Liz Strong: I grew up in New England, lived for years in the North West, and moved to New York City in 2014. In 2015 I received my MA in Oral History from Columbia University. I conducted my Masters thesis work with the NYPD Guardians Association, a fraternal organization for black officers. I conducted life history interviews with retired members of the Guardians, with a focus their work as police officers and their advocacy against racial prejudice. My BA from Oberlin College in 2009 was in Narrative Arts. There, I completed an individually designed major, which examined narrative theory, folklore, and explored in-depth tools for communicating narrative in visual arts and storytelling performance.
Prior to my time with the Columbia Oral History MA program, I was a freelance personal historian, working in the North West. I led workshops and trainings, and managed projects for a variety of organizations and families.
These days, I continue to work on several oral history and personal history projects. I’ve been the Oral History Coordinator for the New York Preservation Archive Project since June of 2015. Work with the Guardians Association is also ongoing. We are collaborating to gather further stories and documents that will ultimately be housed in the Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library.