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

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

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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Media Services – Digital Storytelling at Community College of Denver

Media Services – Digital Storytelling at Community College of Denver

As a learner-centered college, CCD continuously strives to improve student outcomes through innovative learning techniques.

Digital Storytelling has been demonstrated to increase students' engagement and retention, and has become an invaluable tool in our arsenal.

For more than 20 years, the Center for Digital Storytelling has worked in hundreds of colleges, universities, and K-12 school districts across the United States and around the world to introduce the multimedia curricula into the classroom. Students learning Digital Storytelling come to understand the art of collaboration, shared responsibility, and accountability for their projects.

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Amy Hill: 2014 AHN Awardee

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

The Power of Youth-Centered Advocacy – by Elizabeth Peck

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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Too Big to See – by Jamie Mayo

Too Big to See – by Jamie Mayo

Sometimes racism is so big you don't notice it. I grew up in an all white town. I didn't think about it much. It was just the way it was. It didn't mean anything. After all, we sang, "Jesus loves the little children, all the little children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight," every Sunday. And that's what I knew about diversity. But what I didn't know then was that it was an intentional racist act that ensured that my hometown was all white. By law, black people had to be out of town by sundown. Until 1968. And that is the way it was.

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Apogee MiC: A Review – by Ryan Trauman

Apogee MiC: A Review – by Ryan Trauman

STRENGHTS: Extremely Portable. Sounds fantastic. Great build quality. Cardioid pickup pattern. Device-powered.

WEAKNESSES: No headphone monitoring. Records one-person at a time. Price (though a good value).

RECOMMENDATION: For portability, durability, and sound quality, it’s a great option.

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Digital Storytelling Community Gathers in Athens To Discuss How the Crisis Has Shaped Our Work – by Joe Lambert

Digital Storytelling Community Gathers in Athens To Discuss How the Crisis Has Shaped Our Work – by Joe Lambert

On May 8-10, more than two dozen countries were represented at the Digital Storytelling in the Time of Crisis conference hosted by the Laboratory of New Technologies in Communication, Education and the Mass Media and the University Research Institute of Applied Communication of the University of Athens with the collaboration of the Hellenic American Union. 

Speakers were asked to situate their work against the backdrop of the sustained economic and social crisis of Europe and beyond. Greece has been amongst the hardest hit countries, with massive cuts in the public sector, and the decline of GDP, employment, and social programs reaching Great Depression levels. The University of Athens itself weathered a five month strike by administrators earlier in the academic year, forcing conference organizers to calibrate the conference ambitions appropriately.

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Hear Our Stories – Featured on Connecting Point

Hear Our Stories – Featured on Connecting Point

Last summer a group of young teen mothers from Holyoke participated in a program called Hear Our Stories: Diasporic Youth for Sexual Rights and Justice. The program was funded by the Ford Foundation and is the result of a partnership between WGBY, UMass Amherst, the Center for Digital Storytelling, and The Care Center in Holyoke. These women had an opportunity to share their story of becoming teen moms through the use of digital technology and on May 7th will share these stories with the public.

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

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

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."

After she wrote about her abortion experience in the The Texas Observer, Carolyn Jones was shocked to watch it "spread faster than a Texas wildfire" across the internet. She wrote later that sometimes she wakes "up in a cold sweat, shocked at what I've done. Not at having the abortion -- I'm at peace with the choice we made -- but at having written about the most private and painful of traumas." 

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An Audio Interface for the iPad: The Focusrite iTrack Solo – by Ryan Trauman

An Audio Interface for the iPad: The Focusrite iTrack Solo – by Ryan Trauman

Let’s be honest. An iPad, on its own, isn’t great for audio recording. The onboard microphone can’t possibly capture good quality audio, and there’s no effective way of monitoring your audio as your record it. And yet the iPad still holds some powerful allure for many digital storytellers. Believe me, I get it. The mobility. The build quality. The compact restraint of the tablet form. The tactility of the touch interface. The constant stream of fascinating new recording apps. It’s a wonder iPad audio recording hasn’t already taken off.

Enter the iTrack Solo digital audio interface from Focusrite. The iTrack Solo allows you to connect your own external microphone to your iPad and to monitor your audio input as you’re recording. What makes the iTrack Solo such a useful tool (or any external audio interface, really) is that the it does all the digital audio processing inside the unit itself before sending the audio data to the iPad.

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Sharing My Story – by Tracy Reed Foster

Sharing My Story – by Tracy Reed Foster

Sharing my story at the Transitions Clinic Network digital storytelling workshop last spring was an awesome experience. I didn’t know what to expect when I was asked to participate. I was nervous, and yet I knew this was something I needed to do.

