Stories That Need Telling
A Peacemaking Project by Inari B.
What is the injustice we are solving?
Our Compassionate Solution:
To solve this injustice of Black women receiving insufficient and detrimental health attention
we will address Racist ideas stemming from slavery as well as gender bias
by sharing the stories of black women and mothers' experiences of adversity when seeking help and highlighting the change that needs to happen within medical institutions.
Our Project Plan:
- To hear stories from a diverse group of black women.
We will increase my / our compassion by...
The connection I have made with WOCHEC will be crucial in my ability to reach out and connect with a diverse group of people. Their mission aligns with my goal to reach out to a group of people of all different backgrounds. I plan to create a flyer to circulate on social media for a month before the conversation is set to happen. When the conversation is held, I will open with words of encouragement and statistics that prove their words are powerful weapons for fighting a truly systemic problem.
How will you show courage?
I will take reasonable risks by working with organizations in my community. By sending my risks through them I will be able to hear more voices of reasoning. Any risks I take will go through a filter of people who have more experience in the field of community work I wish to direct this project in. The main challenge of this project is actually getting participants. Some people might be hesitant and want to remain anonymous. To face this challenge, I will encourage stories to be sent in via email if some do not want to share them out loud. Another challenge I am already experiencing in this project is the language I want to use minding the participants I desire in this project. I need to be mindful of sharers who do not identify as women.
How will you collaborate with others?
I have reached out to one organization that I mentioned before. WOCHEC is my main partner in this project and they will help host the conversation as well as brainstorm discussion questions. I have also reached out to Mawakana Onifade, a spiritual life coach of the Boston area to see if she had any ideas or experiences to contribute to the project. Besides these two collaborations, I do not plan to partner with anyone else for this initial launch. I hope to hold future conversations that grow in size. If this happens, I aspire to collaborate with Planned Parenthood for education to be included with a larger-scale conversation.
How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)
I will create a survey modeled after the Youth-led Community Impact Evaluation Tool to be completed following the conversation. I will heavily rely on this tool to measure the impact of the conversation. I also hope to plug donations to WOCHEC and see the conversation incite some, allowing this organization to offer more services to women of color. The answers of this survey and simple the number of surveys received out of the number of participants will be an essential way to measure the impact of the project. An increase in donations will also prove impact.
- pick date for conversation
- decide what age groups you want to host and how large each group will be
- create flyer
- brainstorm discussion questions
- create survey requesting demographics and options for participants to send in stories rather than share live. Select participants that represent largest diversity (ability, gender identity, sexual orientation).
- Circulate flyer with link to survey
- Hold conversation
- Have participants fill out impact survey
- Write a paper to summarize the goals and achievements of the project
How many young people (13-25), including yourself, were part of the team that you worked with to plan and implement your project?
How did the project deepen your team's understanding of the injustice?
This project made me realize just how normalized this injustice is. Every single person who showed up to the conversation had multiple stories to share or started their story with 'Where to start" or "Let's see which one...". Often, one woman would finish sharing a story and be followed by another woman saying "That reminds me of the time..." and share a very similar story! To hear these stories back to back and shared in almost a tired way really illustrated for me how accustomed we are to mistreatment.
How did your community change as a result of your project?
In order to get anywhere near the numbers I wanted, I had to do a lot of networking. I reached out to multiple coaches I had in the past who I knew were doing some community work, old family friends and a non-profit organizations. All of this networking brought me closer to people that I had grown apart from and more aware of the work being done in the community. Reaching out to all these people individually also reformed a web of people doing work in the area that I can feed into.
How many people were impacted by your project?
Explain how you came up with the number of people impacted by the project that you shared above?
I first counted the number of women who participated and shared their stories. This came up to 14 women. Then I thought of people I collaborated with- old coaches, old friends, organizations, and identified six adults who reached out to people because of me and my project.
In addition to those directly impacted, are there additional people you feel were indirectly indirectly impacted or reached? If so, how many? (This might include people who read about your project, families of people that attended your workshops or received services, etc.)
I set up a Linktr.ee with links to this project page and a registration page once we started promoting the event. This link tree has 82 views and 20 clicks on each of the links. In addition to however many people read flyers online and viewed webpages, I like to think the family members of those involved received benefits as well. One of the questions I asked participants was about how they deal with the experiences they've had with healthcare. Only one person present said she ended up going to therapy, but other women spoke about the strategies they employ after some of the experiences they've had. I hope that this conversation encouraged the women on call to seek help and not just internalize the very real trauma some of their experiences provided, but also share with their kids the strategies women on the call talked about.
How did your team learn more about the people affected by the injustice?
My team learned more about how different women of color and not just black women are affected by health equity. The stereotypes that haunt the black community are easily traceable, but others that came up when talking to other women of color intrigued us because they were less familiar.
What did your team learn?
My team learned about the importance of networking. I ended up getting a lot of the people that showed up not through the extensive posting/promoting on various social media platforms, but through personally reaching out to people. I ended up asking team members to do the same and the response was great! We got a great increase in numbers right before the event.
What challenges did your team overcome?
We overcame the challenge of not having a major, well-known organization beside our project. It took a lot of effort to get enough people there and the personal outreach it took to get those people was challenging. We also had difficulties finding a time that worked for everyone, so to accommodate that I made individual interviews and written accounts options for sharing.
How have you involved others in designing, carrying out, or expanding this project?
I have involved the excecutives of WOCHEC in this project by relying on them for flyer design and some promotion. I also worked closely with one of their interns to revise the questions I wanted to ask in the conversation. Brennan has been a major help in expanding this project as they directed me to the opportunity for an op-ed about the project.
What advice would you give to someone starting a peacemaking project?
It's never too early to start promoting! Believe in your project from the start and others will believe in you. The biggest aid for this project was my confidence in it, which of course fluctuated. It is important to be sure in your work when asking people close to you to help with it, which you should always do!