Frequently Asked Questions

What is Voices from Our America?

VFOA is a project dedicated to collecting, preserving, and disseminating forgotten, hidden, or unknown stories of American experiences. We believe that the story of America, and of any particular nation within America, cannot be truly captured and told if so many voices are left out. VFOA seeks to raise the volume of these voices from faint whispers to a place of powerful and deliberate expression through two core dimensions:


  • The first gathers oral and life histories through interviews and conducts archival research with and on specific populations.
  • The second component seeks to collaborate with individuals, schools, and community groups, using new primary sources created through interviews as a way to educate people about each community’s rich and important history.

VFOA’s materials, models, and methods aim to round out America’s story and by doing so provide a venue through which students, faculty, community members, and institutions can work collaboratively to advance local and hemispheric knowledge, connectedness, and cooperation. Through curriculum development, community education workshops, and research initiatives, we aim to advance understanding across the cultural, generational, and inter-American complexities that constitute life in Our America.

What does VFOA do?

VFOA currently consists of three main projects involved with the following communities: Panamanians of West Indian DescentMiddle Tennessee Worldviews, and Black Women Travelers.



Who are the interviewees?

To learn more about our respondents, please see a selection of biographies and interview clips.

Who is involved with VfOA?

VFOA is a collaborative project involving our team members, faculty advisory board, stakeholders council, sponsors, a number of schools, organizations, and faculty partners, and the effort of participating teachers and students. Read about the full team here.

How can I get involved with VFOA?

If you are interested in joining the team or bringing VFOA to your community, please contact us.

How can I share my story with VFOA?

Please let us know if you would like to share your story.

Where can I read more about VFOA and Panamanians of West Indian Descent?

For bibliographical material on Panamanians of West Indian descent, please visit the Bibliography.