Dr. Kitty Oliver Race and Change. Not everyone is ready- or able – to engage in Race and Change dialogues that create bridges and offer encouragement, even when so many things seem to be going so wrong. But those who do are a surprisingly diverse mixed bag of young people and elders, students and community activists, concerned with capturing, exploring and preserving history and making it relevant and hopeful – and we have a lot of fun!
“The Race and Change Project” is an ongoing research study of race and ethnic relations, geographical history, and social change through the collection of oral histories of Whites, African Americans, and immigrants of various Hispanic/Latino, Caribbean and Asian backgrounds. Research sites have included the South Florida cities of Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Delray Beach, and Boca Raton; North Fork and Liberia, historically-significant Black communities; towns along Florida’s landmark Lake Okeechobee; and Ghana, West Africa where women who have experienced America’s racial climate shared their stories.
Oliver has taught field study courses for Florida Atlantic University’s School of Communication and Multimedia Studies where students have assisted in the collection of memories and produced projects for public presentation.
“The Race and Change Oral History Collection” has over 125 interviews on race relations and is one of the only historical archives which features multicultural-multiethnic narrators. Blacks, Whites, Hispanics/Latinos, Caribbeans, and Asians share their growing up experiences in various parts of the U.S. as well as other countries, and their encounters with race, focusing largely on the era prior to and just after passage of the Civil Rights Acts of the mid-1960s. The interviews, collected by Oliver and university students she has trained, are housed in Special Collections at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL. and available to researchers.
Her public television and video productions are used widely by schools and libraries She is producer and host of the 10-part series “Crossing Cultures/Changing Lives”, airing on WBEC-TV. In addition, she produces videos, podcasts, and blogs on race and ethnic relations and changes across generations. She is a lecturer and workshop leader on creative nonfiction writing techniques and memoir writing, and a professional jazz singer. She conducts community oral history field work and is a member of the Oral History Association.