I love the power of story but at the same time I think we have to be aware of the danger of a single story.
Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.
(Check out Chimamand Adichie’s Ted talk “The danger of a single story” here )
On January 31st of this year there was a “More Than A Single Story” demonstration at Wheaton college. The demonstration was in response to Rosaria Butterfield—a former lesbian and feminist studies professor who has since repented her “lesbianism” after converting to Christianity—coming to speak at the Wheaton chapel.
More than a hundred students gathered that day holding signs that said things like “I am a feminist, a LGBTQ ally and a Christian – this is my story” and “I am gay and a beloved child of God – this is my story.” Something special happened that day. Many said they felt as if they were participating in a beautiful act of worship and were aware of the presence of God. That would have been enough but it didn’t end there.
About a month later a few of the demonstrators got together and began to create an audio documentary filled with the voices of current and past Wheaton students representing minority sexualities.
The premise was simple: They would tell stories – just stories – and that would touch people’s hearts.
The documentary was posted online on April 22 and has already been heard by thousands of people.
I hope you will check it out because I agree with what Jordan Ashley Barney, one of the creators, said:
“I truly believe that stories change hearts, change minds, and have the ability to change the world.”
Go here for “The More Than A Single Story” project.