Moving to junior high opens Angela’s eyes to a society and culture that she had been living in Venezuela, and yet from which she was separate. Her story tells a universal truth: we think we are the only ones telling ourselves “We do not belong here.”
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.
This story weaves present day observations with the true accounts of Peter’s grandmother, a Dutch Jew, and the incredible journeys she went through during the time of Nazi occupied Holland during World War II.
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?
Cindy is an American Jewish college student studying in Paris when she meets Sabine, a German student. Their friendship feels almost illicit in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust. How does Sabine prove to be an ally?
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.
Two young men leave China and voyage to Gam Saan, Gold Mountain (San Francisco) America, in 1850. One of them writes a letter home to tell of their adventures, misfortunes, and of a promise to his best friend, which he could not keep.
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.
A funny and touching story about two girls who live in a socially divided village in the heart of the industrial English Midlands. On one unusual day, they transcend the barrier that separates them the joy of that brief friendship is long remembered.
This is a story about learning a second language. It is about trying to use the little you know to communicate which many times creates funny and colorful misunderstandings.
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?
“A Tale of Two Weddings” comically—and poignantly—captures the story of two similar, yet different weddings in Michele’s family. What does intermarriage mean? Is cultural insecurity really a thing? Could a story like this still happen today?
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.
Heather tells of the odd twist of fate that saved her father’s life when he, along with all the other Jewish teenagers in his neighborhood, gave up their personal life plans and enlisted in the U.S. army to go fight Hitler in 1942.
Esther, a spunky octogenarian and Cuban refugee considers voting a hard-won, American privilege. After casting her vote, she reminds husband, Carlos, of “their views” on local elections. Carlos’ reaction is a hysterical and poignant civics lesson.
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!
As a young boy, Nestor and his siblings cross the Guatemala/Mexico and Mexico/USA borders to join his parents in the USA.
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.
Growing up in New York City, Gerald Fierst’s neighborhood was Jewish. But when he went to visit cousins who had retired to Albuquerque, he discovered that “we all look alike when we are the other.”
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…
Many Africans and First Nations people bonded together during and after slavery in the Americas and in the Caribbean for protection, acceptance, friendship and love. As a result, many African descendants also share Native American ancestries.
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.”
At age 16, in 1855, Jane’s great-grandfather sailed from N.Y. around the Horn to San Francisco where he was stranded! He took a job with Wells Fargo as a treasure agent in the Sacramento-Shasta Mining District, the home of the Shasta Indian Nation.
When Priscilla Howe traveled to Communist Bulgaria in the 1980s, she found herself in a difficult situation. She found help from a Bulgarian man who reminded her to look beyond appearances.
Alonzo F. Herndon owned a barbershop that catered to whites only. Because of the Jim Crow laws, the black people who worked at the barbershop and even Alonzo himself had to enter by the rear door. How did the 1906 Atlanta Race Riots affect Alonzo?
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.
An African American man is a church custodian and familiar figure to the congregation. However, when it’s rumored that African Americans will be attending church, suddenly the pleasant veneer of acceptance is exposed.
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.
At 14, storyteller Laura Packer visited friends living in the rural south and encountered negative assumptions about Judaism for the first time.
Rebecca, a Filipino American, grew up in nearly all-white neighborhoods and schools. In 2000, she began reconnecting with her Filipino heritage and became a woman of color.
In kindergarten, Linda was told by her classmates, “You act white! You dress white! You have white people’s hair…” And then, the taunting began. It took Linda a long time to understand what it means to be black.
At school Olga was taught not to speak Spanish or risk punishment. At the same time, her Japanese-American friends were able to learn the Japanese language and study its culture. How she could straddle multiple worlds too?
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.
Diggsy Twain, an African American man, tells a friend about an encounter he had on a train and what he did to stop the stereotype that all black men are angry. Then after telling his story he realizes anyone can stereotype the “other.”
New York City born-and-raised Michele goes on a trip to Paris, France, and learns what it means to be both a Nuyorican (a New York Puerto Rican) and an American in a way she didn’t expect. And what does being “an American” really mean, anyway?
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.
Leeny shares stories of her colorful, beloved family. Meet her charming Cuban Dad and his zany wife, Lorraine. Hear what happened when three-year-old Leeny receives an unusual souvenir from Cuba.
Sue grew up hearing about “them” – the people who would come and take her and her neighbors’ homes in their all-white neighborhood. When her family watched the Friday night fights, it was made clear who was “the other” and who was “us.”
