We have spilt into the aspect of our project that requires much more individual work and therefore have each written individual reflections about our own experiences with interviewing.
This week I returned to the Downtown Palo Alto Farmers’ Market to address the mistakes I made in my first trip to the market on which I reflected in our reflection two weeks ago (I did not take enough photos for the slideshow, collect ambient audio, or ask to re-record the beginning of Ben's interview in which he begins with “It has . . .” rather than “Climate change has . . .”). I returned with the intention of filling these potholes in Ben's interview so that his story would be more feasible as a final deliverable. I succeeded on all fronts, and I was even able to distribute honorarium packets to both Ben and Lisa, both of whom I interviewed during my last visit to the market. They were very thankful and glad about the honorarium, and I think I can confidently say that providing them with compensation enforced the legitimacy of the project in their minds and strengthened the bond between them and the Community Voices exhibit at The Tech. So far I think the honorarium pilot project has and will continue to work in favor of both The Tech and community members. I am glad we piloted honoraria, as I think honorarium and information packets on the whole will continue to establish the ethos of the project and build trust between community members and The Tech.
Regarding asking Ben to repeat his opening statement, doing so was a lot easier than I had thought. Fear and worry of taking up too much of his time prevented me from doing so the first time around, but I overcame these emotions this time by reflecting on the significance of the project as a whole and by remembering how kind he had been the first time I spoke with him. He turned out to be very willing to help for a second time. The honorarium I gave him also aided me in the process of overcoming my worry of taking up his time during his working hours with little to no benefit to him.
To provide an update on my audio editing progress, Danny and I both agreed that Lisa's interview would not be feasible as a final deliverable, as she jumps around and speaks fast in the interview, and the story does not have a consistent or very identifiable storyline. I also spoke with Danny about switching my focus from fisheries, the focus I had assigned myself to in the Project Scope of Work, to farmers in the Bay Area. He formally approved of the switch, saying that the project is critically lacking in stories from both fisheries and farmers, so focusing on either would be great. Now that I have refined the materials for Ben's interview, I will focus on editing his story with the re-recorded hook (“Climate change has . . ” rather than “It has extended our growing season.”) and ambient noise I recorded this week, and continue editing the Raging Grannies audio clip from Danny’s unedited audio stories from a Climate Strike he attended. I will have these two stories of the deliverables completed by the end of Thanksgiving Break, which is truly something to celebrate! As for the final deliverable packet and presentation, we will begin to work on them over the break, especially in the first half of the break. We aim to complete solid rough drafts of each by the end of the break. Attending office hours made me feel much better about the two, as I now have a better idea of what is required of us for each. I shared the example of last year’s Community Voices presentation to the rest of the group, and we decided to ruminate on it over the break as well, keeping it in mind throughout the process of creating our presentation. Overall, I am excited for what we will accomplish over the break.
I think this was a really exciting week for our group as it's when a lot of things all finally came together. After plenty of discussion with Danny we finally decided on a method for compensation and put together compensation envelopes containing VISA gift cards and free tickets to The Tech. I think this is a really exciting development as it's something the The Tech will continue to use in the future even after our group with our quarter-long collaboration. In addition, we also finally got access to the audio software we were hoping to use, Adobe Audition, and will now be able to make some high quality audio edits.
Personally, I'm really excited about the progress we made this week as I was able to conduct my in-person interview on Thursday. It was with Salvador Mateo, assistant director at Planting Justice in Oakland. Planting Justice is a non-profit organization with the motto "Grow Food, Grow Jobs and Grow Community." They operate a community farm and nursery business right in the heart of Oakland and focus particularly on helping formerly incarcerated community members with their rehabilitation and reintroduction processes. Ayoade kindly was able to travel to their nursery site in Oakland with me and we were able to get a 17 minute interview from Salvador. I'm personally really excited about editing this interview as I think that in addition to a pertinent story about climate change it also includes some really important insights about environmental justice and environmental racism that are currently lacking from the collection of stories that have already been collected for this project. I plan on editing the audio file over Thanksgiving break and having it deliverable-ready by the time we return for Week 10. I also plan on editing one of the interviews that Danny recorded at the climate strike over Thanksgiving break. Overall, I'm feeling good about our progress on this project and am excited about being able to share the deliverables and contributions we've made with The Tech and also the rest of our class!
