Changing the Narrative: Teacher Institutes

Changing the Narrative includes two summer institutes for teachers and librarians in the six cities served by the project. The first took place in June of 2018. Details on the next teachers institute will be posted here when available.

Summer 2018 Teacher Institute

At the inaugural institute in June 2018, we welcomed approximately 40 educators to the Jefferson African American Heritage Center in Charlottesville, Va. This two and a half day institute was an exceptional exploration of race and storytelling.


  • Participate in a transformative racial healing circle
  • Receive training in educational technology including Google Expeditions
  • Learn to develop storytelling podcasts with your students
  • Collaborate with other educators creating practical hands-on lesson plans
  • Use “Where I’m From” book making kits to provided a fun low-tech solution to narrative sharing
  • Learn to work with your students connecting local histories and personal stories & to tell broader narratives on race and place


[The institute] made me reflect on things that I currently do in my school and how I would like to move forward. As a school librarian, I am always looking to include under represented narratives in our library collection and narratives that provide students with a broad range of perspectives with regards to race, gender, class, and ability. The institute helped inform ideas for how to bring more conversations about race and personal narratives to our library space through collaboration with other teachers. I am also thinking about how to share what I have learned with the other teachers at my school who did not attend.

Attendees share their finished “Where I’m From” books

I want to try the book making, especially using the suggestion that one of the other teachers made, which is to use it to think about the narratives of characters from history or characters in novels.

I plan to use everything learned during the breakout sessions in my classroom. As well as introduce the ideas to my colleagues.

The Institute has given me tangible ideas for programs I can do with my patrons. I also have a vision for a yearlong effort.