The Stories We Don't Tell Tell Us

Submitted By:
Kellyann Conners, EdM Candidate, Klingenstein Center, New York, NY

We Need To Keep Talking About Charlottesville by Brené Brown
Facebook Live, August 15, 2017

This brief Facebook Live video by social worker Brené Brown helps educators find language (and courage) to continue talking about Charlottesville as the school year progresses. In conversational and inviting language, Brown insists that owning our individual and collective narratives is the only way to avoid being defined by our worst stories – in this case, the story of white supremacy in the United States. Brown encourages us to name white supremacy and start intentionally discussing the “3Ps” of owning a collective history: “Power, Privilege, and Perspective-taking.” Before fielding questions after her 15-minute talk, Brown reminds us of the imperfections of this truth-telling work. She reminds us to give each other grace and find the courage to keep trying, because if we own our stories then we can write the endings. Brown calls for braver conversations, honesty about the role we play, and listening. Also, as she often does, she challenges us directly, saying that “if we don’t [continue to talk about Charlottesville], one of our worst stories in history will continue to own us.”  Not talking about it is, in other words, an act of privilege. What would happen if we created a culture of storytelling, owning our (painful) narratives, and writing our own endings in our schools?  According to Brown, we have no choice but to find out.  

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