An Excellent Example of the Power of Story

I facilitate a lot of workshops. I love doing it. There is nothing like watching and listening as story builds bridges, opens doors and develops community. My favorite experience, however, was a few years ago in San Antonio. It was a conference on inclusion and I was the keynote speaker and also presented two break out sessions. In my first break out session, “We Are Our Stories: How sharing stories builds community” the room was packed. Despite our emphasis on diversity and inclusion, the folk in the classroom were seated in clumps and groups of apparent similarity. I could almost draw a diagram from what I saw. But an amazing thing happened as we proceeded. The perceived differences between us seemed to melt away. The young woman with the nose rings and the older woman in the $500 suit were sharing stories from their similar childhoods. Jaded long-time teachers were recognizing themselves in the stories of young nuns from the local diocese. Artificial boundaries came down. Without preaching. Without exhorting. Without effort. Just by the simple power of sharing personal stories. ┬áIn this video I tell a little bit about it.

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Creating in Community

As a part of my MA in Creativity Studies I am doing an Arts-based inquiry project on creating in community. I’ve invited several creative people I know from around the country to join me on Facebook and share a piece of art that I can respond to creatively. There are poets, painters, textile artists, dancers, musicians…. It’s a great mix! I won’t share the work they have shared with me, but I will post a painting I did at the end of the year in response to a very talented poet/painter from Chicago. I’m so inspired to do more!

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