COVID-19 again has brought racial inequities and social injustice to the fore, with Blacks, Latinos, Asians and other people of color disproportionately affected by the disease.
The disparity moved Lindsay Hood, a local news producer, to create Stories of San Diego, an online community journalism project. The website seeks to document the history of the pandemic in the San Diego region among people of color and other minority groups via the submission of first-person accounts.
As Hood said, “Stories come in all shapes and sizes.” She wants, as the website notes, to tell “the full American story” when it comes to COVID-19.
“The power of telling our own narrative allows us to remember who we are and where we came from,” she said.
“Stories of San Diego” invites people to share their thoughts on everything from their home life and struggles finding employment, to insights gleaned from working in essential jobs or struggling with housing.
Hood hopes that by creating a space where people can share, that their stories challenge assumptions and disrupt prevailing narratives.
“Traditional media doesn’t have the resources to cover everything, so a community journalism project is a great way to make sure everyone’s voices are heard, and that no one group is left out or forgotten in the history books,” said Hood, a professional journalist since 2004.
Here’s some details on how to contribute:
- The project will accept stories through February 2022.
- Submissions can be made in English or a storyteller’s preferred language. Currently, the project has access to editors fluent in Spanish, Tagalog, Ilocano, Korean and English.
- People can text their story and a photo to 619-777-5776, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.storiesofsandiego.com to learn more.
- Follow the project on Twitter or Instagram, @StoriesofSD.
- Hood is also seeking volunteers to help curate and edit stories in their communities.
Ultimately, the stories will be housed at San Diego State University in the library’s digital collection.
The “Stories of San Diego” project also includes a book scheduled to be published at the end of this year.
Hood expects that the book will focus on various pandemic-related topics, including social justice, vaccine distribution and testing. Among the group of committed contributors are veteran local journalists JW August, Paul Krueger and Lynn Walsh.
She also is pleased to give local residents a platform where they can tell their stories fully, without time or space limits.
“I just really hope ‘Stories of San Diego’ brings our community together,” Hood said. “I also hope it gives people a way to really see what is happening in our communities with individual people and families. This is a good way for people to learn about what others are going through.”