Exposing ExPEERience

A Peacemaking Project by McKinley D.

What is the injustice we are solving?

Everyone has a story-- whether it's an adversity they've overcome, an experience that changed their mind, or battle they're still fighting. With social media, a challenging political climate, and a nonstop news cycle, it's easier and easier for us to disconnect from one another and conflate the stories we are shown to single narratives. It's become habit to simplify the stories of our classmates and colleagues and feel alone in our struggles. This project will connect youth voices with local press to share experiences that relate that put a human face on the issues populating the headlines. Through a "storytelling toolkit", students can learn how to think, write, and speak about their experiences and then share those narratives with a broader audience. Whether for a school or local newspaper, blog post, or college application essay, this toolkit will build community through the sharing of experiences, cultivate healthier relationships among students, improve interpersonal communication skills, and foster a compassionate sense of civic engagement in young people through showing them that their stories matter and that they're more connected to each other and the headlines than they likely think.


Adrian B.
5 April 2018 14:34
Hi McKinley,

We wanted to let you know that we are extending the deadline for active projects to apply for a Mini-Grant during this Peace First Challenge to April 15th. You can apply for a mini-grant anytime, but meeting the Challenge deadlines will make you eligible for additional opportunities.

If you do not require a mini-grant to complete your project, you can remain eligible for the Accelerator by completing your project and Reflection before the May 31st deadline! If you submit your project plan by April 15th, we'll be sure to provide you with feedback by April 21st to support you with carrying out the plan.

If you are still in early stages of planning, you are also welcome to apply for a mini-grant at a later date -- although you may not be eligible for some of our larger opportunities, the opportunity for funding and support is always there.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and if we can help in any way!

Lily D.
7 March 2018 10:26
McKinley D.
6 March 2018 20:20
Hi Fish,
Thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement . In regards to your question about press outreach, I work in Public Relations and have tools (Cision) / contacts in local print (and TV/radio) outlets across the country. I would love to offer those contacts to students and connect school officials with their local press for continued correspondence.

I am now working with my younger sister, Lily, on this project to make sure it is feasible to implement across school districts and with different ages. We are so excited to have your support! I am going to finish filling out the project questions and am open to any and all advice you have to offer in getting this off the ground. We are thinking the first step is to create a "How to Tell Your Story" toolkit. If there is something else/another deliverable you think we should focus on, please let us know and we will give it our prompt attention.

Thanks again!

McKinley and Lily Doty
Fish S. Peace First Staff
1 February 2018 13:40
McKinley, what a powerful project! Thanks for bringing this to us. Really love the work you're doing to lift up young people's voices and bring us all closer together through storytelling -- and love all the deep thinking you've done about the benefits this experience can offer to young people! We definitely need more youth voices in the media.

What's the process for connecting young people with local news outlets?

How can we help with your next steps for the spring? We can offer mentors, expert feedback, mini-grants of up to $250 (as well as opportunities to attend our Accelerator Conferences and receive larger grants), and project-planning tools. Just let us know what you need!