Melanin Stories Matter: This storytelling program showcases the impact of racism on the everyday lives of BIPOC* through individual stories. Told from a variety of perspectives, guest storytellers will provide a glimpse into some of the moments, big and small, that have dramatically shaped their lives.
The current crisis of police brutality and racist attacks on blacks and people of color have sparked outrage across the US and throughout the world. The racial justice and anti-police violence activism so prominent over the last few months is not new, but it is louder and more insistent on change. Storytelling provides an outlet for true, lived BIPOC experiences. These stories matter.
Our mission is to elevate BIPOC voices, magnify their stories and lived experiences, and inspire conscious effort by listeners to be educated, actively antiracist allies.
Melanin Stories Matter aims to raise awareness about conscious changes we can make to be more inclusive, no matter our melanin level.
We don't really like the oversimplified catch-all of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, but the more we tried to include all ethnicities and identities, the more we felt like we were simply creating a laundry list and losing the big picture. So, to be clear:
Melanin Stories Matter is a platform for ALL people of color who experience racism or colorism as a result of colonialism.
2020 has been jam-packed with stories, protests, injustice, and action. BIPOC are raising their voices through every medium available, but it still isn't enough. They need allies.
In June 2020, Melissa Reaves, professional storyteller and storytelling coach, was reflecting on her own (white) experience. Her story opens with a frighteningly common thread: she was raised by a southern based family where racist views were common. While discussing how to share her story, a friend suggested to Melissa that maybe it wasn't her story that needed to be told, to be heard. She took the conversation to heart and shifted focus on the people who are screaming to be heard, literally, and asked, "How can we help magnify those voices?"
Thus, Melanin Stories Matter was born. Melanin Stories Matter is here to amplify BIPOC voices. These stories are hard and often painful--both to tell and to hear--but these stories matter.
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