Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

STORYCENTER Blog

We are pleased to present posts by StoryCenter staff, storytellers, colleagues from partnering organizations, and thought leaders in Storywork and related fields.

Updates from StoryCenter's Public Health Programs - Summer 2015

Emily Paulos

New Public Health Webinar Series
For many years, the StoryCenter has been supporting researchers and community practitioners as they explore how storytelling can enhance public health promotion. This year, we share some of our best public health strategies through a series of new, two-hour webinars.

Stories for Food Justice
We at StoryCenter are excited to share a beautiful set of academic and community stories about paths to food justice, created through a collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture-funded Food Dignity project.

Seeding New Conversations about Sexual and Reproductive Health … in the United States and Abroad
Have you wondered when young people’s stories and voices will be taken seriously, when it comes to public conversations about sexual and reproductive health?

Read More

Your Voice is Your Creativity: Building Safe Spaces for Creative Expression

Root Barrett

When I was seven years old, I was learning to draw by copying masterpieces. I had such confidence that I truly believed my drawings were superior. I look back on those drawings today and think “What naiveté”… and then I think, “How can I get that back?” How can I reclaim that belief in my ability to be stronger than my fear of how I might appear through others’ eyes?

Fast forward many years, and I’m sitting at my friend’s marathon poetry open mic, listening for five hours straight and never once participating. The entire time, an internal debate about whether I could or couldn’t write poetry ran through my head. I went home that night so frustrated that I chose to settle the argument by writing my first poem. The poem started like this: “You, yes You. Sitting there, just sitting there. I used to be you.” And from that moment on, the debate was over: I would not sit on the sidelines anymore; I would actively participate and learn to express my creativity. This was the start of my journey to what I call “reclaiming creative confidence.”

Read More

Like Roosters - History and Hope at Stonebridge Farm

Root Barrett

“I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up.”                      
--Thoreau, Walden

On a trip to Cuba a decade ago to research sustainable agriculture, I arrived too late at the guest hostel in the southern, rural part of the island to see much of the hills surrounding us with palm trees in a small valley. I got my chance early the next morning when I was awoken by not one, not two, but what sounded like hundreds of roosters crowing all around me. I dressed quickly and went outside to find that roosters roamed freely in this village, strutting as lustily as Thoreau’s chanticleer. Roosters are undoubtedly more intent on alerting other roosters to their territory than on signaling transformation, but in El Valle del Gallo, as I called this place, I witnessed the power of roosters crowing in unintentional symphony at the dawn of another day.

Read More

StoryCenter and Marie Stopes International: Stories of Sexual Health from Ghana

Root Barrett

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.

For many of the participants, the workshop represented the first time they had ever held a camera. After the group shared their stories, one participant, a No Yawa peer educator, said that even though she was sad to hear what others had spoken of, she was also moved to action. Another said “I am so humbled by all these stories. I always thought I went through the most terrible experience as a young boy until I heard others speak during the workshop. I feel so relieved after sharing my story, and I am happy I have shared it to help other young people.” 

Read More

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: "See That Woman Over There"

Root Barrett

"Ruthie Jordan shares her survivor of sexual assault experience through this compelling short film. She continues to stand for justice on a collective scale for all women – especially for Jini Barnum, a woman who is no longer present to stand and see her own justice transpire. Often times Deaf women are not aware of their rights when such assault occurs. Ruthie has produced this film to ignite hope and inspire courage within her community to stop allowing power play coercion acts to occur and advocate for yourself – YOU are worth it!"

Read More

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Personal Stories and Policy Education in Nepal

Root Barrett

From the moment I met Bandana Rana in 2008, I sensed that we would work together. She runs SAATHI Nepal, which has for nearly twenty years been challenging violence and injustice against women at all levels of Nepalese society. We talked about the importance of bringing stories told by survivors into human rights dialogues, about the power of visual media, about the possibilities for storytelling in Nepal. It took time, but three years later the vision became a reality, when I traveled this past October to Kathmandu to begin a SAATHI – Silence Speaks Digital Storytelling partnership on the Voices for Justice project.

Read More

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: "Listening . . . And Telling," a story by Elizabeth Ross

Root Barrett

In 2005 I was part of a group who produced stories about the impact of child sexual assault through StoryCenter’s Silence Speaks Initiative. Initially after viewing the stories at the end of the workshop, I felt curiosity and surprise at the immediacy of impact: I felt proud, visible, and necessary – quite different from how I had walked into the Berkeley lab feeling on the first day. What has become clear was that this process of internal re-structuring has continued to this day. Making Listening and Telling was the beginning.

