The Ethnic Life Stories Project
giving the Springfield community a window to its diversity through the life stories of ethnic elders

Very few of us are "native Americans". The United States is the creation of people from around the world, who came seeking freedom and a new life for themselves and their families. We are all individuals, the product of both our genetic makeup and our environment. We are a nation of diversity.

Many of us are far removed from our brave ancestors who left behind the familiar to learn a new language, new customs, new political and social relationships. We take our status as Americans for granted. We sometimes forget to welcome the newcomer. We bypass the opportunity to ask about their origins and their own journeys of courage.

Jim Mauldin of Springfield has had an interest in the "newest Americans" since serving in Europe during World War II. The Ethnic Life Stories Project is Jim's brainchild, his way of appreciating and honoring our ethnic diversity, and his legacy to our community. These storytellers, your neighbors, have recorded their life stories with the help of volunteer story keepers. Here you will meet doctors, professors, business owners, merchandisers, artists, teachers, scientists and workers. They all enrich the life of our community. We bid them welcome and we thank them for opening their lives to all of us.

Adobe PDF Document Read Ethnic Life Stories Online

You may read the printed stories at one of the following locations:

  • The Diversity Center at Drury University
  • The Springfield Public School System
  • The Springfield-Greene County Library District
  • The libraries of Drury University, Evangel University, Forest Institute of Professional Psycholgy, Ozarks Technical Community College, and MSU
  • The Senior Resource Center of the Southwest Missouri Office on Aging
  • Older Adult Services at St. John's Regional Medical Center

The Ethnic Life Stories Project is an independent, self-supporting project. More information about the project is available here. Drury University has provided accounting services and much encouragement for the project. We are so grateful to them.

For further information, call 889-2217, or e-mail Project Coordinator, Jim Mauldin,


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