A Guide to Social Justice Storytelling

Edited by Claire Kiefer and Cliff Mayotte

Haymarket Books (November 2018)

Paper • ISBN-13: 9781608469581• US $19.95 • 5.5 in x 8.5 in• 280 pgs.


Oral history is a universal form of storytelling. For many years, Voice of Witness has shared powerful stories of people impacted by injustice with a broad audience of readers. Say It Forward extends this work, offering a guide for social justice storytelling that outlines the critical methodology at the core of Voice of Witness’s evocative oral history collections. Field reports such as “OG Told Me” and “Tales of Tar Sands Resistance” candidly detail how to harness the power of personal narrative to expose larger issues of inequality.


“Stories are humankind’s connective tissue, and Say It Forward reminds us the process through which we document a story is as important and powerful as the story itself.”

Lauren Markham, author of The Far Away Brothers

“Oral history changes lives. Claire Kiefer and Cliff Mayotte have made a profoundly clear, fluid, and accessible guide to doing your own oral histories, and teachers, students, and parents: I beg you to try it.”

Dave Eggers, Voice of Witness cofounder and author, The Monk of Mokha and What Is the What

Say It Forward is a useful guide for anyone new to recording the oral histories of vulnerable populations. Voice of Witness makes plain how to work with sensitivity, respect, and care.”

Danielle Jackson, cofounder, Bronx Documentary Center


Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary

Solito, Solita: Crossing Borders with Youth Refugees from Central America


Voice of Witness (VOW) advances human rights by amplifying the voices of people impacted by injustice. Cofounded by author Dave Eggers, writer and educator Mimi Lok, and physician Lola Vollen, the work of VOW is driven by the transformative power of the story, and by a strong belief that an understanding of crucial issues is incomplete without deep listening and learning from people who have experienced injustice firsthand.

Cliff Mayotte is the Education Program Director with Voice of Witness. He previously edited The Power of the Story: The Voice of Witness Teachers Guide to Oral History published in 2013 by Voice of Witness and McSweeney’s.

Claire Kiefer is the author of Bear Witness, forthcoming from Big Pencil Press in Fall 2018. She is a Voice of Witness curriculum specialist.


Please contact subagents for the following languages and territories:

Language/Territory Subagent
China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and VietnamBig Apple Agency
DutchSebes & Bisseling Literary Agency
English outside North AmericaDavid Grossman Literary Agency
FrenchDeborah Druba Agency
GermanPaul & Peter Fritz AG Literatur Agentur
GreekRead n' Right Agency
HebrewThe Deborah Harris Agency
ItalianBerla & Griffini Rights Agency
JapaneseThe English Agency (Japan) Ltd
KoreanBC Agency, or Korea Copyright Center
PortugueseRIFF Agency
Russia/Baltics/Eastern EuropePrava I Prevodi
Scandinavia Sebes & Bisseling Literary Agency
Spanish in Latin AmericaInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
Spanish in SpainInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
TurkishAnatolialit Agency

For all other languages/territories, please contact Roam Agency.