Teaching Memoir for Peace and Justice

A Two-Semester Practicum in Teaching the Herstory Way

Facilitator Training Institute and Fellowship Program

in partnership with the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University


Call for Participants for Fall 2020


As we explore new online models that are providing a lifeline for those who are suffering disproportionately in the wake of COVID-19, we are reaching out to teachers, writers, retirees, community activists, and human service providers interested in contributing to the movement to use story-based strategies to give voice to those whose stories most need to be heard.


This inter-generational institute, in partnership with the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University,includes graduate and undergraduate students recruited by colleges and universities all over Long Island and beyond.  It offers a rich two-semester immersion in Herstory's unique empathy-based pedagogy and practice to those who are interested in working in alternative settings with populations that have traditionally been without a voice.  

Each new cohort spends its first semester in a 13-week practicum that combines a hands-on workshop with an intensive immersion in the Herstory pedagogy.  During the second semester participants are assigned individually tailored, supervised field placements with institutions, community and advocacy groups partnering with Herstory and the the Humanities Institute, according to their interests and skills sets.

A new cohort takes shape each semester, ensuring that Herstory will be offering field placements year-round.  


To download an application, click here.


Our six cohorts of trainees have included a former director of the literature program of the National Endowment for the Arts, a sociology professor from SUNY Old Westbury, a past president of New York State TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), graduate and undergraduate students from Stony Brook, Hofstra, Adelphi, Old Westbury, and LIU Post, a retired elementary school principal, an army veteran medic, a director of a re-entry task force, a retiree from a long career in public health and nursing education, a filmmaker, several visual artists, organizational leaders, Dreamers, human rights activists,  and much more.  


Despite the wide variety in age, life trajectory and current student or employment status,  all have brought to our interviews a remarkably parallel wish: to go deeper into the work they are already doing with literature, community, empowerment and healing through engaging in our process and reaching the people who most need a voice at this time in history. All have come at a moment they define as a turning point in their lives,  when they are seeking a new direction.     


If you are at a turning point in your life and feel that this could be a new direction for you, we invite you to join our first round of applicants. We are particularly seeking speakers of other languages, with a large increase in the demand for new workshops for our immigrant students and community members. 


Fall 2020 Semester

During the first semester, participants are fully immersed in Herstory's pedagogy. This includes participation in a hands-on weekly writing workshop in which they will have the opportunity to explore the pedagogy from the inside, while studying the principles that make the Herstory method so effective. Online meetings take place every Thursday from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm, allowing for people from a wide geographical area to participate fully. 


Spring 2021 Semester

As the first semester draws to a close, participants will assist in designing individualized field placements with organizations partnering with Herstory to advance peace and justice.*  We particularly welcome speakers of other languages interested in working with young people and communities at risk. We are open to helping community members create placements at their own sites.    

To Apply

Applications will be considered on a competitive basis in the order in which they are received. Training is offered to selected candidates free of charge. If you have any questions, please contact Herstory's artistic director, Erika Duncan at eduncan@herstorywriters.org



A two-semester commitment, with full attendance in the fall 2020 practicum, followed by field placement in the spring of 2021, is a requirement for acceptance into the program.


To download an application, click here.


*Recent placements include: after school "Youth Writing for Justice" programs; workshops in Spanish for young people who just crossed the border; and workshops for incarcerated women, girls and men.  Recent partnerships have given birth to: a workshop with women from Rural Migrant Ministries in Riverhead;  an "Abriendo Puertas" workshop for Head Start parents, a workshop  at Hofstra University in which criminology students write side by side with people returning from prison, a workshop at Stony Brook University in which female veterans write side by side with students seeking the missing pages in the Literature of War. 



Following graduation from the institute, a limited number of paid opportunities are offered to participants who wish to continue to teach in the program. 


Though special funding from the Regional Economic Development Council/New York State Council on the Arts,  we have been able to inaugurate a fellowship program in partnership with Stony Brook University,  increasing the scope of the institute’s work.