The Story Circle became serious very fast, and empathy was shown very quickly. We all were able to share parts of ourselves and trust that we had to bond and hold each other up, pull each other through, and then choose to become connected. I have met friends for life. Even if I don’t see my storytelling family daily, I know they are there. Yes, I did call them family, because they loved me through my sharing. They embraced me when I talked about my story and revealed parts of me that not even my own relatives know, and as I write this, I smile warmly because I feel really good about my storytelling family. This magnificent process brought me back to a time when I thought I was weak, yet I was strong and managed to endure. As I told my story, what seemed to be tears of sadness became gladness. I understood that if I had not gone through what I talked about in my story, I would not be sitting here today! I would not have met such wonderful, caring, and loving people, my story family. I would not have been given such a wonderful opportunity to learn how to write, edit, and add pictures, sound – I am creating and directing; wow, look at what life can do. What I’m saying is that all was necessary to get me to this place, and there are no mistakes. I have no regrets, especially in my story, because it’s mine.

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Writing Women into History – by Kayann Short

Writing Women into History – by Kayann Short

“Where are the women?” is the question behind Women’s History Month each March. The absence of women from much of recorded history and scholarship has left gaps that undermine women’s progress toward equality. While the conditions under which women’s history has been lost, erased, and suppressed may be familiar—prejudice of all sorts; sexual violence; second class status; lack of time and resources—such conditions continue to impact the inclusion of women in private and public discourse today.

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Patients first for integrated care – by Joe Sammen

Patients first for integrated care – by Joe Sammen

In 2013, the Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS) included questions around mental health for the first time. The results were significant: one out of every four Coloradans experienced one or more days of poor mental health during the past 30 days. I’m not really surprised by these findings. Nearly everyone I know, including myself, has faced at least one bout of stress, depression, or emotional instability at some point in their life.

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Stitching Together the Stories of StoryCenter's First 20 Years – by Joe Lambert

Stitching Together the Stories of StoryCenter's First 20 Years – by Joe Lambert

This weekend I found myself writing a quasi-academic article about the 20 years of the work of the Center for Digital Storytelling. The argument was more or less that we have watched four significant phases in the growth of our work, each with a slightly different emphasis in our work, and in each phase an arc of expansion, a wave of interest, that surged and receded. It was an interesting way to understand what an organization, and a movement, can accomplish over two decades. 

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Black History Month: Stories and Storyteller Reflections

Black History Month: Stories and Storyteller Reflections

February is Black History Month, and we couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate and honor it than by sharing some incredible stories from our All Together Now project on civil and human rights. With great admiration and appreciation for all the stories and storytellers in the project, we have selected a few stories to share with you here. To view more stories or contribute your own story to the project, please visit http://cowbird.com/saga/taking-action.

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The Mahi-Mahi & The Map: Digital Storytelling for Science – by Shawn Margles, Coastal & Marine Planning Scientist

The Mahi-Mahi & The Map: Digital Storytelling for Science – by Shawn Margles, Coastal & Marine Planning Scientist

Can storytelling help scientists convey even complex and contentious topics like marine spatial planning?

In my experience, storytelling not only helps, it is essential if we want broader audiences to understand and support our work.  Revealing something personal about why we do what we do can connect audiences with our messages and disarm adversaries.

Consider the field of marine spatial planning.  Here, disconnects between scientists and audiences can be glaring.

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An Interview with Ernest Kirkwood, Transitions Clinic Network Digital Storytelling Workshop Participant

An Interview with Ernest Kirkwood, Transitions Clinic Network Digital Storytelling Workshop Participant

Transitions Clinic provides intensive case management support and comprehensive health care services to formerly incarcerated women and men. StoryCenter is working with the Transitions Clinic Network and City College of San Francisco on an online curriculum development project, which trains formerly incarcerated women and men on skills to become Community Health Workers at clinics like Transitions. The online courses feature digital stories by women and men, talking about their experiences with prison and the impacts of prison on their health. Ernest Kirkwood created his digital story last fall, as part of this project. During the workshop, Tim Berthold with City College of San Francisco interviewed participants; below is a partial transcript of that interview. 

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“Truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is” – by Rob Kershaw

“Truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is” – by Rob Kershaw

Somewhere in a box, stored either here or there, is a framed, aerial photograph of an offshore semi-submersible drilling rig – the Ocean Ranger – being pulled out to sea just off the coast of Newfoundland. The derrick in particular, if I remember correctly, is lit soft orange by early morning sunlight and the ocean is dead calm.

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