A frantic call from Sheila Arnold’s son during his freshmen year in college turns into a moment to remember all that she had to teach him about growing up black, and what he had learned about crossing bridges in spite of people’s perceptions.
When the Muslims buy property for a new building, they thought they’d have difficulty proving that they were a peaceful community. When the pastor of the Methodist church across the street learns of the purchase, he doesn’t know what he should do.
In South Carolina during Jim Crow, Cynthia Changaris is baffled by why black people get to ride in the “best part” of the bus with the great view out the rear window or why her playmate dies because he couldn’t get to a “colored hospital” in time.
A white man has an experience at a copy shop that causes him to examine the negative impact racial conditioning has had on him and he becomes painfully aware of his subconscious denial and patronizing attitude towards them.
In 1965, there was a war between India and Pakistan and Bilal wanted to know “Why is there all this hate?” This is the true story of a special gift Dr. Bilal Ahmed, a Pakistani Muslim, received from his father when he was thirteen.
Charlotte Blake Alston and colleague, Steve Tunick, chaperone 12 African and Jewish American teenagers for a cultural immersion trip abroad in Senegal in Africa. They receive a lesson about common humanity from a group of local children.
Doug’s father was disowned for marrying a Christian woman. When Doug’s father is part of the liberation of a concentration camp in WWII can he and Doug’s grandfather reconcile?
Patricia Coffie, learns that traveling to understanding is part of traveling from one physical place to another. Some colleagues give her feedback on a joke she told and help her realize that change, based on understanding, takes action.
What is it like to be so immersed in a culture that a lady on the bus and the bus driver become family? While Arianna Ross travelled alone through Indonesia, she discovered that sometimes family is defined by a connection and not blood.
Dovie weaves history within her narratives to engage listeners in the context of her life experiences as Native American. What happens when a narrative is described both as “massacre” and “victory”? Are we responsible for our ancestors’ actions?
Solly Ganor, a Lithuanian Jew, was a boy when Germany invaded his country in1940. He was eventually sent to Dachau and was rescued by members of the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, the all-Japanese American unit.
In the early 1980’s, Anne got a job as a children’s librarian in the Northern Territory of Australia. With a middle-class white background, she was to learn much about the black history of Australia. Have race relations changed in the last forty years?
Nancy tells an excerpt from “A Window of Beauty,” a story inspired by the experiences of a young girl, her remarkable teacher and their secret art classes in the Terezin Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia during World War II.
Judith remembers that her grandfather, Oscar Markowitz, was an actor in the Yiddish Theatre at the turn of the 20th Century. A story about hard choices, hopes, dreams, racial persecution, and love!
Gene speaks with a Holocaust survivor who asks, “Tell me about your people?” Gene tells her of the 1835 Indian Removal Act and how his ancestors were forced to leave their homes and walk 800 miles through the winter.
Alegria is Spanish for “happiness” and “joy.” Listen as Leeny Del Seamons sings of what happens when we respect everyone in spite of our differences.
Noa grew up in Jerusalem, where America was the most exotic place other than Mars. In the 5th grade, Noa’s family left their home in Israel. She arrived in America speaking very little English. But miracles do happen…
Gail Rosen tells the story of a Holocaust survivor. Why tell a story that’s not your own? How does understanding others’ stories help us think about our own place in history?
During the 1960’s, Patricia Redd’s family moved to the a new community in South Chicago. Hers was one of the first African- American families to integrate the parish school. Before long she begins to understand the effects of “white-flight.”
A Jewish girl and her friend sneak away from the forced walk of the Nazis. They hide in a haystack and a farmer helps them until the drums toll. In the face of this innocence, what motivates the Nazi soldier? What compels the farmer to help?
Anne knew nothing of the history of the First Nations people of Australia until she set on her path as a storyteller. Her journey to respect and understanding began at an exhibition by an aboriginal artist and charismatic storyteller, Berak Barak.
