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Shared Learnings

Using Stories to Build a Social Movement

  • Mar 09, 2016
By:
Anndee Hochman

Rosa Ana Lozada grew up in a San Francisco neighborhood riddled with domestic violence, child abuse and the frequent wail of police sirens. But home and family were the counterweight to violence and fear, said Lozada, now CEO of Harmonium, Inc. and a member of the San Diego Trauma Informed Guide Team.

During a two-day convening of Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) grantees, Lozada’s talk brought a hush to the room and underscored one of the gathering’s themes: Stories are essential to building social movements, including the growing effort to combat early adversity and build resilience across the nation.

Marshall Ganz, senior lecturer in public policy at Harvard University, has written about the role of stories in social movements; stories help us exercise agency, develop personal and collective identities and find the resources that enable us to act. Stories speak to both the heart and the head, and the most effective stories leave listeners with a sense that they, too, can make a difference.


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