While I reached out to two leads who seemed eager at first to be interviewed, scheduling has proved difficult and they have been unresponsive lately. So, I altered course and am now planning to interview Matt who works on Burning Man's sustainability initiatives. The challenge is that Matt is only free starting the week of Thanksgiving, but I will be home during that week. So, I have to wait to interview him until the week after Thanksgiving, which will be possible just very tight with timing. My plan is to have the other two audio clips edited before then, so that I can focus on Matt's interview afterward.
I am excited to pull our project together. I enjoyed the Environmental Justice talk this past week, as it highlighted and put into practice many of the concepts we have talked about in class. I look forward to maintaining a good code of ethics during the remainder of our project.
Things have been building up to our final deliverables this week - it seems that collectively we have been hearing back from leads we were trying hard to get ahold of, and carrying out meaningful interviews. In tagging along with Natalie for the Planting Justice interview with Salvador, I was glad to see that our compensation and information packet set-up feels like it works very nicely and also feels like adequate thanks.
In reflecting on the interview, I’m very glad that the exhibit will hopefully include this narrative emphasizing food justice, housing justice, and their connections to disproportionate impacts on low income communities of color by climate change in its broader climate change narratives.
In terms of work in the near future, after a bit of back and forth I’ve been able to schedule an interview with Loa Niumeitolu, who works with the Sogorea Te land trust, and women-lead indigenous land trust focused on land sovereignty and reparations in the Bay Area. I am very much looking forward to completing editing work over the break and doing the same for Loa’s interview by the time we come back to school!
Alisha plans to include their contributions to this reflection in the comment section of this discussion post.
We have spilt into the aspect of our project that requires much more individual work and therefore have each written individual reflections about our own experiences with interviewing.
This week I went to the East Palo Alto Community Farmers' Market at the Ravenswood Family Health Center with all of The Tech's gear in the hopes of interviewing the farmers and shoppers there, as I did at the Downtown Palo Alto Farmers' Market. Upon arriving, however, I realized that this farmers' market was very different from the Downtown Palo Alto market, as there were only a few tents, the farmers did not have much produce left for sale an hour to closing (indicative of the extent to which community members make use of this critical resource), and the primary language was Spanish. After walking around for about ten minutes and then sitting at a bench on the outskirts of the market to reflect and do more research on the market, it reflected on my initial feeling that interviewing shoppers and farmers would be inappropriate given the language barrier, and, more importantly, that doing so would disrupt a limited and critical community resource.
Fresh Approach, the organization who organizes the market, aims to make healthy, local produce an unattainable luxury for everyone in the Bay Area. The East Palo Alto market, according to the Fresh Approach site, "is a crucial resource for ensuring affordable, healthy food access for the East Palo Alto community, while supporting local family farms." I became immediately aware that inserting myself at this critical event that only occurs for a few hours weekly and only for select months out of the year to extract stories and leave would be inappropriate without having first established a presence and service in this community and possessing an ability to communicate with the residents.
I then decided to visit the Fresh Approach tent at which organizers of the market stood. I introduced myself and asked if they could give me more information about Fresh Approach and whether or not there are opportunities to table at Fresh Approach markets. They seemed interested in the Community Voices exhibit, and said we could potentially table next week. However, they said that Spanish translations of material are required to table, and that a member fluent in Spanish must be present at the table. They also implied that establishing a presence in the community and giving back to the community before expecting anything from it would be most commendable and ethical. They said they would be open to working with The Tech in the future, but with the implication that The Tech meet these requirements before proceeding. I shared that the Community Voices project is relatively long term, and that I would share these reflections with The Tech and provide Fresh Approach as a potential lead for future teams working on the exhibit if these arrangements on The Tech’s end can be made.
