Summer Listening

The Oral History Center Director’s Column, June 2022

By Paul Burnett
Interim Director, Oral History Center

Closeup of butterfly perched on a plant, with Mount Diablo in the background
Save Mount Diablo BioBlitz (Photograph by Scott Hein)

For many of us, summer brings the promise of vacation, or at least time off with friends and family to rest, celebrate, or explore the great outdoors.

Whether spending time in parks fits into your summer plans or not, you owe it to yourself to check out the Oral History Center’s new project on the history of Save Mount Diablo, and especially the accompanying podcast. Shanna Farrell, Amanda Tewes, and student research apprentices Anjali George and Andrew Deakin did an amazing job of telling the story of fifty years of this important land conservation organization in the Bay Area and Northern California. The three episodes span key aspects of its history, which involved grassroots organizing; drawing on youthful energy and the expertise from older, larger environmental groups such as the Save the Redwoods League; management of invasive species; competition with developers for land; reintroduction of endangered species; the role of artists in the movement; and the potential fate of the area as the organization battles climate change.

For more interviews on the history of parks and environmental movements, check out the projects on the East Bay Regional Park District, natural resources, and the Sierra Club.

As you are listening to the podcast, we hope you’re lucky enough to get some time to visit some green space near you and appreciate the wonders all around us.

One of the things we’ve also been doing this summer is moving house to a brand new website. However, there are currently no automatic redirects from our old site, so please bookmark our new home page. It will take a while for this new site to come up in search engines, so that will be the best way to reach our great content for now. You can go directly to our blog here.

Luella Lilly at her desk, holding up a piece of paper
Dr. Luella Lilly, the Cal Women’s Athletics Director, 1976–1992

And as this summer and recent events turn our attention both to sports and women’s rights, one of our student editors William Cooke  has written a piece on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex at schools that receive federal funds, and its impact on athletics at UC Berkeley. 

Stay tuned for our next newsletter in August!

Happy summer!