Uptown Oral Histories Project

Stories of Strength during Covid-19

Starting in 2020, our communities faced some of the worst impacts of Covid-19. During this time, we found ways of supporting each other and creating spaces in our neighborhoods for healing and resilience. Coordinated by the C.L.I.M.B. Consensus Group, the Uptown Oral Histories Project aims to hear, preserve, and honor the stories that we carry with us from this time, and to highlight the importance of community and greenspaces  during the pandemic.

The Uptown Oral Histories Project kicked off in 2023 on May 24th at Inwood Leadership Academy's F.A.C.E. Awards and on June 3rd at the 19th annual Hike the Heights. Interviews ask about participants' involvement in Hike the Heights, the role of parks in their experiences during Covid-19, and visions for our future.

The interviews and full-length oral histories will be shared on YouTube and here on the Hike the Heights website. We also hope to share these stories at the 20th annual Hike the Heights on June 1st, 2024, and at other events and venues uptown and across the city.

To get involved in this project as an organizer, interviewer, or storyteller, click here.

What are oral histories? (click to learn more)

Oral history interviewing is an engaging way to preserve personal stories and experiences around a chosen topic. These interviews help us learn about different times in history, cultural traditions, and historical events. Oral histories capture the memories and unique viewpoints of people who experienced these things firsthand. Sometime these stories aren't written down anywhere, so they are extra special. They show us different perspectives and make sure everyone's stories are heard and valued. It's like putting together puzzle pieces to see the bigger picture of our history and culture.


Interested in conducting a project of your own? 

Check out these resources:

The Hike the Heights "How to Make Your Own" activity sheet

Oral History Association (OHA)

Smithsonian's How to Do Oral History

Examples of oral history projects around New York City:

Harlem Speaks Oral History

ACT UP Oral History Project

Bronx Foodways Oral Histories Project

Watch the Uptown Oral Histories

May 24, 2023 - Inwood Academy parents and teachers 

interviewed by Eleany Pozo

2021 - Coach Dave Crenshaw

interviewed by Eleany Pozo

2021 - Ysabel Abreu

interviewed by Bartolo Jauquin

2021 - Dr. Bob Fullilove 

interviewed by Samantha Rodriguez

June 3, 2023 - Hike the Heights 19 

DiLenny Roca

June 3, 2023 - Hike the Heights 19 

Mary Garcia

June 3, 2023 - Hike the Heights 19 

Ida Lee Young

June 3, 2023 - Hike the Heights 19 

Carmen Pichardo

June 3, 2023 - Hike the Heights 19 


June 3, 2023 - Hike the Heights 19 


If you are interested in participating...