Amidst a snow storm that seemed to go on for days, the ivoh team and our new coaches met last month at the Fetzer Institute. For three days, against the backdrop of a wooded and snowy tableau we dove into Restorative Narrative. During that time, one of our coaches described the genre as stories that focus on the felt life and share emotional truths; she called them “stories with soul.” 

Thanks to our partnership with the Fetzer Institute, we are supporting the emergence of 12 new “stories with soul” in four communities: Atlantic City, Chicago, Flint, and New Orleans. We are so proud to announce the 2019 Restorative Narrative Fellows from those communities and the extraordinary group of coaches who will support them.

“ivoh’s important work bringing Restorative Narrative to the craft of storytelling will help us understand how we build resilience among people living in challenging circumstances and how we best bring reflective practices to journalists, storytellers, and media makers,” said Fetzer Program Director Gillian Gonda. “As the Fetzer Institute helps build the spiritual foundation for a loving world, Restorative Narratives like those being told by the ivoh fellows are vital to increasing empathy, understanding, and compassion, and we are excited to partner in this important work.”

As the world changes, the way we share news and tell stories also changes. So even though most of the Fellows are journalists, in this class we also have a poet and a comedian. And three of our journalists have started or lead hyperlocal news sites. Some have been doing this work for a few decades, others are just starting out on this path. We are excited about the unique gifts they all bring.

All of our new fellows have a heartfelt and deep commitment to their communities and want to tell different kinds of stories about them — those that showcase their resilience, strengths, and diversity.

You can learn more about the Fellows’ projects here and about our new (and returning!) coaches here.