Penn State Beaver (Monaca, PA), January 27, 2016
Penn State Beaver is launching the university-wide storytelling project called We Listen.
We Listen creates intentional spaces for members of the Penn State community to share their stories of lived experiences and listen to the experiences of others. The stories are then recorded, collected and shared.
We Listen began on the Harrisburg campus in 2011, and has since evolved into a multi-campus program.
“Our goal is to build a community where everyone feels belongingness and everyone feels encouraged,” said Juliette Storr.
Storr, an associate professor of communications and the Beaver campus coordinator for We Listen, has long recognized a need for this kind of project, where the aim for empathy is intentional but the outcome organic and dependent on the participants.
“I like the impact stories have on people,” Storr said. “When you tell a good story, people are motivated to give feedback; they’re motivated to share.”
The Harrisburg campus used We Listen in its First Year Seminar. Lehigh Valley used it during orientation, faculty and student leadership events. And at York, We Listen has become a staple of the international student community.
“It’s an opportunity for us to learn and grow in ways we thought not possible,” Storr said.
Subjects Covered: diversity, education