Sadika witnessed the Lebanese civil war. The atrocities and the horrors can change a human being into a monster. Is there any hope for tolerance, love and forgiveness after such an experience? “Uncle George” made the difference.
In researching housing history in segregated Chicago, Sue learns about the 1919 Chicago race riot. She wonders why she has not heard the story before now.
Nancy dives into why her relationship with her mother has been one of ambivalence. Her journey is colored by the differences between Chinese and Western values and behaviors making it even more difficult to understand.
Connie Regan-Blake was invited to Uganda and speaks to many women about the horrors of war and how they cope with the ravages of AIDS. She listened to their profound and transformative stories. This is one out of many…
Michael joins a program to teach storytelling in a California prison. He learns much about the men there as well as the power of storytelling.
“Ranger Linda” describes her encounter with a group of well-intentioned Chinese Americans bearing bullfrogs. This surprising incident illustrates how cultural differences can have unintended consequences.
In high school, Susan O’Halloran spent her first overnight away from her Chicago home and met people from different ethnic and racial groups. She learns that there is more to people and discovers layers of herself she had long been ignoring.
In 2011, Susan O’Halloran meets a group of young people at an Occupy Chicago demonstration who are unaware of activists’ movements in the past that occupied public lands. She shares with them the story of The 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.
Small town meets big city. Boundaries are crossed and cultures collide when a Midwest family encounters the boys from New York City. Will they find common ground or confrontation?
Kate Dudding tells the story of Iqbal Masih, a 12-year-old boy in Pakistan who led thousands of children to freedom from 1993-1995. Even after his death, Iqbal went on to inspire other children that they too can make a difference.
As Motoko raises her Japanese son in the U.S., she is reminded of prejudice against Koreans in her own country, and discovers the importance of the language we use to create the world we live in.
It was August 12th, 1966 and Dr. Martin Luther King was marching through Susan O’Halloran’s south Chicago neighborhood. At the same time, the KKK heard the news and arrived in the same neighborhood, splitting it into two.
The night Obama became president, Donna was a black woman in a very conservative part of the country. She discovered that it is possible be a foreigner in her own country. She also found out that the world is full of people with good hearts.
Basil Houpis had just moved to the U.S. from Greece, and he was different. He barely spoke English, wore mismatched clothes and smelled funny. Everyone picked on him mercilessly. Is 30 years too long to take a stand?
When Andy was a child living in the Deep South, he visited some of his family in Colorado. A woman out there told Andy, “Everybody in Georgia is a bigot.” This put him on the road to thinking about Racial Default Thinking.
When Antonio Sacre was excluded from acting jobs due because he was either too ethnic or not ethnic enough, he began storytelling to pay the bills. Soon he encounters a grade school bully and discovers the power of bilingual storytelling.
Kucha was born in the North, but her Southern family values and ties came North with her family. In this story, Kucha wonders why everyone feels the need to pigeon hole other people?
As a teen E.B. liked being unique but his coaches wanted him to fit in. Then years later as an attorney he wants to hire someone who reminds him of himself. He decides to hire her and let her find out if she wants to fit in or standout.
This is a personal journey tale from Lyn’s childhood living next door to a Holocaust survivor and, then, her adolescent small but mature steps into the greater Civil Rights Movement.
The true tale of how storytelling inspired a group of diverse religious leaders in the town of Huntington, NY, to dig up their congregational lawns, grow vegetables tended by congregants, and then donate the produce to local food pantries.
While visiting Guatemala with her teen sons, Susan O’Halloran hears stories of atrocities people are suffering because of Guatemala’s civil war. A moment of grace and wisdom restores her sense of hope and dedication.
Hasan, a Muslim, was a college student in 1992 when the siege against his city, Sarajevo, began. He joined the Army of Bosnia but would do anything to escape and live in peace and freedom. A few of his many adventures are detailed in this excerpt.
Michael D. McCarty reflects on how he discovered the art of storytelling. Michael and several of his storytelling colleagues consider the impact of storytelling in schools, in prison settings and in the community.
