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Public Health Webinar Series

Public Workshops

Public Health Webinar Series

Emily Paulos

Workshop Details
Level Foundational
Prerequisite None
Length 2 hours
Time 10am Pacific Standard Time/1pm Eastern Standard Time
Location Online
Capacity 100
Tuition $75 per session; $300 full series.

Storytelling and participatory media are powerful, multi-dimensional tools for public health research, strategic communication, community mobilization, and advocacy. For the past 20 years, StoryCenter has been supporting academics, educators, and advocates in understanding how first person narrative and digital media production can advance a broad range of public health and social justice goals.

Digital Storytelling for Community-Based Public Health: A Five-Part Webinar Series is offered every other month, from April through December.  Each session is two hours. The series is offered at a discount off the individual webinar price.

This webinar series includes:

  • Session 1: Digital Storytelling for Public Health: A Unique Workshop Model
  • Session 2: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling for Public Health
  • Session 3: Digital Storytelling and the Sensitive Story: Potentials, Pitfalls, and Case Studies
  • Session 4: Digital Storytelling and Public Health Research
  • Session 5: Engaging Viewers: A Continuum of Strategies for Distributing Health-Related Stories

View upcoming dates below.

Special Note:

This series of webinars is designed to familiarize people with our work and help them understand opportunities for collaboration; it is not a facilitator training program. Please contact us if you’re interested in exploring a customized public health webinar for your organization or talking about partnering with StoryCenter on a storytelling project.


Session 1 - Digital Storytelling for Public Health: A Unique Workshop Model

While “storytelling” has in recent years become a buzzword in public health, much-lauded for its transformative potential, few concrete models exist for supporting local community members in sharing their own compelling stories, as short videos.

StoryCenter has since the early 1990s been developing hands-on methods for bringing powerful, emotionally compelling public health stories to life. Our unique workshop processes can be tailored for a variety of audiences, settings, and available resources.

This webinar offers:

  • A brief introduction to the theory behind using personal stories in community-based public health contexts;
  • An overview of a typical digital storytelling process (Story Circle, script development, voice recording, and hands-on editing);
  • Exploration of our “Seven Steps of Digital Storytelling”; and
  • Hands-on practice in listening and story sharing

Session 2 - The Ethics of Digital Storytelling for Public Health

Community-based public health practitioners and researchers are in ever-greater numbers choosing to integrate digital storytelling methods into their work, and yet conversations about the ethics of asking individuals to share personal life narratives have not kept pace.

StoryCenter has pioneered a model for ethical practice that is applicable to a range of project goals and storyteller experiences. We continue to collaborate closely with public health colleagues, on bringing this model to the broader field.

This webinar, led jointly with University of Massachusetts faculty member Aline Gubrium, offers:

  • An in-depth look at our Guidelines for Ethical Practice
  • A practice-based analysis of how ethical decision-making plays out, based on case study references and examples; and
  • An opportunity for practitioners and researchers to share and discuss the ethical challenges they have faced, in the context of their community-based public health work.

Session 3- Digital Storytelling and the Sensitive Story: Potentials, Pitfalls, and Case Studies

If the role that sharing personal stories can play in emotional healing is so clear, why do few community-based opportunities exist for trauma survivors to connect with each other, share their experiences publicly, and demand justice?

Since 1999, StoryCenter has been partnering with behavioral health, grassroots survivor support, and advocacy organizations, to create compassionate listening environments where “sensitive” and stigmatized stories can be explored within local communities.

This webinar, led jointly with our Asian Women's Shelter colleague Orchid Pusey, offers:

  • An overview of the theory behind, and practice of, our approach to addressing trauma;
  • An honest look at case study examples, with attention both to the ways they have made a difference and the ways they might be improved; and
  • A guided, interactive conversation about the challenges of using digital storytelling to work with sensitive stories, in a community-based public health context, and the need to understand when alternative approaches may be appropriate.

Session 4 - Digital Storytelling and Public Health Research

As public health researchers continue to frame digital storytelling as a method of qualitative, community-based research, questions abound. What is an appropriate role, for a researcher? How can Institutional Review Board requirements be met? How can digital storytelling research projects truly effect change and promote social justice, at individual, community, and policy levels?

StoryCenter has collaborated closely with a broad range of public health colleagues, on research projects addressing an equally broad range of important public health issues. 

This webinar offers:

  • An overview of the myriad ways that public health researchers are using digital storytelling methods;
  • An analysis of the kinds of challenges that can arise when digital storytelling is part of a research agenda, such as IRB issues, university-community tensions, privacy concerns, and constraints on the distribution of stories; and
  • An interactive discussion about the future of digital storytelling, in the context of community-based public health research.

Session 5 - Engaging Viewers: A Continuum of Strategies for Distributing Health-Related Stories

Community-based public health organizations and practitioners are increasingly aware of the need to build narrative approaches into their work, and although digital storytelling is now widespread in the field, thoughtful approaches to story distribution remain in short supply.

As Internet access and the use of social media platforms continues to proliferate, StoryCenter addresses the question of story sharing with careful attention to how stories can effect change, engage communities, and promote social justice.  

This webinar offers:

  • An in-depth look at a story distribution continuum, which looks at the impact stories can have on individual behavior, social norms, and policy;
  • Examples of how public health organizations have used this continuum to push their community engagement efforts in local settings and online; and
  • A conversation about what anecdotal evidence and research say, when it comes to the role that watching and listening to digital stories can play in improving public health.

Upcoming dates