Artwork, videos, interview transcriptions and photography were all included in Hear Our Voices: an interactive presentation by students at the UNC School of Social Work.

Part of getting a degree from the school includes understanding how to relate to people who are different than you. This is what Doctor Iris Carlton-LaNay’s class had in mind when developing the project for their “Confronting Oppression and Institutionalized Discrimination” class.

The students interviewed different people from marginalized groups for the project. They incorporated several types of media to allow those they interviewed to share experiences about the political climate, personal struggles and triumphs and unresolved challenges.

Among those they interviewed were an immigrant living in the United States, an elderly woman living with chronic pain, and an artist with schizoaffective disorder and major depressive disorder.

Artwork by Taylor Anne Lancaster, using Hear Our Voices as an opportunity to showcase her art. Photo via UNC School of Social Work.

Doctor Gary Bowen is the Dean of the School of Social Work. He said the project is different than anything former students have done.

“I see this as just one of the most creative projects that I have been part of for a long time,” he said. “I think it represents our school so well, and I think it epitomizes the importance in social work of listening.”

He said the class redefined the requirements for the final project, and soared past expectations.

“I’m just very proud,” Bowen said. “I’m very proud to be associated with this school and be associated with your professor, Iris Carlton-LaNey, and for each student that was part of this, my hat’s off to you.”

The oral histories collected in the project will be featured in future Master’s in Social Work classes and submitted to UNC libraries to be considered for inclusion in archival collections.