For communities who have been traditionally marginalized in both the historical record and in historiography, oral histories can be a form of empowerment, a way in which community members can literally add their voice to the historical narrative. In addition, the process of a community sharing its stories can be personal opportunities for self-reflection, an appreciation for the struggles endured, and a celebration of the community’s accomplishments thus far.

The Oregon Multicultural Archives (OMA) and OSU Queer Archives (OSQA) pro-actively reach out to African American, Asian American, Latino/a, and Native American communities, as well as LGBTQ+ people within OSU and Corvallis, to add their voices to the archives. In addition, both the OMA and OSQA collaborate with local community members and OSU students on projects to train them to conduct interviews and become active participants in creating a more diverse and inclusive historical record.