Many have argued that stories are the most powerful form of human communication. They not only capture our lived experiences, they show us what’s possible.
As I watch the images from the front lines of the protests, and listen to the first-hand accounts of the suffering and indignities imposed on black people all over this country, I am reminded again of how important stories also are in the production of knowledge. Stories provide context. They humanize the numbers – and often provide a much more complete and robust explanation of what is happening in the world. Without stories, the human experience is pared down to a series of data points, logical formulas and “black or white” rationality. And that does not reflect who we really are.
Right now, especially, stories are the critical tools we need to understand each other. They give us a glimpse of what it’s like to walk in another person’s shoes. They foster empathy and learning. They transcend our differences and remind us of our shared humanity. They can be both heartbreaking and inspiring – and ultimately transformative.
As a white ally, I want to use my privilege and my skills as a storyteller to serve the black community. I want to listen and learn and share so that other white people can experience the transformation I did when I finally stopped and listened myself. I want to be a conduit for change and do the work that needs to be done.
If you or any of your friends or co-workers who are in service to the black community can use my skills in storytelling, media relations, message/issue framing, and communications I will humbly provide them at no cost on an ongoing basis. Please feel free to share and get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.