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A guest post from Jen Tuder, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. Her solo performance, Suicide Punchline, maps her experience of surviving her father’s loss to suicide. She has toured the show from San Francisco to Philadelphia.
Telling stories to advocate for social change is a compelling method of persuasion. Advocates use their personal stories as evidence. They use the peculiar influence of the “true story” to move audiences to take action. But like any powerful tool, advocacy stories can be used for good or for ill.
For more than two decades, Points of Light and USA TODAY have partnered on Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. On the fourth Saturday of October, millions of volunteers around the world unite in a common mission to improve the lives of others. Make A Difference Day is a day to celebrate the power of people to make a difference. What better time to share your advocacy story?
Or be inspired by some Points of Light volunteer stories here.
This good essay is specific to literary works, but it certainly applies to the power of sharing personal stories as advocates as well.
We really like this short video created by the In Your Words Project, a partnership of Western University – Canada and Mind Your Mind. The 10 Tips are guidelines that support youth in the process of telling their stories about living with a mental illness.
Thedatabank, provider of software for nonprofits, is generously hosting us next week for a free webinar: Five Qualities of the Well-Told Advocacy Story. Join us!
Do you rely on individuals’ stories to raise awareness, solicit support, change minds, or touch hearts?
Chances are you do, whether through dedicated spokespersons and advocates, or through communications from leadership, staff, volunteers, or board members. Spoken personal stories have the power to move audiences from apathy to empathy to action — but without the right preparation and strategy, stories can fall flat or miss the mark.
Join us Tuesday, September 22, 1:00 – 2:00 CST, for this free webinar about how you or your advocates can tap the power of personal storytelling, covering topics such as:
- How advocacy stories differ from other forms of storytelling
- When and why stories work—and when they don’t
- Finding your own store of powerful personal stories
- The Five Qualities of the Well-Told Advocacy Story
- Exercises and tips to explore your storytelling advocacy
- How to encourage and support storytelling advocacy in your organization
This is a wonderful 8-minute interview by Andrea Dukakis (audio with text excerpts) with Tom Mauser, whose son was killed at Columbine.
Watch our new 60-second trailer,
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