Facilitator Training Institute and Fellowship Program
in partnership with the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University
Call for Participants for Fall 2021
As we explore new online models that are providing a lifeline for those who have suffered
disproportionately in the wake of COVID-19— even as the pandemic recedes leaving
very deep damage— we are reaching out to teachers, writers, retirees, community
activists, and healthcare and human service providers interested in contributing to a
movement to use story-based strategies to make a place to elevate the voices of those
whose stories are silenced and unsung.
This inter-generational online institute, in partnership with the Humanities Institute at
Stony Brook University, allows community participants of all ages to work side by side
with graduate students recruited by colleges and universities from 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 representation.
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 Humanities Institute, according to their interests and skills sets.
A new cohort takes shape each September, ensuring that Herstory will be offering field
placements year-round. Our 2021 cohort will include up to three Jacob Volkman
Herstory Human Rights Fellows working on projects giving voice to activists across the
generation, in the interest of using memoir to build movements for justice and change.
To download an application, click here.
Our eight cohorts of trainees have included a former director of the literature program of
the National Endowment for the Arts, a professor of Mathematics from Queensboro
Community College, 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.
In 2018 and 2019, through a special grant from the Regional Economic Development
Council/ New York State Council on the Arts, we established a fellowship program for 6
Stony Brook graduate students in the Humanities, leading to new workshops in Spanish
for Rural Migrant Ministry and extending our fastest growing program for young people
who crossed the border by themselves, along with a now permanent disabilities program. In the
fall of 2020, we joined forces with the Coalition for Community Writing to create a
national fellowship program, leading to our first ever Herstory Mississippi Project, work
with women and transgender folx experiencing homelessness in Denver, Colorado, a
workshop for Syrian refugee women living in refugee camps in Lebanon, who were
married before the age of 18, and a national/international writing project to (re)imagine
mental health care.
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 2021 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
Spring 2022 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.
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
A two-semester commitment, with full attendance in the fall 2021 practicum, followed by
field placement in the spring of 2022, 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.