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Listening for Community, March - April, 2017

Identifier: MOH

Scope and Contents

Three digitized conversations recorded at the Listening for Community recording booth.


  • March - April, 2017

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restriction.

Biographical / Historical

From campus-wide email from Amy Collier, dated March 13, 2017:

In an email last week, Katy Smith Abbott, Susan Baldridge, Miguel Fernandez, and Andi Lloyd called on the Middlebury community to “ask ourselves what is at stake for Middlebury, and what is our own stake in the work ahead” in the context of recent events on campus. Middlebury thrives when its sense of community is driven by a deep understanding of and respect for the many perspectives of members of our community. What is at stake in this moment is the strength of that sense of community. Story Corps founder, Dave Isay, says that “listening is an act of love.” We believe that listening is also an essential element of community. Listening attunes us to the complexity and diversity of each community member’s experience and helps us to empathize with each other. What transpired on March 2nd reminds us that fostering community takes intentional work, and that listening to and understanding each other is foundational to that work. As part of activities to restore the Middlebury community, we invite you to participate in a unique listening opportunity. We are creating a comfortable, intimate conversation space—a listening booth—that will help Middlebury community members to share their sense of community at Middlebury, the joys and challenges of community, and the community we envision as we look to the future. Through a series of guided questions modeled on the Story Corps format, 2-4 people can listen to one another and share their experiences of being part of the Middlebury community. The conversations will be recorded and some parts may be shared anonymously, with permission, as part of a community building event. Who should you invite to the listening booth? We encourage you to initiate conversations with people with whom you don’t interact regularly. For example, if you are a student, consider inviting a professor or staff member you know to the booth. This should be someone you know well enough to have some level of trust, but whose experiences with and views about the Middlebury community are unknown to you. Reach out and invite them to join you in the listening booth. Don’t worry about figuring out what to ask—we will provide a list of questions to guide your conversation. Why will the conversations be recorded? The conversations will be recorded so that some parts may be shared anonymously, with your permission, as part of a community building event. Your conversations about community will undoubtedly highlight or call into question what values we believe are part of the Middlebury community. We are planning an event later in the spring that encourages people at Middlebury to listen to those values, to hear what is important to other members of the community. That’s why we may ask if we can share parts of your conversation as part of a “listening” event.


3 Digital files (3 digital folders in AV MOH Middlebury Oral Histories)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Contact for access to digital files.

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States