Mama Edie’s new friend, Renee, grew up in a predominately white community during the Civil Rights years. When Renee attends college she learns the pain of being treated as an outsider by some of the other Africian American students.
Antonio explores the challenges and joys of trying to raise a bilingual child. As anxious new parents, Antonio and his wife ask, “Are two languages better than one?” and find humor along the way.
Reflecting on her family, storyteller Linda Gorham raises powerful images in celebration of her ancestors in “I Am Somebody.” From a proud and determined father to a strong and devoted mother to a dedicated and intelligent grandfather, Linda shares bits of her life and family with listeners. As the story continues, it is clear that family has made her who she is. It is clear that family is most important to her.
A server navigates the sometimes subtle and sometimes blunt racial comments he receives while working at a restaurant.
Emily Hooper Lansana reminices about how her life would be if she believed what others told her. In this story you will learn what racial justice is allowing everyone the opportunity to same opportunities to succeed.
Bill Harley gathers a group of musicians together to record an album of Civil Rights freedom songs. However, they learn that they can’t assume they are all on the same page or that underlying emotions and biases aren’t in play.
A director tells Antonio that he would produce his play if only he was Mexican. This makes Antonio reflect on the importance of listening to stories outside our own ethnic groups.
This story reveals how a group of immigrants rallied with resilience and ingenuity so that the 7th generation of Chinese Americans thrives today.
Loren travels to North Ireland and is continually asked, “Are you Catholic or Protestant?” By the way that question is asked and answered, layers of cultural assumptions are revealed.
As part of a service project, Mary Gay and her best friend are to start a Girl Scout troop at a notorious reform school in New Orleans. As an adult, Mary Gay wishes she could go back to the school and ask for more for the girls.
A chance encounter is an unexpected blessing for a teenager, who discovers that true strength is rooted within, extending down into the roots of the ancestors.
Bill’s mother and father came from families at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. One Thanksgiving dinner, Bill’s father stands up to in-laws making bigoted comments and Bill learns a valuable lesson about taking a stand.
A white woman moves into a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood with, initially, very little curiosity about the community that resides there. Her assumptions about what it means to belong are challenged.
When Laura fell in love with Kevin, she was certain her liberal family would love him, too. Imagine her surprise when Laura and her father needed to negotiate his discomfort with her sweetheart’s differences
The small town of Howell has a secret. Its reputation has been tainted by the once Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, Robert Miles. Jeff and his wife make the decision to move to Howell as they ponder how they can make a difference.
Michael’s mother models the importance and love of reading, but, mostly importantly, the value of kindness. When Michael tours in Brazil, he discovers that his mother was teaching the students there as well.
Growing up, Steven was involved in Boy Scouts and his church and as a teen he advocated for community development in his New Jersey neighborhood. But could he get involved in the rising black militancy of the late 1960s?
In this excerpt from a longer story, Elizabeth tells of the time Mary McLeod Bethune faced down the Ku Klux Klan to provide education for African-American girls.
While attending a memorial service for children who died through gun violence sparks memories. Susan O’Halloran as well as other ask the continuing questions: what is our part in ending violence? Will it ever end?
While attending a memorial service for children who died through gun violence sparks memories. Susan O’Halloran as well as other ask the continuing questions: what is our part in ending violence? Will it ever end?
Mexico is at war. This war is not about drugs but about mining and fracking. “The disappeared” is a new expression; it refers to those who just vanished from the streets. The 27,000 men and women who “disappeared” in 2017, will they reappear one day?
Loren who is white goes to a BBQ place in an all black neighborhood and comes to understand prejudice in a direct and personal way.
Jay shares storyteller Brother Blue’s (Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill) experience as an African American soldier in World War II in the Jim Crow South.
Through exploring misconceptions and common threads such as immigration and disagreements within their own religions, these three tellers bring alive their distinct histories and our common humanity.
“I’m not a humanitarian,” she replied. “I’m a hell-raiser!” And she was. She was over fifty years old, weighed one hundred pounds, and was under five feet tall yet the United States Government called her, “the Most Dangerous Woman in America.”
