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The Personal History Initiative aims to tell New Yorkers’ stories. What challenges do you face? What obstacles have you overcome? How do current events factor into your everyday life?

Submitted by NYSL Staff on 2020-06-15

This month as New York starts to re-open many of us are heading back to our offices and workspaces after two or three months of telecommuting or being furloughed. Most of us are encountering new safety measures, reduced staffing, and desks that seem like time capsules from the last time we saw them.

As we start this phase of re-opening some things you may wish to document in your journal are:

  • What, if anything, has changed for you at work?
  • How do you feel about going back to your workplace? Is it stressful or are you happy to get out of the house?
  • What did you miss most about your workplace?
  • What is something you'll miss about telecommuting?
Submitted by NYSL Staff on 2020-06-05

For future historians to know and understand this time in history it is vital that every voice possible is included. This is especially true for historically unheard voices. Your perspective is needed, your voice is important, your experiences will show a fuller picture of life in New York at this time.

Marsha P. Johnson (1945-1992) is a clear example of someone who represents several historically unheard groups. A black transgender woman who dealt with mental health issues and was economically disadvantaged, Marsha was an outspoken gay liberation and AIDS activist who protested in the vanguard at the Stonewall riots in 1969. Following Stonewall Marsha and her friend Sylvia Rivera founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), an organization which sought to help homeless gay youth. Marsha was also a member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), a group working to end the AIDS pandemic.