Storytelling for Social Change

Storytelling for Social Change Recruitment Flyer

NEW! Applications still open for SFSC Spring 2024: Telling Housing Stories from Washtenaw County

Students: Please click here to fill out an application and/or join one of our info sessions on February 23 at 10am or March 5 at 11am and reach out with questions to g[email protected] 

This spring semester, join Ginsberg’s Storytelling for Social Change program to tell stories about housing in Washtenaw County. SFSC participants will partner with local organizations that address housing access, homelessness and also more broadly things that make communities livable for all—mental health care, access to public transportation, education, green spaces, food access, community-based organizing, unarmed emergency services, and more. We’re inviting students to use and grow their storytelling skills in a thoughtfully organized program that helps them engage more deeply in our community – and learn what it takes to make it truly inclusive. 

“You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world.… The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way…people look at reality, then you can change it.” 

—James Baldwin

About Storytelling for Social Change

Storytelling for Social Change (SFSC) brings together students and community partners to find new ways to capture and share stories that change the world. 

This program reflects Ginsberg’s commitments to community-driven engagement and to fostering students as leaders and changemakers, helping them build and apply skills in community, connecting them to experiential, place-based and critical learning opportunities. 

SFSC is one part of a network of communications-based engagement projects at the Ginsberg Center. We match student teams with community organizations to capture and share stories that illustrate the heart of their work. 

We accomplish this work through a range of programming and partnerships with courses and campus programs. These offerings bring together students from across campus to work with community organizations to tell their stories by producing audio visual products (images, social media templates, audio clips, gifs and short videos). 

Story Camp

Ginsberg's "Story Camp" offers an immersive, cohort-based experience during the spring semester. The program kicks off with an intensive orientation which includes training in community engagement, ethical storytelling, and content creation (graphic design, video/audio production). During orientation, students are placed in interdisciplinary teams and then matched to a community organization to work with for the duration of the program. Over the 8-week experience, students put their new learning into practice, learning about their organization and the work they do and working with them to capture stories and create content that help partners advance their mission. 

SFSC Alternative Spring Break - Local! 

Alternative Spring Breaks (ASB) are designed to allow students to serve communities in meaningful ways while building connections with their peers and community organizations. While typical ASB programs involve traveling to distant communities, our Storytelling for Social Change ASB invites students to move beyond campus and explore the broader communities they are a part of, deepening their understanding of the communities they are a part of and benefit from. Students participate in weekly trainings leading up to U-M's spring break so they are primed to dive into deep collaboration with the local partner. Applications are closed for Spring Break 2024, but check back here for updates! 

Learn More

For more information on what we have to offer, please see a portfolio website to see some of our current and past projects. For any questions, reach out to [email protected].

SFSC is a program with a number of offerings including an Alternative Spring Break and various longer-term community engagement initiatives. See above for more information and the application to the Local ASB. For more information, please reach out to [email protected].

SFSC works directly with community partners with the goal of increasing capacity for social media and communications projects and donor outreach. If this sounds useful to your organization, please reach out to [email protected].

Past collaborators with SFSC have shared:

  • The students were very professional, efficient and reliable. Overall, very impressed with their work and work ethic.
  • I felt like they understood our mission and vision and embodied both as the project progressed.
  • We received all deliverables we asked for, and more!

To see more of our past work, visit our portfolio!

We collaborate with academic partners across campus in a variety of ways including matchmaking support for your courses, contextualizing the local community engagement climate, and offering support with local storytelling assignments and syllabus design.

We are always interested in understanding the communications and storytelling landscape on campus more and are eager to learn about your work and how we might support it. - If you’re a faculty member or other university unit interested in collaborating with Storytelling for Social Change, please email [email protected].