Q: Who can participate in the follow-up questionnaire and interview?

Any resident of Cheyenne, Wyoming and the surrounding areas is welcome to participate in the questionnaire. Encourage your friends to participate, the more perspectives the better! Those who identify as white or partially white (including multiracial and biracial) are eligible to participate in a follow-up interview. We're not the ones who decide what race you are; if you would check the box for "white" on a survey question that asked you to list ALL the races or ethnicities you considered yourself to be, you're eligible to participate in a follow-up interview, and we'd love to have you get involved! 

Q: Why is this project being done?

The questionnaire is to help us more fully understand the attitudes, beliefs and, backgrounds of those who live in or around Cheyenne. According to the 2015 Census, 77% of Americans identify as "white," but there is often very little introspection or dialogue within communities about what "whiteness" means. If you choose to participate in the interview your will discuss your personal history and what it means to be white in America today.

Q: Why Cheyenne?

A: Study areas are selected using criteria based on city size, geographic location, racial composition, and historical relevance. Cheyenne, Wyoming was chosen specifically because of its historical and continued importance in the American West.

Q: How can I get involved in the project? What does it mean to participate in an interview?

A: You can take our questionnaire to let us know a bit about yourself. After completing the questionnaire, you may be contacted by a project team member to set up an interview, i.e. a loosely structured conversation that will likely last between one and two hours. Topics discussed may include your family and upbringing, how you came to identify as (fully or partially) white, and how you think about your future. The interview will be both video and audio recorded. You may also be asked to submit a photograph of yourself, or of a person, place, or experience that represents your unique identity.

If you have any further questions about participating in this project, please feel free to contact us directly by emailing cheyennestudy@columbia.edu or calling/texting 917-900-7966.

Q: What if I decide I don't want to participate in the project after all?

A: You can withdraw your consent at any point in the process of participating. You're the one in control. You can leave the questionnaire at any point. You can also decline to leave your contact information at the end of the questionnaire if you would not like to be selected for an interview. If you are selected for an interview, you can decline to be interviewed. You can stop us at any point during the interview, refuse to answer any question, and/or decide to end our conversation. You can also ask your interviewer to turn off the recorder at any point, and indicate if/when they can turn it back on. You can also ask us not to publish the transcript of your interview at any time during the 30-day transcript review period. 

Q: Will I be able to edit the transcript of my interview?

A: Yes. You will be provided with a transcription after your interview, and you will have 30 days (from the date you receive the transcript) to make edits to that transcript. Edits include crossing out sections of the transcript and making comments on the transcript.

This consent form provides information about oral history aspects of this project and explains what participation in the project entails. Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of interviews. If you are selected for an interview, you will be asked to read and complete this form before the interview can take place.

Q: What will happen to the information I give when I take the questionnaire? Who will have access to it?

A: Only the research team will have access to the personal information you provide on our screening questionnaire. We ask for your name and contact information on the questionnaire only so that we can get in touch with you to set up an interview. The information you provide on the questionnaire is mainly used to determine who we interview; if we use any of that information publicly (i.e. in a book, paper, or documentary movie, public dataset), it will be anonymous— nobody will be able to figure out it came from you.

You will also have the chance to review and edit your interview transcript (see question below) before it may be published to a general audience in the form of a video, a scholarly (journal) article, or possibly a book at some point in the future.  

Q: Where and when will interviews for the project take place?

A: We're still working on the details! Check back for more information, coming soon.  

Q: Will I be compensated for participating in the project?

A: While there is no monetary compensation for participating in this project, you will be able to keep the transcript of your completed interview. Your interview may also be used in the creation of a book and/or a nationally televised documentary film project. 

Q: Who are the researchers working on this project?

A: You can find our team here. We look forward to getting to know you!

If you have questions that aren't answered on this page, feel free to get in touch with the research team