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Changing the world, one writing at a time...
Justice book clubs come to Patchogue. To read a recent article, click here.
Herstory wins technology grant from Literary Presenters Technical Assistance Program (LitTAP)
The Literary Presenters Technical Assistance Program (LitTAP) announced that Herstory has been awarded one of the seven (7) Strategic Technology Project re‐grants to New York State literary
nonprofits. These awards will assist each organization in the design and implementation of distinct and comprehensive technology strategies. Read More
New and Expanded Edition of Herstory Manual features 70-page section for students in university and high school programs
“This complete writing course is unlike any program I have seen in my long career as
English teacher and administrator,” says Nina Wolff, founding director of Ethnic Pen, a nationally recognized student writers’
conference hosted by Bay Shore Schools and attended annually by 1000 students and teachers
from across Long Island. “It is not a recipe book for one-size-fits-all
formulaic writing, but an authentic guide on how to give structure to feelings and experiences.
This writing program would be a perfect springboard for creating outstanding college
admission essays and other memoirs that inform the writer and engage the reader.”
A new member item from the Office of Legislator Vivian Viloria-Fisher provides a member item that allows for a limited edition of 750 copies to be distributed free of charge to young people working with the Herstory approach throughout Suffolk County, If you are a teacher, librarian or youth services provider interested in bringing Herstory’s “Dare to Care” curriculum to the young people in your charge, to find out more about the project, click here.
LI Women magazine showcases Herstory’s move into publishing
In its January 2010 issue, LI Women magazine features a full page article about Herstory’s venture into publishing with an interview with Herstory founder and artistic director Erika Duncan. The article summarizes Erika’s vision, Herstory’s evolution and method and its most recent publishing venture. With the publication of these books, arts funders and readers alike are able to see the sustained literary quality of writers trained in the Herstory method. View article.
Herstory writers have produced 17 finished book manuscripts. Thanks to two Herstory writers in their eighties the newly-established Herstory imprint is being used for their memories: Love Song at the End of the Day: A Journey in Alzheimer’s by Muriel Weyl, and The Teller in the Tale: A Half-Jewish Child in Nazi Germany by Elizabeth Heyn. Herstory’s manual by Erika Duncan, Paper Stranger/Shaping Stories in Community, along with anthologies, literary journals and magazines, round out Herstory’s growing publication list. View Herstory publications at http://www.herstorywriters.org/publications.html
New offering for libraries in short-term or ongoing series
Building Bridges Through Our Tales
fostering memoir-writing in English and Spanish
‘The quality of the instruction and guidance easily surpasses most Master’s-level classes I’ve taken.’
Three Herstory programs for schools, community organizations
Consider bringing these Herstory programs to your organization. Herstory has registered them as resources in the Suffolk County BOCES catalogue, as well.
Beyond Journaling: New Classroom Tools
Six-week hands-on training for teachers and guidance counselors in transforming personal writing into art. Topics will include “scene-making to help a reading stranger to walk in your shoes,” “daring a reader to care, and thinking about your own life as a story.” Participants will be helped to adapt this empathy-based approach to their own classroom needs, while exploring ways to engage a full group. An effective tool for tolerance and skills building! $300 per workshop
Outsider Stories/ Meet a Holocaust Writer
Author Elizabeth Heyn will share her growing up as a half-Jewish child in Nazi Germany, her miraculous late escape leading to her coming of age as a refugee in Franco’s Spain, and finally to trying to become a typical American teenager. Rich in drama of everyday life for one who falls between the cracks, her book fosters lively discussions of displacement, injustice and survival in an outsider role. Classroom visits or larger readings are offered. $800 per day for 5 classroom presentations/ $600 for residencies of three or more day-long visits.
Journeys to Justice - Writing of the Moments that Made Us
This workshop will help students pinpoint the moments when they became aware of injustice in their lives, as they plan how to write about them for a reader. Through creation of scenes designed to dare a reading stranger to walk in their shoes, students will learn how writing can be used to fight hatred and discrimination, celebrating roots, history, aspirations and dreams. Spanish, English or bilingual model presentations—as well as multi-session residencies— are available. $800 per day for 5 classroom presentations/ $600 for residencies of three or more day-long visits.
Women on the Job and Long Island Fund for Women & Girls to showcase Herstory as a model grantee
Stories crafted by Herstory participants will be showcased at National Pay Equity Day 2010, April 20, presented by the Women on the Job project of the Long Island Fund for Women & Girls and the Long Island Women’s Institute of CW Post –LIU. The evening of stories will focus on Long Island women’s gender and pay – related experiences in the workplace, society and beyond. Herstory readers will include a journeywoman plumber, Latinas from the Workplace Project’s Housecleaners Unity Cooperative, a journalist and others. The event begins at 6 pm and is open to the public.
New Offering for women at your site
New offering for women at your site
Personal and professional development for your members, staff, clients
Host a Day-Long Memoir Writing Retreat CLICK HERE
in civic, business, nonprofit and educational organizations
‘a transformational experience..’
‘I learned to dream in Herstory… and by putting my dreams on paper somehow was able to pursue them.’
