Human Rights in Texas: Introducing the Texas After Violence Project (TAVP)

Happy new year!  The HRDI has some exciting projects lined up for 2010, including the public online launch of testimonies gathered and produced by the Texas After Violence Project.

As you may have noticed on our “About the HRDI” page, we established our latest partnership with the Austin, Texas based non-profit organization, Texas After Violence Project (TAVP).  TAVP collects oral history testimonies from people “directly touched by serious violence, the criminal justice system, incarceration, and executions in Texas” in order to “promote collective, critical, and constructive conversations about effective ways to prevent and respond to violence” and to “work toward a more just and less violent Texas: a society that recognizes and affirms the dignity and value of every human being.”

To date, TAVP has collected testimonies from family members and intimate friends of executed persons, family members and intimate friends of murder victims, media witnesses to executions, law enforcement officials, defense lawyers (including former prosecutors), and clergy.  The TAVP collection consists not only of these recorded video testimonies, but also the corresponding transcripts and supplementary materials such as photographs and legal pleadings.  The TAVP testimonies provide rich insight into the human impact of the death penalty in Texas and will be useful for human rights activists, researchers, policy makers, historians, criminologists, psychologists, sociologists and community members interested in how to effectively respond to and prevent violence.  Click here for a sneak peek at some of these videos.

In order to make this valuable collection accessible, Meghan Currey, a second year Master’s student at the UT School of Information, will be working with the HRDI and TAVP to input the videos into Glifos.  Glifos will allow us to index videos and sync them with their transcripts in order to provide a deeper level of access for the user.  (For an example of what this looks like, check out this video of Mike Wallace interviewing Eleanor Roosevelt that has been treated through Glifos.) We anticipate a public launch date of May 2010.

In the meantime, you can read what our friends at TAVP are saying about the project.