Storytelling-- Facilitated by Jiva Manske


  • Welcome!
  • Why do we tell stories?
  • Everyone has a story to tell
  • Listening to stories
  • Next steps

Storytelling: thinking about the reasons we do what we do and telling stories that will encourage other people to be involved.


  1. Develop understanding of why storytelling is an important organizing skill
  2. Feel comfortable with the basics of storytelling for organizing.
  3. Create deeper connections between organizers and activists leading change in the DC area.
  4. Jumpstart the self-reflective process, and challenge ourselves to be more effective leaders.
  5. Strengthen the movement for justice and peace.


  • Proactive evoke change
  • Teamwork
  • Relationship
  • Community
  • Communication
  • Facilitation
  • Analysis
  • Action
  • Introspection
  • Confidence (authority)
  • Listening
  • Stepping up
  • Actors presence
  • Sensitivity to others
  • Solidarity trust
  • Identity
  • Inspiration
  • Initiative
  • Commitment
  • Organization

Story of self-Connection-Story of us-community-story of now-action-story of self

Elements of storytelling

  • Know your audience
  • Frame your issue
  • Values and emotions

Tell the story of a moment you chose to lead

  • Challenge
  • Choice
  • Outcome

Storytelling activity

What were some of the choices that people made in the stories?

  • Team work
  • Community
  • Communication, and our own role in that communication.
  • Analysis
  • Introspection
  • Analysis
  • Stepping up above and beyond, not necessarily a fixed role, but you figured it out & you did it.
  • Everyone was already an actor (not third parties). Could have participated in the conflicts, but didn’t.
  • Feeling sensitive to people’s feelings
  • Solidarity – were doing something for another person or another group
  • Identity and how that plays an important role

Storytelling values

  • Inspiration
  • Initiative
  • Organization
  • Confidence
  • Evoking change from others
  • Listening and being present
  • Trust (other people in the group and/or community)
  • Relationships

Storytelling as leadership

  • Leadership isn’t authority.  When we’re sharing our own stories, we’re acting as leaders by stepping up to be ourselves and motivating other people to act.

Storytelling is iterative

  • It’s about the group that’s in front of us. It’s never going to be the same twice.


What’s my story of self?

  • Knowing that I want to connect with my audience, what should I share about myself?

Story of Us?

  • Inviting people into community.

Story of Now?

  • What’s something that we can do today?
  • A moment in your life that you chose to lead?

How did sharing your story feel?

  • Felt like maybe the topic wasn’t “right”
  • ** of the single story – misjudge a single person that they share in just one minute or two minutes
  • Storytelling is about speaking your story - - writing it down on paper is about sharing it outloud
  • How is it to hear each other’s stories?
  • Seems like a good way to get to know people in a short period of time
  • Hear how much knowledge and power is in the room
  • Responsibility, people are sharing important things with you, and so there’s responsibility to take that in.
  • The clock was a major factor – a lot of it became focused on can we get this all out in time – but left people wanting more.