Storytelling has been and continues to be an integral part of the two cultures that I grew up in, and has always been an important way for me to not only get to know others on a deeper level, but also to get to know myself. Every time I tell a story I find myself telling it a little differently based on where I am, who I’m with and what has changed in my life since the last time I told the story. It’s never easy to talk about something personal especially when it has to do with a conflict in your life or a crisis relating to ones needs. However, it is one of the best ways to empathize with the situation that someone has been through and also learn from a first person perspective. I’ve always thought the importance of storytelling is absolutely invaluable in many situations.


When Amy Hill from Story Center came to talk to us about storytelling in the context of peacebuilding, I was already aware of a lot of what she was describing about the process, as I took a storytelling workshop when I attended United World College. Even though everything she was saying seemed very familiar, it made me think back on the story that I had told almost four years ago very differently than how I had viewed it at the time that I had recorded it with Audio Revolution at Warehouse 21 in Santa Fe. It was a personal story about my identity growing up as a mixed child in a predominantly mono-racial society and my struggle with finding my identity. When we were instructed to write a short story about ourselves in our group discussion I decided to reflect on this story and realized that my identity could never be decided until what society has to say about who I am did not have such a strong value in how I identified myself. It is difficult to be at peace with yourself and your identity when you come from two polarized opposites and I have learned from my two experiences with storytelling that talking about these difficulties can helping in healing.


From my experience with storytelling, I believe it is a key tool in understanding conflict and definitely the other party’s ideals and morals and how many conflicts have affected their lives and their stories. Telling stories can also help in facilitating intimacy between parties and encouraging honest conversation that can lead to healing. Understanding those ties has further sparked my interests in storytelling through media such as music. Music has been, since the beginning of humanity a unifying factor for many different groups and incorporating the making of music and its enjoyment to promote further unity could be a key grassroots campaign that could help in reducing conflict.