Story Circle: “Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a local”

DSC_1081What do you do when someone asks you the loaded question, “Where are you from……wait, where are you really from?” This can be a challenging question, especially in a world of multi and complementing identities. Borders and nationalities don’t necessarily define us; they are constructs, inconstant and potentially stifling.

The Intercultural Digital Storytelling Project (IDSP), Committee for Intercultural Communication, and Committee for Diversity and Inclusion joined forces on Wednesday, November 11th to host the first Intercultural Story Circle event at the DLC to tackle this very question.  The Story Circle was meant to bring students and faculty together to explore themes of identity and belonging through story sharing.

articipants wrote out their rituals, relationships, and restrictions as inspirations for Story Circle sharing.
Participants wrote out their rituals, relationships, and restrictions as inspirations for Story Circle sharing.

The meeting started with a viewing of the TED Talk by writer and novelist Taiye Selasi, “Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a local.” Participants used Selasi’s exercise of exploring ones rituals, relationships, and restrictions to tell stories of self and belonging.

Story circles are spaces where individuals can share personal experiences and stories, through a thoughtful, structured, and facilitated process. Story circles are powerful tools to develop trust, encourage expression and reflection, and generate collective problem solving and action.