I learned a lot from this experience, notably that taking the time to reflect before taking action and potentially acting on impulse is critical. After speaking with the Fresh Approach representatives, I was glad that I trusted my initial instinct to take a step back and reflect to revise the plan I had coming into the market. Had I not done so, I would have risked being unethical or intrusive on a community with which I am not equipped to communicate given my lack of proficiency in Spanish. Unlike the Downtown Palo Alto market, it seemed that gaining permission from the organizers of the event to interview would be necessary given the critical and fragile nature of the resource. Moving forward, I will maintain my focus on refining the stories from farmers at the Downtown Palo Alto market given these circumstances, and I will add Fresh Approach to the list of leads in The Tech’s Google Drive with these conditions noted for future purposes.
This week I reached out to two individuals to interview and they both responded positively. Noah, a photographer who captures wildfire imagery in California, was receptive to being interviewed. The challenge lies in scheduling this interview in person, as he said his schedule is very erratic. I anticipate this meeting will be difficult to schedule, but I will be persistent as Danny seemed enthusiastic about this interview. Secondly, I reached out to John who works on Sol Lux Alpha, a carbon-neutral luxury condo. John was very eager to speak in person, and offered that we come to visit the roof of Sol Lux Alpha if the owners allow it. I am waiting to hear if the owners will allow it. Danny seems less excited about this interview for fear that it would not appeal to the everyday person, but would rather be too privileged. I think it is still worth pursuing, if time allows, and then seeing how the interview goes.
We have not yet received an audio editing subscription, so in the meantime we will use a different free trial software. Our meeting on Monday with Danny was productive because we were able to compile packets to provide to the interviewees. This should ensure that we follow best practices with those involved in this exhibit. It is important that they know they have points of contact at the Tech Interactive should they have any questions.
Having free passes and $25 gift cards should provide an added benefit so that the interviewees receive something in return for their story. We discussed this dilemma at length, and I feel good about our resolution.
Now we have a good process for conducting our final interviews. Scheduling with my two prospects will be a bit challenging. However, I am excited to speak with these compelling individuals and wrap up our project successfully!
Last week I was able to attend one of the speakers of the environmental justice speaker series that has been hosted throughout this quarter. I attended the talk put on the by Halah, the cofounder of the nonprofit organization, Planting Justice. Planting Justice is based in Oakland and works to build community support and uplift those who have been impacted by the horrible system of mass incarceration. Halah was very interested in our project and excited about the idea of participating in an interview. We have scheduled an interview time for Thursday of next week during which I’m going to travel to their community farm in Oakland and talk with her. I’m really excited about this opportunity and hopefully will be able to talk with some of the other employees at the farm (and maybe even interview them) to get a well-rounded view of their organization.
As both Priya and Keona mentioned, we spent a lot of this last week discussing the different forms of compensation we could offer to our interviewees. I also am ultimately satisfied with the method that we decided upon (a compensation packet including a gift card and free museum tickets). Overall I’m really excited and optimistic about the outcome of our project!
Alisha and Ayoade plan to include their contributions to this reflection in the comment section of this discussion post.
The Tech Interactive | Week 7 Reflection
Alisha: To this end, I met with Elijah, the head chef at Narnia, to discuss his relationship to food, produce, and sustainability in general. My initial talk with him was fascinating and I think there will be a lot of potentially useful content. Elijah was so incredibly knowledgeable about sustainable agriculture and the passion he has for his job, and life, in general, was beyond infectious. He is extremely deliberate about the choices he makes both inside and outside of the kitchen, making sure to responsibly source all of his produce, to treat all of his produce with respect, and to minimize wastage. After talking with him for a couple of hours, he seemed incredibly excited about the prospect of being included in the community voices exhibit and, as such, I am extremely excited to interview him. I am currently in the process of scheduling a formal interview time with him, however, I want to wait until after our group meeting on Sunday to make any firm plans.
