They Don’t Know Our Stories


Jane Presenting 2 (2)I had the enormous privilege of working last week with Joe Lambert, the founding director of the Center for Digital Storytelling.   We ran a workshop for 9 people who had come from across the country to learn to create digital stories.  They gathered so that they might better know themselves and be known.  They told rich and moving stories of every day life, of those they love, and of transformative moments in their lives.  They worked with an intensity that is common in these workshops to create a story in which their audience would see, hear and feel the many layers of their stories.

On the first morning, Joe said “We no longer live among those who know our stories”.

I thought about how relevant that statement is for First Generation Students who arrive on campus as strangers, whose lives and experiences are not represented in the books or class discussions, who may learn as they realize their differences to simply stay silent.

I believe strongly that knowing the stories of all student enriches everyone.  I believe that we learn more about the range of human experiences,  more about opportunity and obstacles to success, more about making higher education accessible.

I’ve written here before  about our First Generation Students: Telling our Stories project.

We have 10 days to go, and still almost $2500 to raise.

We’d love to blast through that goal to take our workshops to more campuses, at no cost to the students or those who support them.

We love generous donations of $5.   We have loved the generosity of those for whom success in school has translated into economic security.   We have been gratified when people have shared our project with others who would want to be part of creating First Generation Student Stories.

We cannot wait to see what the next 10 days brings.  We know that we’ll be hearing rich stories of Being First.

Will you join us?




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