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1. Introducing Yourself and the Work Ahead/ the "why" of this work.


2. Readings to Set the Stage: Drawing on one or two of the stories you selected/ the "how" of the work.


3. Introductions around the writing circle using the “If your words had the power” prompt). 

Sharing a bit of your own story, the first step

What is the story that you would like to share that would let your students know you that would guide them to find an answering story in their own lives to share with the group?  How can you show them that you have skin in the game while beginning to model the Page One Moments that will help them to model their own.  


We invite you to listen to the personal story of Latashen Johnson-Lowe as she shares the way she would begin to talk to new students about how having been a teen mother was the moment she needed to explore.

As you listen, we invite you to think about the page one moment you just created in preparation for teaching your workshop, and what part of it you will share to help inspire the students.

If your words had the power to create a true change, what is the change that you personally would like to see?

This is the question that you will be asking each new participant in your class, club, counseling session, or after school program. In order to prepare for the work ahead, we ask that you answer it for yourself in a way that you will be willing to share with the students you work with.


Listen to how Latashen begins to model how she might be thinking aloud with her students about the power of stories to change empathy in the world.  As you listen, think about what you would wish for if your words had the power to make a change, and how you might explain it.

Each new workshop facilitator will have a different way of approaching this exercise.  What is important to remember, is that if you help your students to shape their stories with this prompt in mind, and if you make sure that each student expresses their response aloud before beginning to write, you have a far better chance of ensuring that resulting stories will have the power to move readers and listeners.  


As you continue to listen to Latashen in the web pages that follow, note how this will move students out of writing as victims into writing from a place of strength, even when the material they are writing about is hard, so that, in Latashen’s words, they will be “It was more about getting your story down on paper and reading it and understanding it and piercing the hearts of individuals to say, ‘look I have something to say and I want you to hear it.’” 

Now we invite you to watch a short video made by students, teachers, and school administrators and our Herstory facilitators who joined forces in a summer program at Uniondale High School.  As you listen, we invite you to think deeply on the question posed by each participant, regardless of rank or position, in a true family team model, working together on level ground:  “ If your words had the power, what would you do?”

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