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Welfare Rights Initiative

Project Team: Director Cynthia Tobar, Metadata Librarian at the Mina Rees Library, and Kayla Lawrence, Social Media and PR Intern.

Description: The WRI Oral History Project documents the history of the Welfare Rights Initiative (WRI), a grassroots student activist and community leadership training organization located at Hunter College. The aim is to examine, via these oral history interviews, social movement activity at the level of a grassroots organization as exemplified by the WRI, which was developed to aid student welfare recipients to become agents of social change and actively involve them with policymaking. The digital oral history targets  researchers, students, activists and historians as a digital tool to enhance research and teaching in social protest movements and feminist activism.Ultimately, this archive will give a platform to those who have had, for the most part, little voice in the public debate on welfare reform: former and/or current welfare recipients. It will provide students and scholars of social movements a positive working example of how women from various backgrounds can band together and enact social change.

Listen to the interviews listed below and learn more about the Welfare Rights Initiative Oral History Project