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Ethics of Care

A Bibliography for Community Storytelling and Organizing


In the summer of 2020, a clear call to work differently resulted in a group (Catherine Trujillo, jaime ding, Grace Yeh (Ethnic Studies), Laura Sorvetti, and a handful of students) to think and discuss their work of collecting stories as people in an higher institution in a careful, community first manner. This resulted in the Ethics of Care, where we believe in connection, empathy, and justice.

"We undertook the responsibility of gathering and sharing these stories as caregivers and center the communities who have been institutionally uncared for. Those who provide their testimony should have agency in the telling of their story. We respect the time, energy, and vulnerability it takes to express one’s words, thoughts, and experiences. Thus, we are mindful of how we make space for those who share their stories before, during, and after our conversation. We recognize that— once a narrator’s words are given publicly—they belong to the public to engage with and learn from. Until then, the narrator has the right to choose what they would like to share with the public(s) that exist now and in the future. As story gatherers, we commit to listen to, care for, support, and check in with the narrator through the process of leaving their stories as a gift."

We came to these ethics through a variety of collaborators on campus that resulted in processes, best practices, and projects such as

The following tabs list our selected resources that guided the conversations, practice, and ideas that have evolved to our ethics of care practice. We are deeply grateful to Drs. Michelle Caswell and Marika Cifor for providing the foundation for this work

  • Ethics of Care: a reorientation towards archives, in thinking of how to carry such heavy responsibility and tasks with radical empathy and obligations of care. 
  • Indigenous Citation Practices: a generous guide to understanding how citation practices need to differ for different systems of knowledge.
  • Oral Histories: ethical responsibilities for specifically the academic practice of oral history. 
  • Archiving Projects: examples of organizations (and their practices) who are already taking community-based approaches to archives and gathering stories.   
  • Protecting Activists: multimedia resources (videos, zines, articles) for ethnical archiving practices to protect protesters and activists.
  • Copyright and Licensing: general guidelines and definitions of important ideas of intellectual property, namely public domain and licensing. 


  • “Who Owns Oral History? A Creative Commons Solution”: “Who “owns” oral history? When an oral history narrator shares her story in response to questions posed by an interviewer, and the recording and transcript are deposited in an archive, who holds the rights to these historical source materials? Who decides whether or not they may be shared with the public, quoted in a publication, or uploaded to the web? Who decides whether someone has the right to earn money from including an interview in a commercially distributed book, video, or website? Furthermore, does Creative Commons, a licensing tool developed by the open access movement to protect copyright while increasing public distribution, offer a better solution to these questions than existing oral history protocols?” 

  • This is a useful resource, but take a look especially at “For Participants in Oral History Interviews,” where it discusses “key ethical responsibilities” for interviewers and the choices that narrators have to making an informed decision to participate. It also outlines these concepts that are important for narrators to understand: privacy, private information, pseudonym, identifiable information, confidential, anonymous.

  • "Power and empowerment" in Oral History Theory by Lynn Abrams (recommended by Dr. Al-Nakib)