An African-American boy named Chester Parker helped Priscilla Howe feel less afraid in first grade. When their paths crossed years later, she missed the chance to connect with him again.
Two young men leave China and voyage to Gam Saan, Gold Mountain (San Francisco), America in 1850. They become two of the 12,000 Chinese who are hired by to help complete the first Transcontinental Railroad across the United States.
“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.
During a high school Christmas food drive in 1965, Sue brings canned goods to a family living in Cabrini Green housing projects. Isn’t that a good thing? Why would the family resent her?
After years of being bullied in school and teased, especially by her sister, Leeny’s Cuban grandmother teaches her a song and a Spanish phrase that changes Leeny’s perspective on beauty and, therefore, on her life.
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.
This story speaks of the imposed mental conditioning that inspires people to despise their own natural attributes. It also explores how this toxic conditioning has led to people seeing themselves as being “less than,” not as “beautiful.”
Storyteller Jim May relates his days working his way through school on a union construction crew; as well as the unions roll in softening the effects of classism and racism.
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.
Noa arrived from Israel in 1990 the month Iraq invaded Kuwait and threatened to attack Israel. Here is the story of learning to live in a culture where the perceptions of time, space and values are completely different from your own.
As a five-year-old, Sue met a boy her age who was different from her. Sue’s mother subtly lets Sue know that she is not to be friends with the boy.
Charles Ishikawa grew up in Plantation camps in Waipahu, Hawaii. He was just 14 years old when Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Afterward, he and his family worried if they were American enough.
Overcoming health issues and life and death challenges, from Darkness to Light describes the embodiment of the Indian festival of Lights/Diwali that welcomes in the “new” in each and every one of us in a beautiful way.
Rev. Jones describes how American Roots music tells a story. He plays a song called Lost John that tells the story of a man who escapes a chain gang to see his family. Listen carefully and you can hear the hounds chasing and the train a’ coming.
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.
Inanc Karakaylak was sent from Turkey to Muscatine, Iowa as an Exchange Student where he experienced intense culture clashes, ridicule, and cold weather. However, he was blessed to have an amazing host family including Christian Minister, Hal Green.
Judy Sima’s mother was a Jew in Germany during World War II. She faced the Gestapo following the Night of broken glass, escaped Germany and eventually helped gain her father’s release from Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Hear her story…
What if the U.S. went to war with your country of origin? Anne Shimojima tells of the difficult days following the attack on Pearl Harbor, when her Japanese-American family were forced to evacuate their home.
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.
Chinese food was considered to be “exotic” by the Lo Fan or White people in 1850s San Francisco. This story follows one of the legends surrounding the origins of a popular Chinese American dish, which for a good myth.
Andy Offutt Irwin experienced school desegregation in the 1960s but students were “tracked” which led to a more subtle form of segregation. However, racial tracking led Andy to unexpected friendships.
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.
When Lyn Ford was young, “Finding Josephus” was a “legend” told by her father. But curiosity and research brought forth its reality, and a connection both to the lesser-known history of the Underground Railroad and the heart of her father’s story.
When Mama Edie and Mother Mary Carter Smith enter the dark dungeons of Ghana, West Africa, where people were imprisoned for the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, unexpected things begin to occur.
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 story is a piece of history from the 1950’s. It tells of affordable housing and living in a particular neighborhood while providing some insight into the different ethnic groups that make up some of our communities.
Loren learned what White privilege means when he was willing to look at how it worked every day – in a traffic stop, at the store and in community meetings. Once Loren saw it, how could he not question, “This is what we live with?”
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.
After her Grandmother passes, Sue searches for her Grandmother’s story. Her exploration takes her into Irish American history and, eventually, to Ireland to find her Grandmother’s childhood home.
An American family gathers for a reunion with laughter, memories, and good ol’ corn beef and cabbage. Suddenly, the father kneels before his family and sobs apologetically, “Your country has betrayed you.”
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.
A Baptist, a Muslim, and a Jew visit a church three years in a row to promote interreligious dialogue and understanding. The transformation of one angry congregant through the image of a gumball machine provides an enduring lesson for everyone.
The Chicago Public Schools were almost totally segregated in the 1950’s when Gwen first integrated a South Side High School. She in school but had an encounter with the police that threatened to overshadow her academic accomplishments.
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.
This is a true story of the writer and the haunting experience she had at age 13 on a southern plantation near an old tree by the side of the road.
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.
In 1970 Mama Edie’s Black Theater Ensemble travels to perform at a university in Iowa. After what had been a peaceful and joyful journey, the ensemble members come to realize that Civil Rights had not yet fully taken root, not even in the north.
