Changing the Narrative

Through the Power of Story

Marc Boston author residency March 2018
Marc Boston author residency March 2018

In acknowledgement of a history rooted in enslavement, racism, and inherent bias against people of color, we commit to replacing the traditionally accepted Virginia narrative with a more complete truth. We stand firmly committed to fostering community-level transformations through numerous partnerships in our six-city purview. With a collective of dedicated initiatives, we will work toward changing the narrative to promote equity, to encourage empathy, and ultimately, to empower outreach and action.

About Changing the Narrative

Changing the Narrative is a project funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to implement Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation initiatives across the Commonwealth. In collaboration with community partners, educators, and librarians, Virginia Humanities is developing programs that use stories to empower Virginians in underserved communities in Arlington, Charlottesville, Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke, and Harrisonburg. These programs will focus on fostering safe opportunities for all to tell their stories and engage with the experiences of others.

Pathways to openness and healing are urgently needed, and by creating opportunities to share, listen, and discuss the stories of Virginia communities, Virginia Humanities will promote empathy and understanding—not only of how we are different, but also of our shared humanity. Changing the Narrative programs will engage communities through:

  • 24 short-term author residencies, coordinated by the Virginia Center for the Book, bringing diverse-background authors to classrooms and public libraries;
  • 6 BackStory podcasts that contextualize contemporary issues of race and representations through the lens of history;
  • 15 Encyclopedia Virginia classroom visits to present and explore Google Expeditions and tools for digital storytelling;
  • 6 grant-funded programs, developed in partnership with advisory committees in designated communities;
  • With Good Reason radio programs about Changing the Narrative, including interviews with participating authors, educators, and librarians; and
  • summer institutes for up to 60 educators and librarians.

Read the full project announcement »


To learn more about Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation, click here.