Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn Historical Society awarded $15K grant for Crown Heights oral history project

July 20, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) has received a Nissan Foundation grant to help fund “Voices of Crown Heights,” a multi-year oral history project that focuses on the history and future of Crown Heights. Shown are present day residents of Crown Heights, enjoying the neighborhood. Photo: Copyright © 2015 Alicia Atterberry, courtesy of Brooklyn Historical Society
Share this:

Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) announced that it is a 2016 recipient of a Nissan Foundation grant. The grant will help fund “Voices of Crown Heights,” an oral history project that aligns with the Nissan Foundation’s mission of promoting the value of cultural diversity and building inclusive communities.

Launched in 2016, “Voices of Crown Heights” is a multi-year project that focuses on the history and future of Crown Heights, a neighborhood that has taken on continued national significance in conversations about ethnic relations, racial justice and urban renewal. “Voices of Crown Heights” acknowledges and affirms Crown Heights residents’ voices and their power to tell their own stories.

Through oral history interviews, a web-based listening portal and curated digital exhibit, listening stations based at BHS and in Crown Heights, podcasts, public conversations and listening sessions, “Voices of Crown Heights” seeks to immerse diverse audiences in unheard voices of the past and present that challenge any singular linear narrative of Crown Heights’s history. 

“We thank the Nissan Foundation for their support in helping ‘Voices of Crown Heights’ cultivate a more inclusive and tolerant borough,” said Deborah Schwartz, president of BHS. “Brooklyn is home to residents who represent a wide variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. We are proud of our role as an institution that is committed to conducting oral history in tandem with community, and in valuing the work of listening and dialogue.”

This year marks the fourth time that BHS has received a grant from the Nissan Foundation. It is one of 27 recipients to be selected this year.  

Additional funding for “Voices of Crown Heights” has been granted by The New York Community Trust and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

“With ‘Voices of Crown Heights,’ we offer our neighbors opportunities to listen, reflect and share their stories about the complexity and nuance of urban life, past, present and future. This project is about making history, while creating opportunities for thoughtful, constructive discourse,” said Schwartz.

To learn more about “Voices of Crown Heights,” visit


Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment