- About Storytellers for Good
- How to Apply
- Storytelling Speaker Series
- Meet Our Storytellers
- Submit A Story
Their Stories. Your Voice.
Brown University stands apart for a culture of social justice that reaches across campus and echoes around the world:
- Each year, close to 700 volunteers participate in 20 student-led community programs throughout Providence;
- Over 75 students have participated in Social Innovation Initiative programs to design, launch, or build on social ventures in the US and abroad;
- 10 undergraduate and graduate students, 3 faculty, and 5 community practitioners are participating in the pilot TRI-Lab this fall, a year-long seminar to explore healthy early childhood development on a state and national level;
- Each year, at least one in three Brown graduates take their first job working in the nonprofit or public sector;
- Brown alumni lead local and global organizations for good such as Ashoka, the LIVESTRONG Foundation, Human Rights Watch, Planned Parenthood, MoveOn, Community MusicWorks, New Urban Arts, Youth in Action, and Capital Good Fund.
Most of their stories go untold.
Storytellers for Good are the voice of Brown’s social change and innovation community with skills in writing/journalism, video production, audio production, photography, illustration/animation, or other forms of digital storytelling.
Within this role, you will produce short pieces to be featured on a new web platform with the opportunity to build a multimedia portfolio, gain exposure to a broad Brown audience, and connect with mentors working professionally as radio hosts, filmmakers, and journalists.
What You’ll Do
Students will attend weekly editorial meetings with the option of pitching stories or choosing from a list of assignments. You will be expected to produce 2-4 pieces per month, or 10 pieces total by the semester’s end.
Production will involve interviewing students and faculty across campus, as well as alumni, visiting speakers, and other community professionals working in the field. Stories may range from the challenges faced by students leading social start-ups to courses that offer opportunities to build skills for social impact, or insights from “celebrity” guests on campus with powerful, breakthrough ideas for social change.
The typical schedule for a one-week assignment may go as follows:
- Day 1: Editorial meeting with supervisor to discuss assignment, including narrative angle, format, and interview questions (1 hr)
- Day 2: Schedule and prepare for interview (1 hr)
- Day 3: Conduct interview and capture audio/visual B-roll (1.5 hrs)
- Day 4: Submit first cut of piece to supervisor for feedback (3-5 hrs)
- Day 5: Review feedback with supervisor and make final edits to piece (2-3 hrs)
In addition to regular peer critique of their work, Storytellers will also be connected to local multimedia professionals in their field of interest. These mentors will lead workshops and serve as sounding boards/support networks for students as they sharpen their narrative voice and technical skills in digital storytelling.
What You’ll Walk Away With
- Experience as part of a highly entrepreneurial, fast-paced team
- A dynamic multimedia portfolio with an audience of thousands
- Professional relationships in the field of storytelling and digital media
All completed work and collected footage will be considered property of both the Swearer Center and the student for use in their personal portfolio.
Please note: applications are closed at this time. Please contact email@example.com if you have questions about the position!
We’re looking for students who are committed to bettering communities and get goosebumps when they hear a good hook.
Applications will be judged on the following criteria:
- Demonstration of excellent technical skills combined with the ability to identify and craft a strong narrative
- Experience in writing/journalism, video production, audio production, photography, illustration/animation, or other forms of digital storytelling
- Attention to accuracy, organizational details, and deadlines
- Comfort interviewing subjects with sensitivity to content
Students may choose to apply for a single semester or full year position (preferred).
Previous knowledge of social change and innovation landscape at Brown/in Providence and ownership of technical equipment is a plus, but not required.
Graduate students are welcome to apply.
This fall, the Swearer Center will be hosting a number of speakers on campus in order to explore the intersection of media and social impact. Dates and topics are listed below; please check back soon for more details!
The Art of the Interview and the Power of Storytelling in the Digital Age with Tom Ashbrook
Thursday, October 17. Smith Buonanno 106. 4-5:30pm
Tom Ashbrook, an award-winning journalist and host of the WBUR program On Point, interviews some of the world’s most fascinating, controversial, and knowledgeable individuals five days a week, fifty weeks a year. In his first visit to Brown University, Tom will discuss the art of creating a consistently powerful, honest, and resonant radio program that connects with listeners in an age of digital distractions. Following his talk, there will be a 30-minute question and answer session. Since 2001, On Point has become one of the most popular shows on public radio, described by WBUR as: “...the kind of national conversation you’ve always wanted. Fast, fun, serious, surprising. Open to everyone. And above all, unflinchingly honest. With voices from all over the planet. Fresh voices. Passionate voices.” Co-sponsored by the Swearer Center, John Nicholas Brown Center for the Public Humanities, and Watson Institute for International Studies.
Audio Storytelling Workshop with RI NPR’s Elisabeth Harrison
Friday, October 25. Swearer Center @ 25 George Street. 1-2pm.
How many ways are there to tell a story with audio? What is the process for identifying a narrative, constructing a piece, and presenting it online? RI NPR’s Morning Edition host Elisabeth Harrison will lead a one hour workshop to provide students with the skills to recognize different documentary styles and create their own piece, focusing on audio collection and script construction. Students will spend time workshopping and discussing a piece together. Elisabeth’s journalism background includes everything from behind-the-scenes work with the CBS Evening News to freelance documentary production. Space is limited; please register.
Production Practices for Storytellers with Animator Melinda Rainsberger
Friday, November 8. Swearer Center @ 25 George Street. 1-2pm.
Storyboards, shot lists, talent releases, scripts, and call sheets are all terms you've heard. But, what do they mean? How and when do you use them? Come for an overview of the proper planning materials you’ll need in order to make sure your story runs as smoothly as possible. Students will be given templates for many of the materials, and walked through the typical practices for both video and animation projects. Melinda Rainsberger is the Creative Director of They’re Using Tools! - a Providence-based video company specializing in design and animation. With 8+ years experience, Melinda is known for her work using live action, 2D and mixed-media animation/video. She also teaches Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. Space is limited; please register.
Social Change On Film Workshop with Jennifer Galvin ‘95
Friday, November 22. 25 George Street. 1-2pm.
Film has the power to fundamentally change how the world views - and acts on - a social issue. Jennifer Galvin ‘95 has spent her career as an environmental scientist, entrepreneur and filmmaker. Her investigations have contributed to a greater understanding of the exposure and risk patterns of environmental contamination and human health, particularly for coastal populations. She is a founder of reelblue, LLC, a production company that specializes in stories about global health and the environment, and reelgreen, a social media outreach team. Join Jen in a hands-on workshop on how to tell the story of a social issue and the visual techniques of documentary filmmaking. Students will spend time editing and discussing a piece together. Space is limited; please register.
Hillary Brady MAPH'14
Hillary is in her second year as a Master’s student in the Public Humanities program. She’s been involved in a variety of projects: teaching creative writing and oral history to fifth graders; helping design exhibits for the Smithsonian; and digital storytelling about Guantanamo Bay, among other community-oriented work. She is currently a research assistant at the Digital Public Library of America and spent her summer working in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Digital Media department.
Hillary graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.A. in Journalism and English, where she spent two years as editor-in-chief of the daily student newspaper. For her writing and investigative journalism work, she has received awards from the Associated Press and Radio, Television and Digital News Association, as well as the Rhode Island Press Association.
As an undergrad, she was also involved in other modes of storytelling. She helped document the history of Providence’s street newspaper, Street Sights, as her senior honors project. For a summer, she also worked at a non-profit that serves individuals with developmental disabilities—interviewing people about services they received, as well as helping those same constituents edit their own newsletter and conduct their own video interviews.
In all the work that she has done, she tries to keep storytelling and strong community connections at the core. Hillary enjoys collecting vinyl records, reading and uncovering new places in Providence.
Corinne Cathcart '14
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
A senior at Brown, Corinne comes from New York City and has spent her years a Brown doing a combination of extracurricular activities and jobs on campus. She is a reporter for the local radio station WBRU, writes for various publications on campus, and sings in an acapella group called the Ursa Minors. Last year, she worked as a Communications Assistant for the Watson Institute for International Studies, producing audio profiles on notable faculty and providing written coverage of notable events thrown by the Institute. During her summer vacations, Corinne has interned at a Law Firm in New York, at NPR headquarters in D.C. working for their White House Political Correspondents and at a digital agency called Tribal Worldwide working on social media strategy. With her skills in writing and radio audio, Corinne is excited to start telling stories of social impact in Providence and on Brown’s campus.
Liza Yeager '17
"As specks of dust we're universal." - Indigo Girls
Liza grew up in the woods outside of Corvallis, Oregon. Throughout high school, she worked as a leader for Mercy Corps’ Global Citizen Corps program, was a student representative on school district policy committees, and studied darkroom photography. At seventeen, Liza received a scholarship to finish high school at the United World College in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the two years she spent in Mostar, she co-led a student radio show focused on social activism and organized a citywide English tutoring program. She also learned about the challenges of implementing idealism in a complex community. Liza loves hiking, baked goods, and cheap adventure travel. She is a freshman at Brown this year.
Stephanie Yin '13
“We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” – Joni Mitchell
Originally a transplant from New Jersey, Steph is about to embark on her sixth year in Providence. She graduated from Brown this past May with a degree in environmental science. Her love for storytelling comes largely from the gratification of tackling a big, complex topic and disentangling it. She is interested in combining visual arts and animation with written stories, and using stories to empower communities. At Brown she volunteered with Brown Arts Mentoring (BAM) and the Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE) programs. In her free time, she likes to make things, pretend to play the banjo, ride her bike and wax lyrical about Providence at Malachi’s Café.
If you have a story of social change or innovation to share with our Storytellers, please email Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org.