Grant from Nassau County Bar Association
Nassau County Bar Association has awarded Herstory a WE CARE grant for "Changing Hearts and Minds: A Bilingual Memoir Writing Project to Address the Real Lives of Women.” Based on the education and advocacy rubric piloted by Herstory around its prison project, this grant will allow us to continue to create testimony and healing through guided memoir writing touching immigrant, workplace, and health care rights.
New Prison anthology by ‘Herstory Inside’ writers…a restorative justice resource
Herstory Writers Workshop announces the publication of the second issue of Voices: Memoirs from Herstory Inside Suffolk County’s Correctional Facilities. This book-length anthology of writings by women imprisoned in Riverhead and Yaphank Correctional Facilities on Long Island gives a face to the women whom society incarcerates and raises the most important questions facing families undergoing cycles of imprisonment, rupture of relationships, and closed doors.
The collection provides a wealth of facts for students of criminology, sociology and law -- to be read as a companion to Restorative Justice and Criminal Justice texts -- as well as a moving testimony to be passed on from woman to woman in other prisons and to those who are trying to change the system. These stories have the power to change hearts and minds. They tell of women who have lived through addiction and violence, overcome loss of loved ones and loss of innocence, and found the strength to tell their stories.
For six years, Herstory’s method has offered quality guidance in weekly workshops as inmates shape their life stories into sustained narratives written to help a reader to care, resulting in dramatic increases in literacy and listening skills, self awareness and a new capacity for reflection, and a new sense of possibility. The Herstory program has substantially contributed to breaking through cycles of violence that affect one generation after another.
Single copies may be ordered for $14.95 at http://www.herstorywriters.org/shop.html. Special discounts are available for orders of 10 copies or more for prison or classroom use.
This publication was funded by a grant from Long Island Fund for Women & Girls; the prison project has received major past funding from Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund in the Long Island Community Foundation.
Renewed SUNY Old Westbury Community Engagement Program Partnership with Herstory
Using the Herstory method, and with the involvement of a Herstory facilitator underwritten by Old Westbury’s First-Year Community Engagement Program, the Spring another group of Old Westbury students will begin their journey into their ‘page one’ moments. Students meet weekly to share their drafts in a two-hour workshop, writing and rewriting in response to the suggestions of their classmates, their professor and the Herstory facilitator. The process empowers students to find their own voices, to better understand their life experiences and to share their stories. The project culminates in the presentation of the students’ stories to college and community audiences at various venues including Old Westbury’s First-Year Student Presentation Program.
We Welcome Our New Director, Sylvia Clark
The Herstory community warmly welcomes Sylvia Clark as executive director. She hit the ground running on November 1, allowing founder Erika Duncan to more fully concentrate on writing the next volume of the manual and replicating our successful model as artistic director.
We thank the Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund and the Hagedorn Fund (both in the Long Island Community Foundation) for granting us the seed money for this position, along with the Long Island Center for Nonprofit Leadership and its director, Ann Marie Thigpen, for managing the search that led to Sylvia’s selection.
A Long Islander since 1991, Sylvia brings a wealth of experience in philanthropy and nonprofit management more>>
Remembering Marcelo Lucero: A Herstory Writer's Memoir
A very moving piece that Herstory member Susan Perretti wrote in our Wednesday night hub workshop about the November 2008 slaying of Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue, Long Island, has been published in an abbreviated version in Marcelo’s hometown in Ecuador. The article, which was generously translated into Spanish by Herstory Latina facilitator Silvia Heredia, appeared in the November 1, 2009, issue of the newspaper El Pueblo. We also are grateful to Jean Kaleda, Hispanic outreach director at the Patchogue-Medford Public Library, where our bilingual workshop meets weekly, for connecting Susan with El Pueblo.
In an e-mail announcing the publication, the editor said that the article – an excerpt from Susan’s memoir-in-progress – helped people in his country to realize how profoundly Marcelo’s death at the hands of seven Patchogue teens effected non-Latinos on Long Island. “For Marcelo” also will be published in Spanish and English in the next issue of our bilingual magazine that Silvia Heredia is currently working on.
In addition, the story appeared as a blog on the Long Island Wins website during a special weekend campaign marking the first anniversary of Marcelo’s death. LI Wins is an organization of “Long Islanders working together to promote immigration solutions that include and work for everyone.” Many thanks to website manager Ted Hesson, who included a link to the Herstory website at the end of Susan’s blog.
To read Susan’s piece in English, click here. For Spanish, click here.
Herstory Comes to Nicaragua!
By Antoinette Hertel, Associate Chair
Modern Languages Dept., St. Joseph’s College
From April 2-12, 2009, a group of St. Joseph’s College students and faculty continued the work of our ongoing service project with the people of Sutiaba, an impoverished community on the outskirts of León, Nicaragua. One important aspect of our work from the program’s beginning in 2007 has been to meet with women who are leaders in the community, in order to better understand and support them in their needs and efforts.
