Why Storytelling: Survivors

"Why Storytelling" is a new series of blogs that focuses on the importance of storytelling for marginalized communities.

There are many experiences, directly tied to my life, that I can look to and say "There's a story to tell". These experiences have shaped my perspective. They've helped me to identify my values and increase my faith walk. They influence how I formulate my messages, both personally and professionally. They have given me a sensitivity to the challenges of others. They're the reason for restraint and boundaries, as well as joy and contentment. The unique set of experiences that make up my life, make me. I have a story to tell!

You may say, "We ALL have stories to tell".

Yes, that is exactly my point. We have stories to tell because of one huge fact: We survived. I once read that only those who survive can tell a story. Investigators can piece milestones together with factual evidence, but it's not a first-hand account. Testimonies of personal experiences have the power to stimulate dialogue. No one will ever know of the issues that matter most, if we do not share our stories.

As a former foster child and author of two non-fiction books, I've been to many events where I speak and listen to various survival stories. Each message impressed upon my heart. No matter the content or how our society may rank what's (currently) trending as "important", we all have a story to tell that can lead to social change.

Family violence, food sustainability, a prejudice or a praise, a lost art in a dying culture, your story should be told. Your voice should be heard. Your history should be recorded.

Say this out loud and fill in the blank: I survived to ___. Collectively, our stories can influence, persuade, provide a historical representation, even change policy. It took me years to understand that it's not that we lose our voices; we are simply not heard. Whatever your cause: representation matters. I look forward to sharing more about storytelling and hopefully we can work together to tell yours.


Ivey Media Agency (IMA) offers Social Solutions through Storytelling. With offerings in creative services and communications management, IMA clients engage with their stakeholders as thought leaders who advocate for social change. Learn more at iveymediaagency.com.


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