For years, Professor Rina Benmayor’s students at CSU Monterey Bay have worked to preserve memories of the residents of Salinas.
Students in her Oral History and Community Memory service learning classes have designed, conducted and archived oral histories focused on life stories and Chinatown memories of members of the Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Latino communities. They have also recorded memories of Salinas residents during key moments of 20th century history.
The work continued this semester with two projects that will be screened for the public, free of charge.
At 2 p.m., Dec. 9, interviews with homeless people and service providers who work with them will be screened at the Republic Cafe. They talked about the future of Chinatown and about the café as a cultural center and museum.
At 2 p.m., Dec. 11, excerpts of seven video interviews will be screened at the National Steinbeck Center. The interviews are intended to document and preserve residents’ memories of coming to Salinas and the impact of World War II on individuals and the community. The stories deal with native culture, the Alisal, the USO and Main Street. Reservations are requested and can be made by contacting Elizabeth Welden-Smith at Elizabeth@steinbeck.org or 775-4728. The center is located at One Main St., Salinas.