Nam Voices

The Oral and Visual History Project
Personal stories of the immigrant experience are a vital component of the New Americans Museum’s efforts to illuminate the many facets of contemporary immigration to the United States. The Oral and Visual Histories Project is intended to collect and preserve these narratives. An advisory council of scholars, immigrant leaders, and media experts will provide ongoing guidance. The archived stories will make accounts of the immigrant experience readily available to family descendents and researchers as well as the general public. The histories will be available at the Museum and on our web site, in audio and digital video format, and as part of interactive exhibitions. This project is slated for substantial growth in 2009, as it represents a core collection for the Museum.

Family Histories Essay Competition
Stories of Migration to the United States – This flagship program has been supported by the Parker Foundation; Bank of America; Sempra Energy, and, in association with The San Diego Foundation, the Waitt Family Foundation’s Digital Divide Fund and The Hom Family Fund. One of the Museum’s primary objectives is to encourage pride and a sense of belonging among the youngest generations of immigrants. Over the past six years, more than 1,000 San Diego area students, representing 59 schools and more than 80 countries, have authored stories of their families’ immigration to the United States and described what it means to be a New American. Essay winners received scholarships ranging from $200 to $2,000 in addition to new laptop computers. The program has awarded $60,000 to local students since the program’s inception. The essay program collaborated with the San Diego Unified School District and the San Diego Community College District to align the competition directly with classroom standards and goals. All winning stories are documented and archived for future Museum exhibits and publications.

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