Oral history interview with Tacoma resident Lorenzo Cervantes conducted by dindria barrow on August 23, 2022. In this interview, Lorenzo talks about his passion for HIV Prevention as well as education overall. Lorenzo describes how education was the primary way that his life changed and that it was a gift given to him by his immigrant parents. He knew at a young age that he loved differently and was gay. He also knew about injustice at a young age because he was ignored for not speaking English or looking white. Lorenzo leaves us with this advice: “A child needs advocates when they go to school… Education is key for everything…a way of getting out of poverty…we need to support our youth to be able to have the schooling that they deserve to have. [and] About HIV right now, is that we don’t hear about it as much as we should; it’s still an epidemic…talk about it with your friends, talk about it with your family, and even with your mom.” Lorenzo is the Prevention Director of the Pierce County AIDS Foundation (PCAF).
Oral history interview with Tacoma resident Anita Latch conducted by dindria barrow on August 30, 2022. In this interview, Anita outlines the places she calls home using artwork that her daughter created of locations Anita has lived in. Her grandparents had a farm near Traverse City, Torch Lake, Michigan. She watched trains pass by in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. She lived in a ground floor apartment in Nerburgh, New York after living in Wallkill near Woodstock. Anita’s dad drove the family on Interstate 80 in a Super 88 to McChord Air Force Base and Spanaway, Washington. She remembers listening to a transistor radio in the back of the car during the trip. Anita left home at 15 years old and hitchhiked to Grants Pass, Oregon. She went to college in Redlands, California and then learned silversmithing in Jerome, Arizona. Anita also spent time in Tahiti when her daughter was young. She moved around often between her homes. Anita is a traveler, a journalist, a teacher, a political advocate, and an artist with many life stories. She has been a Precinct Committee Officer and has served on the Tacoma Civil Service Board. “Democracy is not a spectator sport!” Anita declares towards the end of her interview, “so, get involved in voting for each election.” Her openness and honesty are palpable in this oral history and there is some strong language and adult content.
Oral history interview with Tacoma resident Tom Stenger conducted by dindria barrow on October 20, 2022. In this interview, Tom Stenger shares his family history going back four generations in Tacoma. Tom is a third generation Stadium High School alumnus and received his law degree from the University of Washington. Tom discusses his early years, working as a janitor in college at the University of Puget Sound, and his time serving on the Tacoma City Council. Tom has lived in Tacoma all of his life and, specifically, in the Hilltop neighborhood since buying a house in 1985. Tom has been interested in history ever since he was 14 years old and is the living co-founder of the Tacoma Historical Society.
Demonstrators show their support for the La Girls show by holding signs. After being cancelled at three Tacoma-area locations, the La Girls show was performed at the Sherwood Inn. The event brought both supporters and opponents of the La Girls show.
Oral history interview with Tacoma resident Candria Slamin conducted by dindria barrow on January 7, 2023. In this interview, Candria shares their story about coming to know themself over time. Even though Candria admits they have a long way to go in realizing where they will be in the future, they explain how identifying who they are is crucial to moving forward. “You can only be who you are, because of where you’re from.” In other words, you must know where you come from to figure out where you are going and who you truly are. Candria shares their work with the Rainbow Center and their work life thus far during the global pandemic. Candria also discusses how the past and the future can have dark parts along with bright parts—that life has an ebb and flow. “Not everyone’s race is at the same pace. I’m not running their race, I’m running mine.”
Oral history interview with Tacoma resident Chace Hunter conducted by dindria barrow on August 25, 2022. In this interview, Chace talks about his family immigrating to Hilltop, Tacoma in 1993, then moving to South Tacoma in 1998, graduating from Western Washington University as well as University of Washington-Tacoma and then buying a home in Hilltop as an adult. Chace’s family fled Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge and were refugees in Thailand before coming to Tacoma. He is bilingual and has been married to his husband for six years. Chace has a passion for poetry, psychology, non-profits and nursing. Chace fell in love with his HIV Prevention work and is now the executive director of the AIDS Housing Association of Tacoma (AHAT Homecare). AHAT Homecare provides 24-hour home care, affordable housing/case management, and rental vouchers to the local HIV+ community. To paraphrase Chace: “I love giving back to the community, especially during a time of houselessness, and helping to provide homes to people in need.”
Oral history interview with Tacoma resident Cody Bakken conducted by dindria barrow on March 18, 2023. In this interview, Cody shares his opinions on life and work. Cody believes it is important to be passionate about something and that apathy is his worst enemy. His many passions have led him to many possible futures. He says, “We don’t grow until we leave our boundaries.” He wants to help fix the world because it is we who broke it; and he hopes to earn a position in public administration because local government is where change can be made. Cody wants us to take the burden of difficult issues and turn them into a responsibility to do better in the world.