Read More

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Voices from Around the Table

Root Barrett

It was a weeknight in March, too warm for the time of year. I wore a sweater anyway, because it was windy – wind always makes me feel nervous. I’d met him once before, at a dining hall. When I showed up at the party, he came right over. He was polite, and funny…he got me a beer, we danced…we talked around each other, like we weren’t sure. He kept re-filling my cup…and I kept drinking, like I often did, back then; it took some kind of edge off.

Read More

Sexual Assault Awareness Month - "Staci's Story"

Root Barrett

"My story is not something I try to forget.  It would be especially hard because I have written many papers and spoken at many different events about my story. That is why I was so excited to have another opportunity to share it - because spreading awareness of the issue is a passion of mine. When creating my digital story about my incident with sexual assault, I didn’t realize how many details from that night I had tried to block out of my mind. The process brought flashback after flashback from that night. I do have to say that even though the process was a difficult for me emotionally, I definitely enjoyed the process. Seeing a finished product of me telling my story in a way I never had before was somewhat relieving. Now I can continue my healing process knowing that other people can now truly understand what that night was like from my perspective, and how the small details can make such a huge impact on a survivor’s life."

Read More

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: It's On Us, It's In Us

Root Barrett

My story closely mirrors the story of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).  They are both about activism.  I was raised by activists and teachers. Some people (like my mother) would say that I have always had an agenda.  SAAM definitely has an agenda to prevent sexual violence. Working at the National Sexual Violence Resource, I am inspired by the activist stories I hear every day, but many people still feel very alone in this work. Digital storytelling is a vehicle for sexual assault prevention activists to capture their histories and build new futures.

Read More

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Fighting Violence through Story

Root Barrett

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month.  StoryCenter is currently recognizing the importance of speaking out about rape and abuse by sharing new and archived pieces from our blog. Today, MA candidate Marit Erdal shares her work on the power of story to prevent violence against women.

Read More

The Importance of Production: Beyond Community Practice and Process

Root Barrett

I think a lot about digital storytelling. That’s a given, since I work for the Center for Digital Storytelling (StoryCenter) and facilitate digital storytelling workshops. I probably ponder too much. Just ask my family and friends. I know my colleagues at StoryCenter and practitioners around the globe would agree; we’re always on about storytelling, constantly trying to provide the best workshop experience possible.

Lately my obsession has expanded from the practice and process of digital storytelling – why we make them and how they’re facilitated, to the form and function of digital stories – what they are (or can be) and how they work. It’s been refreshing and even imaginative to consider the ‘production’ of a digital story rather than merely what the story is about.

Read More

StoryCenter Webinar Featured on "Until The Lions"

Root Barrett

Did you miss StoryCenter's free public webinar, “How Storytelling and Participatory Media Can Support International Public Health and Human Rights Work”?  Stephanie Buck of Until The Lions, a blog on the use of storytelling in international development, has written a great recap of the webinar.  

Read More

The Real Family Project: Celebrating Birthdays, Finding Community

Root Barrett

Last week, I had a beautiful birthday.  I will admit that it was mostly due to Joe and  his beautiful community.  It is always weird to be the one entering a completely  new world.  Joe, in his letter about my birthday, mentioned the importance of that date for us.  It is the moment that this story really began.

For me, birthdays have always been troubling.  It is not because I am growing a year older.  I am oddly at peace with my age, and I probably should be after it has been made public through this project everywhere.  For an adoptee, a birthday is a memory of loss.  It is the one day a year that you remember completely and without question that you once belonged to someone else.

Read More

The Real Family Project: Being Thankful for Birthdays

Root Barrett

Every time I'm on Facebook I notice who is having a birthday.  Social media is mainly distracting, but that little convenience, being reminded about a friend's birthday, somehow balances out the distractions.  It feels great to say Happy Birthday to someone every day of the year.

I believe all lives deserve a shout out, at least once a year, if not 365, by a large number of people, who simply say, it is great you exist.

Tatiana turns 42 on Wednesday, November 26.  In 1972, that date was on a Sunday.  I imagine myself that weekend in 1972, aware that the birth mother was preparing to have a child, perhaps she had gone into labor the day before.  I had asked to be there, but perhaps the home where Tatiana was born was not so keen on the idea of the birth dad's being present, or perhaps it was decided by our parents it was not the best.  I know I never saw Tatiana at birth.  I wonder what that would have been like.

Read More

The Real Family Project: In Tatiana's Words

Root Barrett

A couple of weeks back, I accidentally kicked my son’s twenty-five pound weight. It still hurt a couple of weeks later, so I went to a doctor. At the doctor’s office, I was given the medical form to fill out. I realized that this was the first time in forty-one years that I actually could fill out this form. I had all of the information. I briefly wondered if I should call Joe.

This is what it means to be adopted.

Read More