The Untold Story project, in support of the county’s commitment to lead with racial justice, invites employees of color to submit a 750-word story of how racism has affected them and their sense of self, belonging, or worth. Examples can be found on the project website. Stories are due May 25. Submitters are cautioned that this project is not a forum for discrimination or sexual harassment complaints, which must be legally addressed by Human Resources.
The second in a series of three lunchtime workshops to assist potential submitters in writing their story is April 17 at the Renton Elections Office. It will be led by arts journalist Florangela Davila, who has worked in radio as well as in print and online publications. She has taught undergrads at Seattle University and the University of Washington, and has led teams of young female filmmakers in producing videos for local non-profits as part of ReelGrrls. She has won local, regional, and national awards.
Last month, poet and playwright Daemond Arrindell gave the first workshop, which was held at King Street Center. Asked what they liked best about the workshop, participants gave these responses:
- Learning how to be word specific
- The whole workshop
- The teacher, his experiences, craft of storytelling
- Freedom to write without judgement
- Word cutting exercise, to clarify what’s essential
- The writing exercises
The third workshop is scheduled for May 1 with poet and essayist Jourdan Imani Keith. Registration is online.
Because stories are meant to be shared, the stories collected as part of this project will be made available online for all employees to read this summer. In the fall, several events open to all employees will feature local performance artists presenting some of the stories, followed by a facilitated discussion on racism. The Untold Story project is based on the premise that story is what connects us and helps us understand each other.