A project of Brooklyn Historical Society

Sady Sullivan

Interviewer, Scholarly and Community Advisor

Sady Sullivan, Curator for the Columbia Center for Oral History, is the creator of the Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations (CBBG) project and former Director of Oral History at Brooklyn Historical Society where she managed new oral history projects as well as preservation of BHS's oral history collections dating back to 1973.  Sady is interested in how oral history can empower individual agency in the present, while documenting complex social history and concepts of identity for future generations. She is glad that Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations opens up space for racial justice dialogues in Brooklyn. 

At BHS 2006-2014, Sady led nine oral history projects and conducted life history interviews with over 300 people. For the past five years, she has interviewed 57 elementary school-age children in Brooklyn each year for a longitudinal collectionIn addition, she managed the preservation of BHS's legacy oral histories, 12 projects dating back to 1973, many of which are newly digitized and accessible for listening. BHS's oral history collections now total over 1,200 interviews and continue to grow through new projects and acquisitions. 

Sady presents frequently on the subject of oral history, particularly issues surrounding accessibility, to history students, teachers, and archivists at schools and conferences, and she taught an oral history seminar at the Brooklyn Historical Society and workshops for community oral historians embarking on their own projects. In addition, Sady worked with curators and educators at BHS to produce audio for exhibitions, K-12 and post-secondary curricula, walking tours, and podcasts, bringing voices of history into current cultural conversations.

Her work is influenced by the Buddhist practice of deep listening, and formative experiences at three feminist institutions: The Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies and Wellesley Centers for Women and Babeland. Sady has radio experience, both pre- and post- podcast era, and Chuck D once said she did a good job on the 1s and 2s. Sady received a Master’s in Cultural Reporting & Criticism from NYU and a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Women’s Studies from Wellesley College.