Thirty teens from twenty countries, one Jewish teacher, and one Cuban-Irish-American storyteller work with one of the poorest and most challenging high schools in Los Angeles. Will fear stop the project, or will they stand together?
Can a teenager make an impact in a world full of injustice? Jasmin looks back to a time when she joined the cause to free a young Mexican-American artist, Manuel Salazar, who sat on death row falsely accused of killing a police officer.
In 1964, Carmen’s father, a Cuban refugee, went to work at a steel manufacturing plant near Atlanta, Georgia. On the first day of work he was faced with two choices: a “white” bathroom and a “colored” bathroom. His solution is creative and humorous.
Carol’s father is told he is not permitted to run on the track team at the University of Pennsylvania. Two Jewish runners in the 1936 Berlin Olympics are not permitted to participate relays. All are Jewish and all three have the same coach.
As a 4th grader, Sheila was given a new nickname – the “N” word – and how that nickname resulted in an unlikely friendship, and down the road, led to forgiveness and reconciliation.
During WWII the Navajo Code Talkers created a code that was never broken. But in the past, the Navaho were forced off their reservations into boarding schools where they were told not to speak their language or practice their culture.
While traveling from California to Lousiana, Diane’s family stops at a restaurant. A “whites only” sign hangs near the door and Diane’s family, all black, must eat in the kitchen. She learns about prejudice and how to keep in high spirits that day.
When Carrie Sue and her fiancé decided to marry there were many who thought their relationship would not last long – including the representative from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico who was handling their visa.
An encounter with a young, Kurdish refugee leaves Diane face to face with how her government is perceived outside of her own country. How could this brief exchange, where neither could speak the other’s language, lead to a lifetime of advocacy?
In 1991 a Jewish cantor and his family were threatened and harassed by the Grand Dragon of the state Ku Klux Klan. How did they deal with the hatred and bigotry, and still redeem a life? Based on the book, Not By the Sword by Kathryn Watterson.
A woman tells Jon a story about how a stranger saved her from arrest and morse but leaves before she completes her story. As Jon reflects, he asks: are we prepared to help a stranger when they need us most?
Carol believes: “To build a bridge from one culture into another and make pluralism a cause for celebration, we have to have one foot firmly planted in who we are.” When exploring her Polish and Scottish roots, she wonders, am I living what I teach?
Noa grew up in Jerusalem, Israel. In America, she met a Palestinian woman, only on the “other side”. Their friendship inspired her to tell the stories of their families that echo the contradicting national narratives of their people.
Diane Ferlatte white man at a restaurant and tries to be friendly. When he responds with a grunt she labels him a “mean old white man.” Later she learns his story and the importance of reaching across barriers of race, age and culture.
White suburbanites shut down a nuclear power plant on Long Island, NY. while indigenous people on the Standing Rock Reservation were unable to stop the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline on sacred native lands. Environmental racism?
Jim May remembers holocaust survivor, Lisa Derman, who died suddenly of a heart attack while telling a the story that had defined her contributions to the fight against anti-Semitism, as well as against genocide the world over.
April 4, 1968 may have ended a dream with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. However, another began in a young woman who pushed past despair, journeying from Mississippi to New York City, to discover that the “dream” lived on in her.
Linda Gorham tells the story of Rosa Park’s 1955 stand against racial injustice through: Claudette Colvin (a 15-year-old who nine months earlier refused to give up her bus seat), James Blake (the bus driver), and Rosa Parks herself.
During WWII many women took on the jobs and duties of men who had left for war. They were known simply as “Rosie.” In this excerpt you’ll meet an African American Rosie who fought racism, sexism and changed the nature of the 1944 workplace.
Charlotte Blake Alston accepts position at a Quaker school and expects she’ll be part of a school committed to respect and equality for all members of the school community. But true equity, she finds, is awareness, sensitivity and diligence.
