Event Title

Storytelling & Healing: A Student-Led Community Building Initiative through Narrative and Art

Date

4-9-2022

Location

Schewel 2nd Floor Lobby

Description

In colleges and communities today, there is a need for spaces that promote inclusive dialogue and understanding, equipping individuals with self-compassion and mobilized empathy for others. Storytelling & Healing is a student-led initiative that seeks to build a platform for creative self-expression, growth, and resilience within the Richmond community through dynamic processes of narrative. Since our founding, we have facilitated virtual readings and exhibitions of student work, discussion groups, and guest lectures on topics of mental health, minority justice, women in media, and COVID-19. Our current initiative is an ongoing empowerment writing workshop with women's homes under REAL Life, a nonprofit serving individuals experiencing houselessness, in recovery from substance use, and those who have been incarcerated. In a workshop model, we employ creative writing techniques, visualization, and the storytelling arc to develop coherent narratives of recovery. Through the development of workshops, key aspects of the “re-authorship process” have emerged, including establishing community norms, identifying hidden points of tension within expressed and internalized language, and confidential group sharing to empower the individual and collective voice. We would like to present the significance of building narrative spaces and how such practices can be translated into student-led workshop models across disciplines.

Presentation Type

Poster

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Storytelling & Healing: A Student-Led Community Building Initiative through Narrative and Art

Schewel 2nd Floor Lobby

In colleges and communities today, there is a need for spaces that promote inclusive dialogue and understanding, equipping individuals with self-compassion and mobilized empathy for others. Storytelling & Healing is a student-led initiative that seeks to build a platform for creative self-expression, growth, and resilience within the Richmond community through dynamic processes of narrative. Since our founding, we have facilitated virtual readings and exhibitions of student work, discussion groups, and guest lectures on topics of mental health, minority justice, women in media, and COVID-19. Our current initiative is an ongoing empowerment writing workshop with women's homes under REAL Life, a nonprofit serving individuals experiencing houselessness, in recovery from substance use, and those who have been incarcerated. In a workshop model, we employ creative writing techniques, visualization, and the storytelling arc to develop coherent narratives of recovery. Through the development of workshops, key aspects of the “re-authorship process” have emerged, including establishing community norms, identifying hidden points of tension within expressed and internalized language, and confidential group sharing to empower the individual and collective voice. We would like to present the significance of building narrative spaces and how such practices can be translated into student-led workshop models across disciplines.