VFOA is a publicly engaged research project dedicated to collecting, preserving, and disseminating forgotten, hidden, or unknown stories of American experience. We believe that the story of America, and of any particular nation within America, cannot be truly captured and told if so many voices are left out. VFOA seeks to raise the volume of these voices from faint whispers to a place of powerful and deliberate expression through two core dimensions:
The first gathers oral and life histories through interviews and conducts archival research with and on specific populations.
The second component works with individuals, schools, and community groups, using the interviews as a basis for innovative approaches to educating the peoples of America about each other.
VFOA’s materials, models, and methods aim to round out America’s story and by doing so provide a venue through which students, faculty, community members, and institutions can work collaboratively to advance awareness, connectedness, and cooperation. Through curriculum development resources, community education workshops, publications, and public history programs, we aim to advance understanding across cultures and generations in Our America.