Sarah Loose Sarah Loose

Adjunct Faculty
The Department of Anthropology and Social Change
School of Consciousness and Transformation

Sarah K. Loose is an oral historian, popular educator, community-based organizer and mother of two young children who believes in the power of people’s stories as a catalyst for collective liberation. Originally from small-town Minnesota, she's worked for over 20 years to advance social movements from the highlands of El Salvador to the shores of the Pacific Northwest. Currently she serves as Senior Lead Organizer for Oregon’s Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (an organization she co-founded in 2006), and teaches an oral history-based course on Portland’s LGBTQ history at Portland State University.

Over the years, Sarah has directed multiple oral history projects: with popular educators from El Salvador who forged an autonomous education system for their community in the midst of a civil war, with immigrant leaders in the suburbs of Washington DC who engage historical memory to support transnational organizing, with grassroots leaders dismantling white supremacy and advancing democracy in rural and small town Oregon, with domestic workers from throughout Latin America, and with Latinx and indigenous immigrant parents exploring the impacts of migration and anti-immigrant policies on their experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, infant-feeding and child-rearing.

As a community organizer, Sarah has worked with groups such as the Highlander-inspired Jefferson Center for Education & Research, the Rural Organizing Project (ROP), and the Oregon Coalition to Stop Wage Theft.

A desire to bring together her practices of oral history and organizing led Sarah to co-found the national network, Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change in 2011. She continues to serve on Groundswell’s Core Working Group, and facilitates workshops on the use of oral history as a tool for movement building.

Sarah holds a B.A. in History from Yale and an M.A. in Oral History from Columbia.

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