After hearing bilingual Herstory readings of Page One Moments, and attending several Herstory bridge-building workshops with Erika Duncan and Silvia Heredia, I was eager to give the method a try with the female leaders in Sutiaba. Over the years, they had shared amazing stories with us, stories to which I hoped to give voice so that others could hear them in their own words. At the same time, the workshop would provide a space in which the students from Long Island could share on equal footing with the group at an extremely intimate level, building bridges between our sometimes very different worlds. more>>
To view photos of the writers' workshop and writers in their homes, click here.
St. Joseph’s College has made a commitment of a grant and in-kind support related to Herstory’s upcoming third edition of Latinas Write/Escriben, in expanded classroom-friendly journal format to include facts about regional immigration and descriptions of how the pieces were written, for use by teachers to inspire students in their own memoir-writing journeys in the language of their choice, while engaging them in discussions of immigration, women’s studies and law.
More Train in How to Use Our Manual
The publication of our manual has made it possible to bring the Herstory techniques to a much wider audience as we offer training to those wishing to teach and use our approach in their schools, in their practices, in their organizations and – a Herstory first – outside the United States in a tiny Nicaraguan village.
Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare hosted “Guided Memoir Writing: An Innovative Healing Tool,” a one-day training workshop for those in the healing professions. This model, created especially for social workers, mental health practitioners, guidance counselors, nurses, drug and alcohol counselors and other clinicians, teaches participants how to use the Herstory manual in their practices, as an adjunct to therapeutic work with their particular constituencies. In-service CASAC CEUs were offered through Heart and Soul Counseling Center. The professionals who attended, representing a wide variety of agencies and academic institutions, came from as far away as Virginia and Florida.
More specifically for educators and guidance counselors, we will be offering a two-day workshop at the Peconic Teachers Center as well as a program in the Southampton School District leading to a training model to be used with students at all grade levels, in partnership with the town’s Diversity Task Force.
In the fall, Natalie Byfield, who has worked with us through Black Media Foundation, will be teaching a sister workshop for students at St. John’s University, after having completed intensive Herstory training through a special fellowship awarded her by St. John’s to study the Herstory method, culminating in a sociological study of its value.
The all-Herstory three-day conference scheduled for July 26-28, 2010 at Adelphi University will include a train-the-trainer track for those who want to learn the Herstory method in order to integrate it into their own educational or professional settings.
Please contact us if you are interested in bringing one of our training models to your constituency, or in working in partnership with us to design a new model.
Archives of Herstory and Founder Erika Duncan Open to the Public
We celebrate the opening to the public of Herstory's archive in Stony Brook University's Special Collections, which founder Erika Duncan selected as the official repository for the correspondence, manuscripts, articles, brochures, flyers, and ephemeral material reflecting Herstory's thirteen years of existence. At the formal dedication of the collection on April 20, 2009, the writers of Herstory gave a taste of their work to the Stony Brook Community, as a resource for future partnering to bring scholars from a wide array of disciplines, students, faculty and the community into active use of the archive materials.
The first program to take place around the archives will be readings from Women in the Workplace sponsored by United University Professionals of Stony Brook University.
Special Collections anticipates providing access to a sizable collection of papers from the Woman's Salon, a New York City-based network that met for ten years in Erika Duncan's Westbeth apartment, founded to give audience support and serious critical attention to works of writers who were not well known. Emerging works of now-known feminist writers such as Susan Griffin, Dorothy Dinnerstein, Blanche Wiesen Cook, and Olga Broumas were participants.
To enter Herstory's collection, put together by Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Kristen Nyitray, click here.
A Plan to Fight Hate: Herstory Creates New Bilingual Workshop in Patchogue
As Long Islanders grieved the tragic death of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero, victim of a vicious bias crime in Patchogue – Herstory’s Board of Directors last December voted to re-affirm our mission to celebrate diversity and prevent racism through the writing process in Long Island communities most divided by hate.
It was in this spirit that we participated in an evening of community healing dedicated to the mother of Marcelo Lucero, through the reading of a story of a Mexican woman’s encounter with an American homeless man, written in our Farmingville bilingual workshop shortly after the violence there. At this event, organized by Herstory’s publicity director, Susan Perretti, we donated the proceeds of the sales of our Latina magazine to Marcelo’s family in Ecuador, while making a commitment to work in Patchogue-Medford to organize a bridge-building workshop for Spanish-speaking and English-speaking women.
Hosted by the Patchogue-Medford Public Library, the first meeting of our new bilingual weekly workshop was held last March. In an additional outreach, Patchogue facilitator Silvia Heredia and Herstory Founder Erika Duncan, working closely with Antoinette Hertel, chair of the Modern Language Dept. of St. Joseph’s College, gave Page One Exercise presentations for a class entitled, “Latin America at the Crossroads.” The latter led to a mini-series of memoir-writing workshops for students and faculty. In Spring 2009, Antoinette Hertel, who had been attending our hub workshops, brought the Herstory approach outside the United States for the first time when she traveled to Nicaragua as part of the College’s annual service learning student/faculty program in that impoverished country.
The program just received a generous grant from the Friends of the Patchogue-Medford Library to help us to continue the project. We welcome additional contributions.