Reflecting on my experience speaking with Elijah, both Elijah and I are very talkative and easily distracted. As such, I anticipate that many of the follow-up questions I ask during the interview will need to be both succinct and direct—I am cautious of having to sift through too much audio in the editing process! Furthermore, Elijah does not typically allow people to audio record him and, as such, is a little nervous about the formalities of the process. For this reason, I think that my decision to meet before the interview and establish a more genuine connection was very productive. This being said, I still anticipate that the interview will take quite some time due to the need to re-record audio.
Throughout the weekend, I will be reviewing and utilizing, the notes from my conversation with Elijah to construct potential interview questions which I hope to run by the group at our meeting on Sunday. Additionally, I will be working to follow up with my other main lead—a family affected by the recent California wildfires.
Natalie: During this week, I was able to make progress on finding a lead. I'm really excited about this lead as it incorporates two of my interests, environmental justice and farming. After class on Wednesday, I attended Haleh Zandi's lecture at the Stanford O'Donohue Educational Farm. This lecture was a part of the environmental justice speaker series that is being hosted by Emily Polk and Sibyl Diver for their Introduction to Environmental Justice course. Haleh is the co-founder and co-director of the Bay Area organization, Planting Justice. Planting Justice's motto is "grow food, grow jobs, grow community" and they operate a nursery, urban farm and community gardens throughout Oakland and the greater Bay Area. Their organization is unique in that they focus specifically on trying to hire formally incarcerated people and do what they can to support those who are excessively negatively effected by mass incarceration. I had a chance to speak to Haleh after her lecture and explained our project to her. She seemed really excited and interested in participating and being interviewed. I think this could be a really promising lead, however there is one caveat. After some email correspondence Haleh suggested November 21st as the date when we could conduct the interview. However, this is during the week right before Thanksgiving break which was our team and Danny's goal for when we should have all the interviews conducted by. I'm going to check and see if Haleh would be able to do an earlier date, however if not I think this would be a good thing to discuss with Danny about whether or not it would be okay to conduct this interview so late or if it should be a lead that should be left for the Tech Interactive team to follow up on later.
Keona: This week, I went to the Downtown Palo Alto farmers’ Market and interviewed two farmers, Ben and Lisa. Through this field work, we learned a lot about the interview process and what we need to collect at the next farmers’ market we attend. Reflecting on my interviewing skills, I need to be more assertive––though I am glad that I was conscious of their circumstances and needs. At this point I need to find a balance between assertiveness and consideration, and in the case of the farmers’ market, I feel I could have been more of the former. For Ben’s interview, for instance, he began a sentence with “It has been…” instead of “Climate change has been…”; Unfortunately, I did notice during Ben’s the interview that his first sentence was not a complete one––which the Handbook explains to avoid by asking the interviewee to repeat the sentence as a complete one––but I did not quite know how to interrupt him or follow up on it, especially since he immediately turned around and went back to helping his coworkers pack up after he finished talking. I will adjust accordingly and preface my interview questions with multiple requests to speak in complete sentences with defined subjects. Danny recommended us to treat the handbook as a checklist for future interviews, which is a necessary adjustment I will make. As for the next farmers’ market, we will collect ambient recordings for to include in Lisa and Ben’s interviews and take more photos of vegetables, signage, hands, etc for the slideshows for the Downtown Palo Alto market interviews. (Assuming, of course that we set the context of the story as a farmer's market).
As for Lisa's interview, it was also tough to try to re-record, as I caught her at a time when no one was at her stand, and just as she was wrapping up story, someone walked up to the stand and she directed her attention to them. A plausible solution to finding the right window of time during which we can avoid getting in the way of their sales is by showing up to the market very early (the Saturday one starts at 8am), when I suspect there won’t be many people, or as they are packing up. Lisa’s story is also difficult in that though she shares interesting and specific details about how her farm is adapting to climate change, she speaks very quickly and her story jumps around. This is something I will coach my interviewees on in the future (e.g. asking them to pause for a few seconds after they share a thought.