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.
In the 1980’s, John was an IT executive in a large bank based in Atlanta, Georgia. The bank received pressure to greatly increase workforce diversity. John turned to an African American friend for help and the friend’s insight changed everything.
Stories about our ancestors help us understand who we are. Encountering troubling revelations about her forebears and their Indian neighbors in colonial New England, Jo Radner asks what it means to tell – and live with – her whole, complex history.
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.
A white high school student connects racial justice and the anti-war movement. After 4 white students are killed in OH, Norah joins a national strike. Days later, 2 black students are killed in MS. How would her largely white student body respond?
Images is a white man’s reflection about the powerful and debilitating impact of the disparaging imagery that has been historically used to shape the perception of African Americans as dangerous. He vows to make a change.
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.
How would the government treat your family if it went to war with your ancestors’ country of origin? Anne Shimojima describes life in an incarceration camp for her Japanese-American family during World War II.
On Joyce’s first day of college she met Catherine. Catherine was Black and Joyce was Caucasian. Their friendship was not a normal sight for small town, Missouri in 1966. How could Joyce ever really know the prejudice Catherine faced?
Jack was just 16 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. He could not stop World War II or the U.S. Army forcing his family and 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans into concentration camps.
Can Jack’s humor and sketches help him “make the best of it”?
An unlikely friendship is formed in a small-town barbershop. The friendship is not one that can openly flourish due to racism in the town. The story illustrates how one stands firmly and humbly in the face of racism while always willing to give back.
This is a true story set in rural McHenry County, Illinois in the 1920s and 1930s about John Henry Higler, a man who claimed to be former slave who assimilated into an all white farm community.
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.
Sometimes we forget about the diversity that exists within a faith and within a family. In this story, Arif is reminded of how he is different from some of the relatives in his Muslim family.
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.
In the early 1960s, a Black student feels relief to encounter a White teacher who operates without apparent bias. However, he soon discovers that, in spite of her kind heart, his teacher unknowingly perpetuates White superiority.
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.
Looking at high school yearbooks, Shanta reflects on the changes of her childhood neighborhood and as an adult, with a larger understanding of the times – blockbusting and other pressures – the sting of being “the other” remains.
As a Cuban and Irish American child, Antonio deals with being “too ethnic” or “not ethnic enough”. By trial and error and with the support of his family, Antonio reclaims all of his ethnic heritage and his Spanish language.
Karin had been a practical Asian woman and everything had been happening exactly as she planned until tragedy struck. With the help of storytelling in a support group to writing her Japanese blog she was able to overcome grief.
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.
Dreading spending the summer with her strong willed grandmother, a young Earliana learns the true strength in “black beauty”. She finds that no matter how different we may look, we all have the capacity to feel and be kind to one another.
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?
In Los Angeles Antonio goes to church with Mexican-American families where he finds people who are deeply into the ritual and their passion for their religion makes him proud.
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.
In schools, racial violence often stems from learned bias. Listening to one another is an antidote to the gap between people and transforms bias into deep concern and creative change.
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?
Antonio’s father listened to classical music that transported him back to his beloved Cuba. Antonio thinks of listening to music in the future with his son and the memories and scenes the music will evoke.
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.
Brenda’s grandfather collects, dries and sells seaweed along the coast of California. When she is older, she finds his ways strange and the work hard, but the two find unique ways of talking and enjoying each other’s company.
After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Beth realized that the fight for civil rights was happening right in her own home. When she discovered the prejudice of her family, she had a choice to make. Her family’s beliefs? Or her own?
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.
Karin never dreamed about marriage growing up because of her Japanese parents’ unromantic arranged marriage. But when her father had a severe stroke, her mother stuggled every day for months to teach him the basics – reading, walking and talking.
A story about Elizabeth, an “Army brat”, who must navigate the world for her Korean immigrant mother. Through this process she learns to stop being embarrassed by her mother and shifts to standing up for her.
Motoko tells a story about her own experience of sexual harassment in Japan, how she was trapped into silence imposed by her culture, and how storytelling helped her break through the silence and heal herself.
Ada Cheng explains the meanings of her Chinese name: Shu-Ju, and the connection to expectations of her parents and their Chinese culture. She details why she chose to stay with the name Ada and what the name means to life and identity.
Kiran shares the stories he heard about his parents’ three migrations from India to Uganda to England.
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.
As a young child in the 1950s, Susan Klein, raised Methodist, was intrigued by the mysterious practices of her Roman Catholic friends and neighbors. Susan’s growing awareness of religious difference and how it might indicate value—someone is better, someone is worse—caused her to understand how some in her community might viewed her friendship with an African American girl.
