The Goal: One of the best ways to learn to advocate for others is to first learn their story. We all have unique stories, both of our own personal life and that of our ancestors. When we fully hear and understand each other’s stories, we know how to better advocate from a cultural and meaningful point of view. This storytelling exercise is a valuable practice for not only people advocacy, but also empathy, interpersonal skills, decision making, and leadership.
Step 1: Write on a piece of paper (or in this workbook) how you would tell your story from the perspective of land, people, and values. You can write solely from your experiences growing up or draw on what you know of your ancestors.
Land – Where did you or your ancestors come from? How do you imagine it looked like, felt like, smelt like, etc.?
People – Who were the people that most shaped your life? Do you have a connection to anyone in your lineage?
Values – What values did you receive from your family? Your experiences growing up? Your heritage?
Step 2: Find a partner or someone you’d like to get to know better and tell your story to them from these perspectives. Have them share their story as well.
Step 3: After you both share, reflect back to each other the following:
When I was listening to your story, the parts that stood out to me were …
Because of your story, you bring the following gifts/perspectives to the world…
Step 4: Write a reflection on how knowing other’s stories can help you to better understand, support, and advocate for them in the future.