Discussion on Ethics, Compensation
Natalie: It seems as though this issue of compensation and informing interviewees about what an interview exactly entails is something that the Tech Interactive team has not thought much about. Therefore, Danny requested our help with trying to create some type of packet that we can give to participants of this project. Our group has planned to meet up on Sunday to formulate these packets and hope to include free museum tickets, museum contact information and potential compensation. We have yet to finalize what exact compensation amount will be adequate. However, we will be discussing this topic during a phone call with Danny and Deland tomorrow during which we will hopefully be able to land on an appropriate amount. Ultimately, I think we are progressing well with our project as everyone seems to be following leads and in the starting phases of editing the climate strike interviews. I am really appreciative of all the work that both Danny and Deland have put into supporting our group throughout this project and am really excited and optimistic about the outcome!
Keona: Regarding ethics, we realized that the existing waiver form system of the Tech Interactive is a largely one-way exchange of contact that could potentially limit the conversation between the Tech and community members involved in the exhibit. At the bottom of the waiver, there is an optional section for the interviewee to jot down their contact information if they would like to be contacted about the project. To open up further dialogue and inqury from the interviewee, we are expanding our process to include a pamphlet/flyer that includes Community Voices project members' contact information and more information about the project in an attempt to make the informed consent facet of research more effective in the form of a two-way dialogue. In terms of community engagement in the form of developing survey instruments and data collection, and in light of Joann Tien's lecture on the ethics of Participatory Action research, we are obligated to inform participants about the purpose of the story collection, the limits of confidentiality, incentives for participation, and who participants can contact with questions. We plan to discuss incentives further, particularly the standardization of compensation; continue this conversation of ethics; and compile information into a pamphlet this Sunday night at our team meeting.
Priya: This week we had a fruitful discussion with Danny around the ethics of interviewing and how we can make the process more transparent and open. Top of mind for me this week was thinking of best practices from a liability and research participant perspective. With regards to the former (liability), I think it is of utmost importance that the waiver be comprehensive and that we are fully transparent when interviewing individuals. I would not want the Tech Interactive to get in trouble or face any backlash if someone has the expectation that their story will be included in the Tech. Whenever money/compensation is brought into the picture, liability also becomes more important to consider.
Secondly, I am viewing our interviewees almost like research participants, who deserve ample rights when participating in any research study. It is our responsibility as stewards of the Tech Interactive to make our interviewees aware that they can contact Danny/the Tech with any further questions, etc. I wonder if we can provide the interviewees with the audio file after it is edited (as we had discussed), as an additional incentive to participate. I can imagine many interviewees would want this to add to their personal portfolio of work. This is a less pressing issue, but something we could potentially work on.
Alisha: Following on from our discussion with Danny, Zac, and Sarah, I spent a significant amount of time reflecting on how best to approach my story leads and how to ensure that they were adequately compensated for their time. At this stage in our process, I did not feel comfortable promising any sum of money to my interviewees and, as such, decided that the best approach would be to schedule an initial ‘informal’ talk before the actual interview. This way I thought that I could remain transparent throughout the interview process and establish a rapport with my respective leads before the recording. (I do, of course, understand that this approach is not always possible!)
Alisha: Overall, I am very happy with the progress that we are making as a group. I am very aware of the fact that our project, and deliverables, are entirely reliant upon the contribution of external peoples and, as such, it can be difficult to get the ball rolling. That being said, I have been extremely impressed by the pro-activeness of each member of my group and I have certainly started to feel things fall into place over the last few weeks–I truly cannot wait to see all of our hard work come to fruition.