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?
During WWII a Japanese American nurse is forced to leave her belongings and home to be imprisioned in an incarceration camp. Traveling to the camps a baby who should have been in the hospital takes a turn. The end-result is out of the nurse’s hands.
Based on a true story, a young girl wonders about the difference between “hakujin” (white people) and “nihonjin” (Japanese people) while in an internment camp in WWII. She speculates as to why hakujin do not onara (a euphemism for “passing gas”).
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.
Linda’s grandmother covered everything with plastic. Everything … chairs, tables, lampshades, even the sofa and throw pillow. But who would suspect this would set off a painful memory of the Vietnam War for Linda’s father?
Robert Jones talks about the roots of Gospel music and the influence of Thomas A. Dorsey and Mahalia Jackson.
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?
Brenda performs a song in Japanese and is told to stop using “demonic language” and is called “a witch.” Unfortunately, bias and ignorance is also visited on the next generation when her son is mistaken for another Japanese American student.
Pam Faro grew up in very white central Wisconsin. Decades later, over a glass of wine with family, she learned that something she’d always done innocently was racially hurtful. How could a class taken way back in high school be of any help?
Alton Takiyama-Chung visits the remains of the Minidoka Relocation Center, one of the internment campus used to incarcerate Japanese Americans during WWII. There he meets an 89-year-old woman who had been incarcerated at Minidoka years before.
When Antonio Sacre asks his Cuban father about his country his questions are met with silence. While traveling to Mexico to absorb the culture, Antonio suddenly realizes he has not done so in Cuba. It is then that the doors of communication open.
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.
Joseph’s father and neighbor debate whether a Jewish family should have a Christmas tree. Meanwhile Joseph gets into mischief resulting in an overturned tree and a proclaimation.
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.
Rev. Jones gives a rousing illustration of how today’s rap music has evolved from the blues and earlier musical forms.
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.
Five-year-old Kiyoshi lives in world that has been turned upside down since Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Since then his father was taken away and his family moved living briefly in a horse stall before ending up in a place called Minidoka.
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.
In a chance encounter, Kevin Cordi meets someone others might classify as a “redneck.” Cordi begins a short conversation with this very pleasant man named Jack. Jack explains to Cordi about the nature of the term “redneck” and asks, “When did dirt and hard work become something bad?” In that moment, Cordi reconnects with and feels pride in his mountain heritage.
One day, 5-year old Arif learns how to play with a dreidel and learns about the differences between Christians and Jews.
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.
A wannabe comedian in the suburbs of Pittsburgh finally meets a professional comic who is willing to take him under his wing. Will silence over the discovery of a small town’s nasty racial secret destroy the friendship before it can even begin?
After fishermen in the Okefenokee Swamp give Elliott two fierce looking mudfish, he finds himself on a hilarious cross cultural journey learning how to cook the fish, and later meets a number of challenges learning how to tell the tale.
Soon after 10-year old Michele’s great-grandmother dies, she gets lost at New York City’s Puerto Rican Day Parade. What happens next confirms she doesn’t fit in with her family or her people. Can you remember a time you felt you didn’t belong?
Spark Matsunaga was a member of the 100th Battalion in WWII. He was elected to be a U.S. Senator from Hawaii and spearheaded the Redress Act through the Senate compensating Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in the U.S. during WWII.
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.
Storyteller Jim Stowell tells how an immigrant woman is faced with trials and hardships, and how she established a sense of pride and dignity for herself and her family.
This story is about learning about bigotry and the strength to conquer it and the wisdom that a young person can learn from a stranger who becomes a friend.
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?
Michael McCarty has a poem about the importance of reading, storytelling and what he learned from his mother.
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.
During the McCarthy witch-hunts (a period of anti-communism intensity), the Cold War and the Space Race, Yvonne Healty describes how we learned to “blend” ethnic identities.
A college teacher learns traditional tales to advocate for international students whose countries have been targeted by an anti-Muslim travel ban. Interviewing the students about the tales they grew up hearing uncovers images that help them endure.
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.
When Nancy’s sister adopts seven-year-old Taylor, aunt and niece find kindred spirits in each other. This story explores what makes us family and when the color of one’s skin does and doesn’t matter.
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.
Linda’s father had a little black book. He said it was written just for her and he said it was full of all the values she needed for a successful life. Linda loved it. She believed in it, but it took time to understand just what a gift it was.
This story is about how a mentally-challenged young man teaches his classmates the meaning of acceptance and understanding.