Storytelling moves people to do great things. Our campaigns have allowed women and girls to speak up (both anonymously and with their names), when previously many women and girls have been afraid to do so in public. They feared social ostracism and resisted being labeled as victims. Our work has also allowed men to speak up about their views on FGC.Read More
We are pleased to present posts by StoryCenter staff, storytellers, colleagues from partnering organizations, and thought leaders in Storywork and related fields.
Working With Student Stories to Challenge Oppression on Campus: An Interview with Deandra Cadet, Director of InterAction
I still remember the feelings of inspiration and challenge I had, sitting in the audience of Show Some Skin: The Race Monologues my freshman year at Notre Dame. I was blown away by real, vulnerable, and diverse experiences of students at my own university on race, exclusion, and invisibility. Those stories challenged my own preconceived notions about how racism affects the way we move throughout the world.Read More
I remember where I was when I heard the news about our current President-elect making comments about his ability to grab women's crotches without consequence. I remember it because, like so many other women, I’ve experienced this kind of groping, at the hands of an entitled male. For me, it was when I was 12. I'm still wondering how to talk about all of this with my feisty eight-year old daughter.Read More
It wasn’t until the Project SURVIVE storytelling workshop at StoryCenter that I was able to openly and honestly talk about what had happened. I feel that there are a lot of people who have experienced something similar to what I went gone through, and I just couldn’t be silent anymore. I didn’t want this to have power over my life any longer!Read More
I witnessed my own evolution, from the insecure photographer to the confident one. I saw how the chains from within were holding me back, and when other doors opened, I walked right in. I have a story, and it is being told. I really hope all women can hear it. I hope they will be braver to be what they want to be.Read More
When I was in kindergarten, I remember befriending other first or second-generation American children, who like me, were silently confused. Imagine being surrounded by kids your age and a teacher who doesn’t speak your language and doesn’t know your culture. Some days, I came home in tears, grieving for the challenge my parents had presented to me– an American birth and an Afghan background.Read More
Bost Restaurant is a social enterprise owned and managed by Afghan women. The woman who founded it, Mary Akrami, is a longtime advocate for women’s rights, and the wait staff are survivors of gender-based violence.Read More
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about the women who inspire and empower me. The one woman who has always made me proud to be an Afghan woman is my mother, and this childhood memory illustrates exactly why.Read More
Project News: Putting the “Public” Back into Public Health Through Our Work With the Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center
A story provides a connecting point. Data and statistics are an important part of public health, but so is storytelling. One of the elements that has been exciting about our work with StoryCenter is the opportunity to provide public health professionals with additional tools for the public education and health promotion work they do.Read More
Once in awhile, I get a project that re-invents my commitment to the role of the arts, and storytelling, in building communities. When you have been at something for 35 years, you need those booster shots.Read More
Last April, StoryCenter collaborated with the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) and the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco on a digital storytelling workshop with a group of immigrant and refugee youth attending Mission High School in San Francisco. These young people had been organizing an all high school youth-led social justice leadership project over a period of 12 months with support from their adult allies.Read More
I went to my first StoryCenter digital storytelling workshop in August of 2014, at the old Lighthouse Writers Building in Denver. It was a summer I will not soon forget. I’d just learned of my sister’s diagnosis of stage four lung cancer, the same disease that had claimed my mother’s life barely a year before.Read More
Human rights are, at their core, about caring—caring about other human beings, caring enough to mitigate and account for suffering, and caring enough to create legal remedies to cruelties that too commonly occur.Read More
For four years, the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (API-GBV) has been leading the Gathering Strength project (GS), which holds an overarching theme of storytelling as it supports California’s API immigrant and refugee communities in ending violence. In August of 2016, project advisors and participants came together for 2.5 days, to strengthen and expand the GS community, honor and celebrate individual and collective accomplishments, and co-create a bold vision for the next phase of this work.Read More
As an Afghan woman myself, in these stories I find bits and pieces of my own life and the lives of women I have lived and worked with. Spoken in plain language, the authenticity of these stories is like a breath of fresh air in a world where the diversity of Afghan women’s own voices is often missing from conversations that others have about us.Read More
Traditional and cultural norms in South Africa, coupled with the legacy of the systemic, state-sanctioned violence of Apartheid over generations, has fueled a society with one of the world’s highest rates of sexual and gender-based violence against adolescent girls and young women. The nature of patriarchy is long-standing and profoundly embedded in the country, and women’s stories are often forgotten and untold.Read More
No big deal, I thought. As a historian, I pretty much write and tell stories for a living.
But then the story specialists at StoryCenter taught the other institute participants and I *how* to write a script for digital storytelling, and I began eyeing the door. Not because it was too big or difficult, but because it was so small and succinct. How was I going to tell a full story worth hearing in fewer than 250 words? I've probably written longer sentences than that!Read More
In June 2014, the Marie Stopes International Ghana No Yawa project collaborated with the Center for Digital Storytelling’s Silence Speaks program to organize the first-ever digital storytelling workshop in Ghana. The workshop brought nine young people from regions around the country together to share stories about their sexual and reproductive health.
Stories created during the five-day workshop were recorded in seven different local languages- a record number of different languages in a single workshop, in the 21-year history of the Center for Digital Storytelling. The young people who participated told personal stories of surviving and thriving in the aftermath of economic hardship, difficult relationships, teenage pregnancy, sexual assault, and sexually transmitted infections. Their powerful stories took shape as short films. The stories offer youth-friendly information, open up sensitive topics, and illustrate the need for improvements in adolescent sexual health services.Read More
"Honestly, that's the essence of Food Sovereignty: when you're growing your own food, you're controlling the production of your food, you're controlling everything about it. To me, that also ties in to land ownership.
The Lower Nine once had the highest Black home ownership rate in the entire city and one of the highest around the country, over sixty-five percent. I think the tragedy is that so many people lost not just their homes, but their property, their land. If you have land, you can build a house on it, you can grow food on it. It's yours and no one can tell you to leave.
I think we play sort of a small part in the larger picture of the food justice efforts. For me, it's very important for our community to honor positive, cultural values and the idea of self-reliance, the idea of health and close-knit community. During our programming, we've never really called out issues of Food Justice, or even really used that terminology, except with our youth interns. But it is there.
I led a training this past season that was specifically about Food Justice so the kids could understand the concepts. I feel like we're teaching the essence of Food Justice through influencing or reintegrating this idea of valuing quality food as a cultural tradition."Read More
"In the 90's there was a discerned effort to figure out why communities, like West Oakland, were having specific elevated health issues – with assumptions food access, nutrition education, diet were correlated to ill health. So researches would come through, do these surveys and say, "Hey, you’re sick. You don't have access to healthy food." Community would be really bothered because they were like, "Obviously we know that. We live that every day" . . . After more thorough findings, there was a group of residents that asked, "Okay. This is more thorough information, but we're still talking about the problem. What are possible solutions?" This led to a planning grant to do some thinking with residents, some local agencies and other Community Based Organizations (CBO). This effort became the foundation of our work now. Our core question was, “How do we increase access to healthy food in our community, but do it in a way that also builds local economy?"Read More