KOSU’s Audio Diaries are a collection of first-person oral histories recorded by Oklahomans. The project was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to create a space for communities to gather and listen while physically apart. KOSU partnered with the Oklahoma Historical Society to record and archive the audio diaries. The production is also in partnership with America Amplified, a CPB-funded initiative to use community engagement to inform local journalism.
'Did I Make The Right Decision?'
Heidi Castro of Stillwater recently made the decision to put her 18-year-long career in education on hold due to COVID-19. In her audio diary for KOSU, Heidi talks about what she misses most about working and how her family is balancing one child being back in school, while the other is distance learning. She also talks about constantly questioning whether or not she made the right decision on not renewing her contract for this school year.
'In All Reality, We Live On A Thin Line'
After a long stint in the automobile repair industry, Micah Anderson went back to his familial roots of farming and selling produce in rural Oklahoma. In his audio diary for KOSU, Micah talks about how the COVID-19 pandemic has made his life busier as a farmer and the concerns he has for his handicapped daughter.
'I Wanted Someone To Tell Me It Was Going To Be Okay'
Brittney Matlock has had a lot of big changes in the past couple months. On top of having a baby and learning her husband was immunocompromised - she and her mother, who co-own a business in Oklahoma City, have had to decide how to operate their three locations during a global pandemic. In her audio diary for KOSU - she talks about the hard costs of being open and the difficulties behind requiring a mask for all staff and visitors.
'It's Difficult To Know If What We're Doing Is The Right Thing'
Michelle Smock is a small business owner in Norman. In her audio diary for KOSU, she discusses how anxious she felt when they initially closed down for two and a half months and how there wasn't a clear guide on how to open back up or what to do if an employee contracted COVID-19.
'I Really Hadn't Thought About Who Would Care For Me And My Well-Being Because My Mom Did That'
Jennifer Thomas is self-employed, 36-year-old black woman living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In her audio diary for KOSU, she discusses her fears and thankfulness for those around her while waiting for her results from the COVID-19 test she had on June 26th.
'It Gets Tiring Trying To Carve Out A Place For Myself'
Avery Marshall is a black trans man living and working in Tulsa. In the past several months, he has gone through a lot of change - working from home with his fiancé, postponing their wedding over COVID-19 concerns and recovering from top surgery. In his audio diary, Avery talks about the worries he has even in his regular tasks – like walking his dog, Chugg - and also how he feels about this particular Pride Month.