In the Cold War era, in a high school without a soul, Erica experienced brief inclusion in the best girl’s clique! Then, she was dropped and fell into hopeless disappointment and depressions. But with her father’s help and the inspiration of a House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) witness, she found her power and the school found its spirit.
While getting a passport Onawumi Jean discovered that her name is not on her birth certificate. Her aunt is able to clear up the mystery by disclosing a concession Onawumi’s mother made to get along and keep her job in the Jim Crow South.
Bobby brings to life famed “Shadowball” baseball players such as Cool Papa Bell and Satchel Paige, as he explores their triumphs and sacrifices during segregated America in the 1920s-30s.
A new workplace is sometimes like the first day at a new school. Differences aren’t accepted quickly, and sometimes differences can make a person feel completely isolated if they aren’t welcomed.
Gene travels across the country to see the land of his people. Along his journey, he meets a southern white couple on a backcountry dirt road and an old black man in Sparta, Georgia who fought with First Nation men during the Korean War.
Amber, Misty, and Autumn – three multi-ethnic sisters – offer a sneak peek into their thoughts about self-identification. These storytellers also share a medley of emotional experiences about how they have sometimes been viewed by others.
Journey with Mama Edie as she relives her 1966 experience of marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ride the back of the train “up north” in the “Negro section” in search of a better life to only find Jim Crow blocking your way.
Finding herself on a historical tour of the Wall of Derry in Northern Ireland, Margaret discovers she is holding on to an ancestral hostility, the kind of hostility that perpetuates hatred, violence and war. Is this who she wants to be?
Laura Simms, tells a boy – an ex- child soldier from Sierra Leone, West Africa – a story in a taxicab. The story within this story relieves his misery and she discovers the power of the tale and reveals the boy’s innate and potent resilience.
This family story describes Shanta’s father and grandparents’ escape from the 1921 Tulsa Oklahoma Massacre. Shanta’s grandfather, a tailor, was forced to flee with his family to Chicago where he was able to re-establish his business.
One day an angry black girl stormed into history class and demanded to know why she had not heard about black inventors. Her favorite teacher, who was white, was faced with a decision and in making it an entire classroom of students was changed.
Eldrena is confused when she sees a poster and students say the same thing. She asks her Tewa-Hopi grandmother what the words mean. In the process she hears a story that teaches her about integrity no matter how much time passes.
A woman from Rwanda tells of a child who faces a difficult choice when he finds himself face to face with the man who murdered his parents. Is there a place untouched by war, murderous alternatives and biases?
High school students organizing a memorial service for a teacher triggers an emotional process for Eunice Jarrett who is asked to step out of her comfort zone, again. Family life and school life create race-related expectations.
A bridge collapses in Minneapolis and makes the news. While watching the stories from that day Kevin is aware of the great diversity in his city. Citizens of every color and creed were there to rescue and help people in the midst of tragedy.
As the new Protestant Chaplain at a prision, Geraldine quickly realizes that the midweek Bible service has been overrun by the Crips – a violent, largely African-American gang. Can the midweek Bible service be saved?
This is Zahra’s personal story of reconnecting with her siblings. On a journey back to their Louisiana birthplace, Zahra and her siblings uncover a story of an event that affects the lives of their family, community and the nation.
Laura grew up on a street with many kinds of Jews. As different as they were, they had one thing in common: no one talked about WW II or the Holocaust. Two young children find a way to memorialize the unspoken through a make believe graveyard.
An excerpt from Syd Lieberman’s book, Streets and Alleys, this is a true story of the day the Nazis spoke near Syd’s home at Lovelace Park in Evanston, IL and Syd’s surprising reaction.
John Price escapes from slavery in Kentucky and reached Oberlin, Ohio. There he sees Black shopkeepers and college stuents to he decides to stay. The problem is, a slaver catcher is coming for him.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, demonstrations against Muslims arose in different parts of Chicago. One group of Chicagoans on the southwest side of the city decided to support their Muslim neighbors.
