Personal storytelling is one of the most intimate forms of communication. Telling our story in community has the potential to bridge divides, cultivate trust, and inspire action by inviting those gathered to better understand what others have lived, suffered, and overcome. All human divisions could be healed if we would only take the time to listen to one another’s stories.
With support from The Oregon Community Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, and The City of Ashland, The Hearth is pioneering a seven-month certification program in community storytelling for those interested in the transformational power of stories. The Certificate in Community Storytelling offers a variety of experiential exercises, individual skill-building, practical teaching, online discussion groups, and written and online resources. Individuals who complete the certification course will:
- Understand how stories function in our personal and public lives.
- Learn how to create transformative events that deepen relationships within a local community or organization.
- Explore narrative practices that promote individual growth, social awareness, and community action.
- Learn how to create a variety of public story-sharing platforms that engender trust and vulnerability.
- Gain concrete skills for community storytelling including story recruitment, event promotion, audience building, public participation, media integration, and fundraising.
- Learn how to craft personal stories for speaking, teaching, and facilitation.
- Increase skills for coaching groups and individuals in personal storytelling.
- Discover methods for amplifying the voice of marginalized populations.
- Learn how to apply storytelling techniques within families, friendships, and other informal gatherings.
The Certificate in Community Storytelling is ideal for nonprofit staff, social entrepreneurs, government officials, teachers, parents, ministers, journalists, social justice activists, and anyone seeking to strengthen families, local communities, or charitable organizations. The training program begins with a three-day intensive March 20-23, 2019, and ends with a closing intensive October 23-26, 2019. Both intensives will take place in retreat-like settings in Ashland, Oregon. Between the spring and fall workshops, participants will gather online for training, troubleshooting, and discussion with The Hearth founder, Mark Yaconelli. Continuing Education Units are available through a partnership with Southern Oregon University.*
What is The Hearth?
The Hearth is a nonprofit organization that uses transformational storytelling to help communities and organizations deepen trust, celebrate individual courage, address social problems, and strengthen group identity and purpose.