Elissa Yancey, MSEd, is an award-winning, independent journalism educator and practitioner with 30 years of storytelling experience. She currently leads the Poynter Institute’s College Media Project, an initiative focused on supporting college media across the country through year-long, community-focused accountability journalism projects centered on campus needs and civil discourse. She continues to pursue her own writing projects, including a restorative memoir about caregiving for her mother, and to work on the second non-profit she co-founded, A Picture’s Worth, a journalistic podcast series that tells the story of women whose narratives have been left out of the historical record. Read more about her book project at squeezedamemoir.com.
Project description: The series—A Prayer for Winton Terrace: Sister Circle, The Hard Way, The Turning Point, The Poverty Mindset and Salvation—is the story of LaMonica Sherman, who grew up in Walnut Hills, now spends most of her days on a desolate strip of Winneste Avenue in the middle of Cincinnati’s oldest housing project. She takes God with her every day to Winton Terrace, where she’s determined to make a difference not only in the lives of the people who live there, but in her own.
In her own words: ““I don’t think you can be restored without acknowledging the richness that your experiences have given you, and for me, this felt like the work that needed to be done. I feel like I have benefited so much and worked really hard, but also learned a lot about the transformative power of storytelling. We talk about it a lot, but I actually saw it happen. That to me was incredibly gratifying. That restorative lens informed how I shaped the narrative, how I chose details and quotes. It offered me a framework upon which to hang the story of LaMonica’s life.”