US-The Untold Story Project is part of the ESJ Literary Project sponsored by the Solid Waste and Wastewater Treatment divisions. The purpose of US is to provide an opportunity for King County employees of color to share their experiences of racism in a space dedicated to their voices. In a system in which they may have felt marginalized as other, employees of color can shift the traditional narrative to center their story.
To participate, employees of color can submit their story of 750 words or fewer at bit.ly/UntoldStoryProject. Stories are due by Friday, May 25, 2018.
The project has three components: Optional story development workshops, story submittal and presentation on website, and live performance of selected stories.
Optional story development workshops
Before submitting their stories, employees can attend a workshop led by a local writer. To help guide employees in identifying a story that can be told in 750 words or fewer, the workshop leader will cover the following:
- Discovering the story
- How to identify the key element in your story
- Scene vs. exposition
- How to edit your own story
Employees can sign up for the workshops, held from noon to 1 p.m., at the links below.
- March 29, King Street Center, with poet and performer Daemond Arrindell
- April 17, King County Elections, with journalist Florangela Davila
- May 1, Chinook Building, with poet and essayist Jourdan Imani Keith
Workshop leaders Daemond Arrindell, Florangela Davila, and Jourdan Imani Keith are accomplished local artists who are also dedicated to social justice and elevating voices that might otherwise go unheard.
A few participants at each workshop will be randomly selected for the opportunity to submit a draft of their story to the workshop leader for additional general feedback. Drafts must be submitted to the workshop leader within a week following the workshop. The artist will provide written comments within two weeks of receiving the draft.
Stories are due Friday, May 25 to the Untold Stories website. Stories will be shared online with King County employees. If preferred, stories can be published anonymously.
Employees who prefer not to write their story, may request to tell their story in a taped interview with a project team member. The interview will be transcribed and edited down to a 750-word story. A limited number of interview opportunities are available. For more information, contact Julia Yen.
In the fall, performance artists will present some of the stories. Following each performance, a facilitator will guide the audience in a discussion on how we respond to racism and how we listen to stories by those affected by racism.
Members of the King County ESJ Literary Project are John Conway, Ericka Cox, Kimberly Diaz, Kirsten Garcia, Donna Miscolta, De’Sean Quinn, Debra Ross, and Julia Yen.