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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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…
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.”
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?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
One day during the 1950’s, a mixed-race couple came to visit the Atwood’s farm in rural Wisconsin. What happened to cause a young girl to question her mother’s response to the couple?
To get married, Arianna and her fiancé had to prove that their love was real. Complexity arose as they entered the immigration process. As they hit barrier after barrier, they quickly learned the unpredictablility of US immigration.
In this story, Rives Collins recalls his work directing plays for children and how, through them, he learns the importance of representation on our stages and the significance of role models for our children.
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.
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.
In this excerpt, Jon Spelman uses Mary Shelley’s elevated language as he moves from the Narrator’s to the Creature’s perspective to help us think about the ways we treat and classify each other. What are our basic responsibilities to one another?
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.
In 1988 Jim and his wife lived with a family in Nicaragua. Jim learned about gratitude by watching how a young girl appreciated something as simple as a single piece of gum or a sheet of paper.
Jay O’Callahan shares storyteller Sandra Harris’s story of her involvement in the Civil Rights struggle in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.
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.
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.
During the 1950s, Gwen’s mother, like many African American parents, sent her children down south for the summer. Gwen remembers the rich experiences with her grandparents on the farmas well as painful and dangerous racist encounters.
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.
In three short anecdotes, the teller (Milbre as a child) and her small daughter, Elizabeth, try to make sense of a world in which we are taught to fear “the other”.
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.
Talking about World War ll was hard for Carol’s father despite his three Purple Hearts. He shares his story of anti-Semitism, his sense of Jewish identity with a stranger in Paris and how he survived the front lines by wearing “blinders.”
Friendly lunchtime religious debates with Sarah Beth’s high school band friends turned serious when her religious identity was called into question. Would she be able to lose her religion but keep her friends?
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.