“When we deny our stories, they define us. When we run from struggle, we are never free. So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye.” –Brené Brown
To achieve transformation in ourselves, our work, and our world, we must “turn toward truth” and listen to our individual and collective stories. Stories are how we integrate and make meaning of facts and events. Some stories we tell pave over painful histories with what author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie describes as “single stories,” simplistic narratives that erase our shared humanity with stereotypes and prejudice. Other stories—ones where we share vulnerability, emotion, and laughter; make meaning of failures and mistakes; and admit and own our histories—can connect and unite us by touching our hearts.
As we close out the 2019 SAFSF Forum, we come together in the hopes of turning back to our own work inspired, with a deeper sense of connection and support with one another and in this community, and with a renewed willingness and even eagerness to continually question whether our approaches are really deconstructing power and privilege and achieving a more just society—or whether we are helping maintain an unjust status quo. Join us to hear three personal stories that will challenge and inspire us to use the power and capital we each have and hold—be it financial, social, or other—to cultivate justice, approach our work with intention and innovation, and achieve social change.
Jen Zuckerman, director of strategic initiatives, World Food Policy Center, Duke University, NC
Nephi Craig, executive chef and founder, Native American Culinary Association, AZ
Rev. Dr. Fatimah Salleh, founder, A Certain Work, NC
Wildstyle Paschall, roving illustrator, The Learning Tree, IN