Additionally, I wanted to acknowledge how grateful I am to be able to engage with a group of individuals who are so thoughtful and deliberate in the decisions that they make. The detailed discussions that we have had on the ethics of the interview process only serve to highlight the commitment that we each have for this project, and its mission, and, personally, that has been beyond refreshing! I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support and understanding throughout my periods of ill health. I am aware that it can be very difficult to have a group member who is not consistently present and I really appreciate all that you have done to facilitate my continued involvement.
Priya: I am excited to accelerate the interviewing and audio editing process. I am cognizant of the fact that we still do not have audio editing software to revise the summer audio samples. I hope that we can get access to that soon in order to have everything complete. I feel better after this week's discussions to move forward with the ultimate goal of generating great interviews.
Update on Project Activities
We have one new interview that has been captured on audio. The interviewee is a Stanford student who grew up in the Stanford/Palo Alto area and has noticed the changing water levels of Lake Lagunita within the past decades. In our interview, he shares the story of seeing Lake Lagunita change.
We have a few leads that we are pursuing for future interviews. We have been in contact with Danny to find time to meet with Sarah and Zack, the Tech Interactive summer interns.
What We Observed and Learned (& Some Critical Analysis)
Even though we conducted an interview and the interviewee shared his experience of witnessing the ebbs and flows of Lake Lagunita and attributed this trend to climate change, we also want to reflect on the process of validating claims made in interviews and not focus on capturing such claims exclusively. After we shared the raw interview clips with our community partner, Danny, he suggested that we speak to Stanford staff who might be able to confirm that the reservoir is dry due to climate-change related reasons to confirm the connection.
After all, we may not have extensive scientific knowledge on the tangible, local effects of climate change regarding what is and what is not attributed to climate change. For future interviews, we may try to do background research on the stories interviewees intend on telling in order to ensure the validity of the information.
Conducting the interview was great practice in using the heavy duty recording equipment Danny supplied. This interview will help us to gauge how long an interview actually takes including time to set up and test equipment.
Regarding audio editing, I was able to play around with iMovie to edit the raw audio and get familiar with the software. With this, editing Danny’s short stories from the climate march will be a more streamlined experience. I learned how to overlap clips, shorten clips, and quiet white noise in the background of audio.
Critical Analysis/Moving Forward
First, we are planning to listen through the edited audio files that Danny shared with us to bolster our understanding of an ideal sound clip. Moving forward, we will focus more intently on generating leads to interview.
Second, we are planning to aggressively pursue leads and conduct interviews. In order to find leads we have primarily been trying to contact people we know and ask if they have any connections to people who might have an interesting story to share. The past interns, Zack and Sarah, also left us a list of potential contacts and/or fields that they were unable to pursue during their time working on this project. Therefore, we are hopeful that we will be able to find leads through that source. So far we have already made some connections with some of our peers who are from the Bay Area. We are excited about getting stories from college students as it gives us a youth perspective without having to deal with the complexities of trying to interview minors. We also are looking into collaborating with an organization on campus, Habla, that offers English language lessons to campus service workers. We might try to attend one of their meetings and conduct some short interviews with any service workers who would be interested. After contacting some professors/faculty members, I was given the contact for Community Engaged Learning on the Environment who might either be able to be interviewed or point us in the direction of some other really fruitful contacts. Our next steps in this realm are to continue contacting leads and starting to set up times/dates/places during which we can conduct the actual interviews. The preparation aspect of this interview process has proven to be a little more difficult and slower than anticipated. It took us a while to narrow in on what types of community members we hoped to get in contact with and therefore have only recently started reaching out to leads. However, we still have a decent amount of time and are confident that as long as we continue to be persistent in the search for interviews that we will be able to get the 8 quality interviews we need to complete this project.
Third, we are planning to edit short stories Danny recorded at a climate march. All but two of Zack and Sarah’s interviews have been edited, and all of Danny’s have not been edited. Two clips in particular that he noted might be promising are called “Raging Grannies.” One of the clips is chanting, and the other is an interview. Synthesizing these two clips together for the final would be engaging and is something we will do.
