Breakthrough Urban Ministries, a community based organization that provides social services on Chicago's West Side, and the Chicago History Museum collaborated on this oral history project. The Museum worked with Breakthrough's Film Crew, a group of nine young people from East Garfield Park and other West Side communities, to conduct these interviews. Breakthrough and the East Garfield Park Youth Collaborative recruited most of the narrators. Norvel Jefferson was born in Chicago in 1958. He recounted his life growing up on the West Side and the impact his mother, Nancy Jefferson (1923-1992), had on the area. She was admired as the "Mother of the West Side" and headed the Midwest Community Council and other organizations.