In the melting pot of the very poor, Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, NY neighborhood, there lived Irish, Italians, Blacks, Polish, Jews and one Holocaust escapee kid — Erica. Kids only played with their own kind on their own block, but since Erica didn’t belong to any of those groups, she got to play with everybody. For Erica, that’s how unexpected friendships (and unexpected prejudices) formed.
What happens when the warm connection between a black woman and a white woman is broken by insensitivity and unconscious white privilege? Are courage, honesty, forgiveness and hope enough to heal the separation?
Franco-Americans from Quebec assimilated into the larger Anglo culture in the United States as became more “invisible.” The story that Michael tells, as Jean-Paul Boisvert, shows a couple’s resistance to that “invisibility.”
Dovie shares her knowledge of the Indian Boarding School experiement with her daughter and us. She weaves history, biography, autobiography and personal reflection in the story that she never “wanted” to tell. But some stories need to be told…
The “Indian Experiment” in education, the government boarding schools, is unknown to many Americans, yet affects us all. Following forty years of study of these stories, Dovie knew she had to share what she’d learned that would be essential to her daughter, and all of us. She weaves history, biography, autobiography and personal reflection in this story that she never “wanted” to tell. But there are some stories that need to be told…
Kiran reveals his experiences with racism as one of the few brown boys in his town contrasted with the kindness of strangers as well as the inspiration he received from his storyteller teacher, Mr. George.
Some people live their lives in such a way that the story of their life, after they die, accomplishes what they could not. This little-known story about U.S. abolitionist John Brown shows us his last, most courageous – and most effective – decision.
This story is about the meaninglessness of war and the commonality of all people. It also is about how two people can come to terms with each other and learn to accept their differences.
Donna’s father is quite a trickster, and one afternoon in the 1980’s, while her large family was traveling through the south, they ran into a potentially dangerous situation. Donna’s saved the lives of the family by utilizing his special skill.
Elizabeth tells of her struggle to be comfortable with her own identity outside the boundaries of the racial norm. She describes the awkward struggles of adolescent love while discovering the acceptance of her own racial features.
Megan was confused when her 9th grade classmates reacted differently to the assassination of President Kennedy than her family did. Who was right? She learns to listen to her heart to find what was truth for her.
When camp started, tension was high between the Chinese kids and Black and Latino kids in Robin’s group. But over the summer, the children began to let their defenses down and make new friends. That is, until Daniela returned.
Jasmin struggles with where to live: a culturally vibrant, but unsafe Mexican-American community -or- a picturesque middle class neighborhood where her son might be the only brown boy on the block.
Jay O’Callahan shares storyteller Sandra Harris’s story of her involvement in the Civil Rights struggle in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.
In 1972, Marsha worked for the Peace Corp in Jamaica and became friendly with a neighbor named Yvonne. By casually mentioning the town she lived near Marsha set in motion a dream that Yvonne would sacrifice everything to fulfill.
In Springs, Mississippi in the late 1920’s Sadarri’s Uncle Carl was set to be lynched for “speaking out of turn.” An unlikely hero saves Carl’s life.
At an event honoring Vietnamese Americans, a young man shares his American immigrant story. The community of listeners that storytelling creates makes a new country feel like home.
Michael and some classmates hold a walk out due to limited black history curricula and are expelled. Decades later, Michael is brought back to the school to receive his high school diploma and the school’s gratitude.
Olga explores the various labels for her ethnic group: Mexican, American, Mexican American, Latina, Chicana and so on. In doing so, she finds out how she wants to define herself and her pride in her cultural life.
Who is my friend and who is my enemy? Gail Rosen, a Jewish storyteller, goes to Germany and makes a surprising connection to a German man who lived through WWII.
A single girl from Eastern Europe goes to the USA to study, she faces assumptions made about green cards, marriages of convenience, and other things she was unprepared for.
In 1972 Diane marries “outside her race” and her mother-in-law refuses to attend the wedding, among other things. What happens to the family’s relationship afterward is anyone’s guess. A story of hope and a reminder that love conquers many things.