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'Telling My Story' workshop aims to unite through theater

Microphone Flickr Creative Commons
Paul Hudson / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Dartmouth Professor Angela Patricia Hernandez Anguita originally started Telling My Story about 30 years ago. It’s a nonprofit that uses theater and the arts to help break down boundaries and build community.

Hernandez Anguita, who goes by Pati Hernandez, taught theater techniques to people who were incarcerated, on parole and in rehabilitation, and also to survivors of domestic violence. Through the program, she helped participants share their lived experiences with others.

She also offered a semester-long course to students at Dartmouth. The class was structured around students sharing their personal life experiences to help each other learn, observe their own biases and privileges, and connect with their classmates.

“She would bring people together to just kind of do these activities to really let people speak and be heard in places by people who'd never heard them before or who they'd actually never been able to have a conversation with and build community,” said Kim Knowlton Young, a social worker in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

The project has since morphed over the years with workshops that are open to the public.

Knowlton Young is hosting one this Saturday in Pomfret, Vermont, focusing on mental health disparities for people of color and the LGBTQIA+ communities. It will showcase her most recent workshop sessions.

Knowlton Young said people interested in future workshops should consider if they’re prepared to be vulnerable, and they should be ready to examine their own perspectives, possible biases and privileges.

Olivia joins us from WLVR/Lehigh Valley Public Media, where she covered the Easton area in eastern Pennsylvania. She has also reported for WUWM in Milwaukee and WBEZ in Chicago.
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