Project Leadership

Howard Levin, Project Director and Director of Technology at The Urban School, taught history for 10 years prior to joining Urban in 1999. Howard was an interviewer for the Survivors of the Shoah visual history program, a Steven Spielberg-funded project that interviewed thousands of survivors throughout the world. Howard combines his oral history experience with technical knowledge to help ensure a successful final project. Howard also leads an annual week-long workshop for educators from around the country who want to learn the techniques of Telling Their Stories for their own institutions. More information at:

Deborah Dent-Samake cofounded the Telling Their Stories course for The Urban School, along with Howard Levin, and helps develop both content and methodologies. Deborah holds a master’s degree in clinical social work with an emphasis on using storytelling for therapy. She has taught the oral history course, as well as a number of other history classes at Urban for 14 years.

Vickie Malone is a teacher and guidance counselor at McComb High School in McComb, MS. She began her work with the McComb School District coordinating the district’s racial reconciliation project, leading to the formation of a Civil Rights Advisory Council and the first civil rights curriculum in the state of Mississippi. Vickie teaches the high school class in the civil rights curriculum, Local Culture. The semester-long course culminates in the gathering of oral histories of local elders who have participated in the grass roots efforts to bring equality to African Americans in the community.