by Candace Green Blust, Chief of Diversity at Storyteller Foundation
Today is the federal holiday of Juneteenth, made official last year on June 17, 2021. While yesterday was the actual day (June 19th), today is a day of celebration — a day that was actually a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Enslaved people were free at the Proclamation signing but those who benefitted mightily from severe injustice withheld this freedom until Juneteenth. Until they were forced to give up slavery.
Fortunately, this history has been recently made more visible. If you want to learn more about Juneteenth, here are links from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, History.com, and the New York Times.
Now is a time to amplify Black voices.
Writing is about facing the truth. Exposing the wounds. Inspecting the causation. Remarking on existence. Each one of us, in our writing, has a flashlight of healing. Shining from our typewriters, keyboards, our mighty pens, our social media accounts, in whatever form we can each manage.
In a time such as the present, where silencing the expression of others seems to be rampant, I am confident that the Storyteller Foundation can help right this wrong. Haven’t heard of the Storyteller Foundation or Story Summit? Read on!
"Look around the room. See who is missing. Then invite them to the table." – Elizabeth Hines, author, editor, communications specialist, founding education editor at AlterNet
The Storyteller Foundation provides fellowship resources for online writing classes and onsite writing retreats at the Story Summit. The Story Summit gathers award-winning professionals and accomplished experts from across the globe to provide intimate, meaningful and profitable relationships with screenwriters and authors in an inspiring, immersive and luxurious environment.
The Rainbow Fund of the Storyteller Foundation under Story Summit has been so graciously established this year to promote the writing of diverse experiences. Stories that will shine the healing light of day, which will in turn lead directly to empathy, and hopefully, progress.
How do I know so much about the Storyteller Foundation?
I was recently given the honor of serving as the new Chief of Diversity for the Foundation. What a benevolent mission — to help attract the resources to provide scholarships to diverse talent.
Story Summit is putting a focused effort on those scholarships with our Story Moves Us campaign. We are encouraging writers to focus on self care through movement, which they can use to solicit donations for the Fund. Care for ourselves to help care for others? I love this concept!
How do these two topics intersect? Juneteenth and the Storyteller Foundation?
Well, it’s that flashlight I talked about earlier. Juneteenth was about hiding the truth from the oppressed. Keeping enslaved people in the dark so that their stories and fate could be controlled. By supporting today’s diverse writers, we reveal the truth, we shine that light, we bring knowledge into the open, we reject keeping anyone in the dark about the biographies of the underrepresented. There are writers who feel like no one believes in their stories. Empathizes with their stories. Supports their stories. Important stories. Diverse stories. We will change that.
Don’t you want to be part of the solution?
Kudos to everyone involved in the Story Moves Us effort:
Jane Sibbett (Chair of the Storyteller Foundation); Derek Larthey (Story Moves Us Captain); David Paul Kirkpatrick (esteemed founder of Story Summit); and Story Moves Us team leaders Rebecca Bloom, Pamela Weiss, Constance Nicole, Melody Writes, Donna Stevens Kehl, & Frank Myer.
All heroes in the light brigade of story! March on!