Telling Stories to Change the World is a powerful collection of essays about community-based and interest-based projects where storytelling is used as a strategy for speaking out for justice. Contributors from locations across the globe—including Uganda, Darfur, China, Afghanistan, South Africa, New Orleans, and Chicago—describe grassroots projects in which communities use narrative as a way of exploring what a more just society might look like and what civic engagement means. These compelling accounts of resistance, hope, and vision showcase the power of the storytelling form to generate critique and collective action. Together, these projects demonstrate the contemporary power of stories to stimulate engagement, active citizenship, the pride of identity, and the humility of human connectedness.

part I|60 pages

“The Language of the People Was Born”

chapter 1|8 pages

Zuni River—Shiwinan K'yawinanne

Cultural Confluence

chapter 2|8 pages

The Memory Book Project in Kampala, Uganda

“We're Not Going to Die Today or Tomorrow”

chapter 3|8 pages

Telling the Truth

How Breaking Silence Brought Redemption to One Mississippi Town

chapter 4|16 pages

“Our Ancestors Danced Like this”

Maya Youth Respond to Genocide through the Ancestral Arts

chapter 5|10 pages

An Unlikely Alliance

Germans and Jews Collaborate to Teach the Lessons of the Holocaust

part II|86 pages

“This Needs Urgent Attention”

part III|54 pages

“Weaving Freedom into New Tongues”

chapter 15|12 pages

The We That Sets us Free

Imagining a World without Prisons

chapter 17|10 pages

Creating a Forum

LGBTQ Youth and The Home Project in Chicago

chapter 18|8 pages

From Storytelling to Community Development

Jaghori, Afghanistan

chapter 19|12 pages

Sins Invalid

Disability, Dancing, and Claiming Beauty

part IV|51 pages

The Power and the Limits of Stories

chapter 20|10 pages

Anne Braden, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Rigoberta Menchu

Using Personal Narrative to Build Activist Movements

chapter 21|12 pages

Trafficking Trauma

Intellectual Property Rights and the Political Economy of Traumatic Storytelling in South Africa

chapter 22|10 pages

Imagining Cuba

Storytelling and the Politics of Exile

chapter 23|15 pages

Stories in Law