The Center for Great Plains Studies is providing seed grant funding to five small projects that aim to gather stories on the impact of Covid-19 on the people of the Great Plains. The projects selected focus on stories from those who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, including Indigenous, Latinx, and immigrant communities as well as workers from the healthcare and meatpacking fields. The projects will help create a small archive of transcribed interviews to help document this unique time and educate others about the experience of our Great Plains neighbors. The Center is partnering with a national project, A Journal of the Plague Year, a rapid response archive to help fill the archival silences from this region.
Nebraska Indian Community College
The Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC) project led by Wynema Morris focuses on interviews with the Omaha Tribal community in Nebraska as a way of both engaging in story collecting and traditional healing practices. It will reflect the cultural aspect of how a community supports itself during a difficult time. Along with adding to the archive, the project leaders intend to share this archive with tribal audiences in the region.
School of Global Integrative Studies
A project lead by Taylor Livingston and Rebecca Buller, of UNL's School of Global Integrative Studies, will examine the experiences of mothers of children born during the pandemic by working with related non-profits to recruit a diverse sample of mothers. Along with stories, the project aims to create a photo and map archive to give context to the mother's experiences.
College of Arts & Sciences
From the UNL College of Arts & Sciences' Department of Communications graduate students Trevor Kauer and Cassidy Taladay, under the mentorship of Professor Jody Koenig Kellas are leading a project to collect and disseminate stories of frontline healthcare workers dealing with the pandemic across the Great Plains. The research will focus on linking healthcare workers stories with markers of health and well-being.
College of Education and Human Sciences
Professors in the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences, Edmund ‘Ted’ Hamann, Ricardo Martinez, and Amanda Morales, are leading a project that stems from a recent class TEAC431J/831J: “Pandemics, Schools, and Helping Meatpacking Communities Recover from COVID19.” The project will record the perspective of those living in seven meatpacking communities in Nebraska, which have seen Covid-19 infections above the level of the rest of the state. Along with the archive, the project seeks to create educational materials about the role of schools in pandemic recovery.
A University of Nebraska at Omaha's Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) project led by Cristián Doña-Reveco and Isabelle C. Beulaygue is partnering with the nationwide “Voces of a Pandemic” Oral History Project to add Latino/a stories from the Great Plains to the larger archive. The stories will focus on essential workers and community leaders from the Latino/a community and will disseminate the results via academic and community-angled publications.