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SOMERS, Wis. – UW-Parkside students in Communication Professor Dr. Anjuli Brekke’s podcasting course are closing out their semester helping capture some important Wisconsin history.

Her students will host a virtual listening party on Thursday, May 13, 2021, from 5:30 – 7 p.m.  During the event, guests will listen to oral history podcasts created by UW-Parkside students in partnership with the Wisconsin Latinx History Collective (WLHC).  The goal of the WLHC is to document Latinx history throughout Wisconsin in order to amplify the voices of historically marginalized populations and educate the general public about the important contributions Wisconsin’s Latinx communities have made to the state.

During the spring 2021 semester, Parkside students learned the technical aspects of podcast production and explored the ethical considerations involved with collecting oral histories.  They then interviewed four siblings from the Herrera family.  Their mother, Anita Herrera, who passed away in 2019, was a pillar of the Racine community.  She devoted her career to improving living conditions for people of color in Wisconsin, and her children have carried on this advocacy in different ways.

From the hours of interview materials, the students took on the challenge of crafting a story through their podcast to highlight the lives and community activism of Georgia, Karen, Mike, and June Herrera.

“It has been an honor working with the Herrera family and the podcasting student teams throughout this semester,” said Professor Brekke.  “This event will showcase the students’ work documenting the stories of the Herrera family to our Parkside community and beyond!”

Brekke noted the students’ podcasts will become part of the history collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society, and that by collecting and preserving these stories the students’ work will help highlight Latin American culture in Wisconsin as well as help educate others about the experiences of members of the Latinx community for generations to come.

“UW-Parkside’s Anjuli Brekke and her students have made a significant contribution to our goal to increase the documentation of Latinx history in our great state,” said Dr. Andrea-Teresa Arenas, founder, and director of WLHC.  “Conducting the Herrera Siblings oral history interviews will positively impact the Latinx of Wisconsin, the general public, and the students who conducted those interviews and produced the podcast.  I am truly excited that UW-Parkside, which is seeking a Hispanic Serving Institution designation, is such an active partner.”

Added student Kaeleb Thomas, a Parkside communication major working towards his digital media and production minor: “Creating an oral history podcast is more than just learning how to make radio for the digital age.  Not only did we conduct an in-depth oral history interview, but we also learned how to mix the interview with voiceover narration and music to help highlight these important stories for a wider audience.”

Community members are invited to learn more about this project and hear portions of the podcasts at the virtual listening party event on Zoom.  Advance registration is required.  For more information please contact Dr. Anjuli Brekke or Amy Garrigan (262-595-2312).

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