Finally, we are planning to get in contact with Zack and Sarah and consult with them about pursuing leads in areas other than Stanford/Palo Alto. Though capturing stories nearby Stanford is important, providing the visitors of the Tech with a representative portrayal of the climate crisis in the Bay Area is critical
Update on Project Activities
Visiting The Tech Interactive this week, we got a much stronger sense of the space that the exhibit will eventually occupy. Danny (our liaison with the Tech Interactive Museum) was able to show us around the space and also show us the prototype of the Community Voices exhibit we will be contributing to. We also got access to the past the interviews that had been conducted by the summer interns/students from last year. These past interviews will be useful as we look towards our own project and try to determine what areas/voices that we hope to focus on as a project team.
What We Observed and Learned
In our visit to the Tech Interactive this week, we gathered valuable insight into the process of creating an exhibition and the intricacies of museum curation. We met with Danny as he showed us the space that the eventual exhibit will occupy. Observing this space, we saw how hands-on the experience at Tech Interactive is; indeed, it is an active walk through the large space. Envisioning our exhibit in the space, we felt humbled and honored to be contributing to such an impactful learning environment.
Also, we were able to visit during the hours when the Tech Interactive museum was open to the public. Therefore, we were there at the same time as public visitors who most likely are similar to the audience which will be viewing the exhibit we are helping to create. It was inspiring to see that this audience consists of a wide variety of people from adults to even children as young as 5-6 years old. Being able to get context for the location of this project will be helpful when trying to determine what specific stories and interviews we hope to garner because we now know that we should try to get things from a variety of different perspectives so that it can appeal to the wide range of perspectives that will be present in the audience for our exhibit. At the same time, recognizing our contribution to the project as one step out of many before it means that our approach to gathering and cultivating interviews to showcase has to be focused and specific, so as to avoid repetition and add to past work.
Critical Analysis/Moving Forward
After visiting The Tech Interactive this week, we identified our action items for the next week. We want to try to meet with the former summer interns to get a better gauge on which leads we should pursue. Then we need to pursue those warm leads, as well as find any of our own. As of now, some group members have sent emails to potential leads, and some are setting up interview times with leads already discovered in the area, including a Stanford student who is from Fremont, an area that Danny encouraged us to cover stories from because of the unequal distribution of story coverage. Listening to the interviews that have already been conducted has made us try to determine which types of people/voices are underrepresented and therefore who we should focus on for interviewing. It seems as though a lot of us are very passionate about trying to capture the voices and/or stories of people who have traditionally been excluded and marginalized from these types of conversations. Specifically, we have talked about the need for the inclusion of voices from the Bay Area’s indigenous communities, and other communities of color. Therefore, we are hoping to sometime soon attend a farmer’s market or some similar type of community event, and to pull on our contacts and connections on and around campus, in order to be able to get interviews. The information we get from these marginalized community members might have a slightly more unconventional take on these issues relating to climate change which we think will be very useful in achieving the goal of trying to make this museum exhibit relatable to a wide variety of people.
It is critical to present a representative sample of stories and experiences for the Community Voices exhibit, as representative participation is a crucial facet of advocacy and empowerment, a component we discussed in class relating to Arnstein's Citizen Ladder of Participation (1969) and the levels of participation and representation necessary for true participation.
While there seemed to be a broad range of groups represented in the visitors of the museum, visiting The Tech also brought up questions of access, as admission is not free and can be burdensome especially for family groups. In addressing this question Danny told us of a ‘pay what you can’ system the museum implements, but that the vast majority of visitors pay the full fee. This was a signal to us that there are levels of/barriers to access other than the price at the front door - broadly, there is work that must be done to make it known that museum spaces like The Tech are open to everyone, and this work must be in active opposition to conceptions of museum spaces, which are indeed traditionally quite exclusive. Bringing this to the scope of our project, our work in hopefully searching for stories among indigenous communities and other communities of color also has the potential to call those communities into a museum space and facilitate local recognition of the ways this exhibit aims to serve everyone.