencing racial discrimination.

When we think of first time experiences, they are usually our most vivid memories and experiences. They often shape who we are and how we interpret our place in the world. With this project, we are interested in hearing about our community’s experience about their first time being treated as a racial “other.” Our goal is to create safe space for intimate, timely conversations addressing some of our most vivid and life changing experiences. We want to know how these experiences inform who we are racially within a world where discussions about race are often difficult to share.

We invite our community members to tell us about the first time they experienced racism, the first time they recognized they had racially discriminated against someone, or both.

Each participant will receive a copy of their recording to share with future generations. With participant permission, these stories will be archived at the Library of Congress and shared across campus in both formal and informal settings. We will make the digital archives available to UW scholars who are interested in issues of race, identity politics, inequity, and storytelling. In partnership with KUOW, the archive will be segmented for potential radio broadcasting.

Given limited funds and capacity, we are able to conduct 18 interviews in total, and recognize that the interest to share may be much larger.


May 18, 19, and 20, 2017


4518 University Way NE
Suite 310
(206) 543-2710 ext. 0
(Directions below)



  • Digital archive for researchers at UW
  • Student and community engagement
  • Visibility of UW and Race and Equity
  • Preserve history
  • An opportunity to share in meaningful conversation with a friend, family member, or colleague.
  • Ability to share stories and experiences about race with the broader community

Participating Communities

CCDE’s community partner Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club (SRV)
UW Student population
UW Alumni population
Greater Seattle community


UW Graduate School
UW Alumni Association
Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club (SRV)


Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity, University of Washington
Office of the President, University of Washington

StoryCorps Background

StoryCorps is a nonprofit storytelling project that claims to be “America’s oral history project.”  It provides the public at large with the ability to make their mark on history by archiving personal stories in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. In addition to archiving over 60,000 forty-minute interviews between intimates, StoryCorps is also a multiplatform project that has produced best-selling books, a podcast, animated shorts, NPR segments and more recently the StoryCorps App that allows users to record, edit, and upload their own stories using their phones. Part of StoryCorps’ mission is to bring “unheard voices into the public sphere” (StoryCorps, 2014). According to the StoryCorps’ 2014 annual report, roughly 40 percent of interviews in 2014 were with people of color and 9% were with LGBT individuals. StoryCorps also reserves 50 percent of StoryCorps interview openings for their 380 community partners  (2014, StoryCorps).

Directions to KUOW

4518 University Way NE
Suite 310
(206) 543-2710  ext. 0

By Car from I-5:

Take the NE 50th Street exit. Turn east on 50th and travel to Brooklyn Avenue NE. Turn right onto Brooklyn and go 1½ blocks to the University District Parking lot.  There is on street parking in the area.  There are also two pay parking lots available (see attached map).  Both lots are designated by a large blue sign with a yellow “P”.   From the lot, walk south to 45th Avenue, take a left (east) and walk one block to University Way and then take a left on University Way.  KUOW is located near the middle of the block on the opposite (east) side of the street at 4518 University Way.

The door for KUOW is just to the right of the Urban Outfitters’ display windows.  There is no large signage on the building – look for a glass door with a KUOW sticker affixed to it and 4518 above the entry door.  There is a call box to the left of the door, Press 1 for KUOW.  Take the elevator to the 3rd floor (Suite 310) and check in at the front desk.

(Link to Google Maps directions)

White box aroud KUOW doorMap to KUOW and parking