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STORYCENTER Blog

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

Filtering by Tag: center for digital storytelling

Challenging Stigma Online: The Impact of Being Forever Known for Your Private Tale – by Aspen Baker, Founder & Executive Director, Exhale

Root Barrett

We don't always want to be known for the most vulnerable or emotional story of our lives. New York Times best-selling author of How to Be Black, Baratunde Thurston, once asked his live audience not to tweet or record his telling of a personal story at a public venue because he's "not interested in that story blowing up and getting lots of YouTube hits. I'm not interested in being KNOWN for it...the idea of people streaming and live-tweeting and uploading this personal, intimate tale felt like a violation."

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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.”

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Youth in Papua New Guinea Speak Out About Sexual and Reproductive Health – by Julia Sidney Mayersohn, Marie Stopes Papua New Guinea

Root Barrett

World Contraception Day (September 26th) marked the premiere in Port Moresby of a collection of moving digital stories created by youth peer educators from around Papua New Guinea. The videos, which offer rare and thoughtful insights into deeply real issues that affect adolescents all over the world – peer pressure, first boyfriends, and fear of unwanted pregnancy – were shown to a theatre full of students and dignitaries, as well as members of the press and media, as part of a film festival organized by the United Nations. 

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Amy Hill: 2014 AHN Awardee

Root Barrett

Arts & Healing Network is delighted to present one of the 2014 AHN Awards to Amy Hill, storyteller, documentary filmmaker, public health consultant and co-founder of Silence Speaks. In 1999, after ten years working in community-based public health projects, Amy co-founded Silence Speaks, an international participatory media initiative offering a safe, supportive environment for telling and sharing stories that all too often remain unspoken. Silence Speaks surfaces personal narratives of struggle, courage and transformation and works to ensure that these stories play an instrumental role in promoting gender equality and human rights. Since 2005, Amy has continued to lead Silence Speaks and other global health and human rights-related projects as a staff member at the Center for Digital Storytelling. Amy has overseen the use of storytelling all over the world in places like Nepal, Ethiopia, Uganda, Brazil and more.

To learn more about Amy Hill, please visit the Silence Speaks web site where you can also watch some of the digital stories that have been recorded from around the world.

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The Power of Youth-Centered Advocacy – by Elizabeth Peck

Root Barrett

Editor’s Note: Elizabeth Peck is the Public Policy Director of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy, a partner on the “Hear Our Stories” project. A partnership of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the Care Center, the Center for Digital Storytelling, the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program at Hampshire College, the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy, the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the project aims to recalibrate the existing conversation about teen motherhood from stigmatizing young moms to promoting their sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.

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It’s time to talk and to listen – by Sally J. Laskey, National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Root Barrett

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and National Child Abuse Prevention Month in the U.S. I remember a time when Sexual Assault Awareness Month was mostly about talking for me. As a social justice activist trying to end sexual violence, there certainly has been a lot to talk about. I can still feel the vibrations from the first Speak Out against rape that I ever attended. Indeed, it moved me to continue to tell stories of resilience and resistance. I believe stories have power. Sharing them promotes healing. 

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