Housing Justice Lab: Lynn Lewis, Oral History as a Tool for Social Justice, September 29, 2022
Lynn Lewis works at the intersection of community organizing, oral history and popular education, focusing on documenting grassroots leadership in social justice movements. Currently, she teaches the Advanced Seminar in Urban and Public Policy and Homelessness and Public Policy course in the Milano School. She received her MA in Oral History from Columbia, after working with Picture the Homeless in a range of roles. She founded the Picture the Homeless Oral History Project with long time homeless leaders of the organization to document their work, exploring what that history means to the homeless leaders who shaped it. She is the recipient of an inaugural NEH/OHA Fellowship (2022/2023) for her work on the Picture the Homeless Oral History Project. She is inspired by revolutionary struggles in the U.S. and internationally to construct justice, and is a mother and a grandmother residing in NYC. Her book, Women Who Change the World, a collection of oral history interviews with community organizers will be published in 2023 by City Lights Publishers.
Previously, Lynn served as the Executive Director of Picture the Homeless for seventeen years. She has served on boards seeking to address solutions to homelessness, including as a founding board member of the East Harlem/El Barrio Community Land Trust, a founding steering committee member of the New York City Community Land Initiative, and Communities united for Police Reform, and previously served as a board member of the National Coalition for the Homeless. She has appeared on many panels regarding the root causes of homelessness and public policy solutions and the importance of homeless leadership in solving the housing crisis.