Jenna Torres

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Jenna Torres is a Community Advocate and Human Rights Supporter. She is a Published Author, Spoken Word Artist, Entrepreneur, and above all a proud mother to three beautiful children! She believes people have agency to make the best decisions possible in order to survive. She defends them and works with communities to build realistic solution to real life problems like violence, poverty, and discrimination. Jenna’s vision is to empower communities often overlooked and overcriminalized. She has a special place in her heart for young people, especially young moms!

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Documenting the Revolution: Storytelling for Collective Liberation

The commoditization of storytelling regularly overshadows its healing and mobilizing potential through its capitalist or commercial exploitation (e.g., trading trauma for points in poetry slams, equating stories to advertising revenue). However, testimony possesses a healing and mobilizing utility. Our immediate access to information in the age of social media presents a unique opportunity to convert what is often a solitary and isolated battle into a catalyst for mobilization. Interrelational testimony allows storytellers to reconnect with themselves in novel and generative ways, break social barriers, and rally the masses to move forward collectively toward liberation. Present day griots cut through superficial social limits and build bridges to unclog the blurred paths of communication between communities. When people gather around this revolutionary act of storytelling, supportive communities develop. Storytelling becomes a tool to improve the quality of human lives in unpredictable ways by expanding and diversifying the spectrum of experience, challenging limiting beliefs, and inserting marginalized experiences into the canon of global history.

In this session, participants learn by doing and explore the practice of storytelling as a critical method for survival and prosperity. By documenting personal stories and focusing on the facts, we can develop compassionate language, shift our perspective, and find solutions to societal problems. We learn how to create and revisit a transcendent compendium of our lives to unearth the paralyzing narratives which no longer serve our health and success. We can excavate ourselves from the boxes society has drawn to pigeonhole us and chart new ones.

Speakers: Nadia Bourne, Jenna Torres