I want to share with you a story:
South African writer Antjie Kroger described meeting a nomadic desert poet in Senegal, who shared with her the role of the poet in his culture. The poet's job, he explained, is to remember the water holes. Survival of a group depends on a few water holes scattered throughout the desert and when the people forget, it is the poet who remembers and leads them to it.
This tiny tale contains within it a universe of purpose for our company. As a trainer, I've traveled the country designing story-based experiences for organizations committed to advancing social justice. I've listened to stories from executive directors, new mothers and freshly minted-teenagers. No matter where I go or where I am invited in, the unifying narrative is this:
We, as humans, are yearning for deeper connections across all areas of our lives.
Whole Story exists as a response to this cultural phenomena. We wholehearted believe that bold story-strategies, combined with masterful facilitation hold within them a vibrant antidote for isolation produced by our modern world. Our training experiences are designed specifically for teams and individuals seeking creative models of professional learning and kinship. At our core, we are a team of artists and cultural solutionaries whose shared commitment is to an embodied ethic of love, belonging and wholeness.
We are so excited to meet you here and look forward to connecting soon.
Michelle Mush Lee
Every story matters but not all stories produce a powerful impact.
We support AN organization’s journey to identify its core story in 3 ways:
In our experience, most attempts to use creative narrative in professional learning fall short. Why? Learners aren't given clear frameworks for understanding the uses of individual and organizational stories within the learning context.
Whole Story's team trainings begin with a deeply collaborative consideration of the core stories that make up the room. Our immersive, integrated leadership trainings explore stories of identity, vision, and belonging that shape our society’s understanding of leadership and service.
Story Cyphers are organizational trainings and facilitated team-building experiences.
Today's purpose-driven professionals are seeking resonant models of leadership that honor transparency and a plurality of ideas in the workplace. Our leadership trainings introduce your group of organizational leaders to Whole Story’s narrative-rich framework for leadership, a model for deepening professional kinship and developing wholehearted accountability as a colleague and leader.
We draw upon the life and philosophies of contemporary artists and other thought-leaders, who in their pursuits of creative solutions to complex social-impact issues, challenge and expand the notion of what it means to be a “good leader.”
STRATEGIC NARRATIVE PLANS
Vibrant and growing organizations require cultural blueprints—a documented plan that declares an organization’s unique cultural identity and the stories behind current operating systems.
Whole Story produces beautiful, functional Strategic Narrative Plans that weave treasured documents and organizational language, interviews and stories from core staff that endeavor to name the people, places, and practices that have built, and will help sustain, your organization into the future.
Strategic Narrative Plans are developed with our clients over a period of 12, 24 or 36 months.
The Awesome People Behind The Work
Studio Pathways Co-founder
Mariah's work and writings have been featured on The Electric Company (PBS), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Harvard School of Education, The Teaching Channel and Happy Black Girl. She says, “At the heart of my practice is a belief that students should have the opportunity to examine and understand life by engaging in it through the role of the arts. The artistic mind offers a lens on life that supports people’s ontological being rounded in full perspectives-a broader understanding of the social-emotional, political, physical, existential, economic, and ecological complexities that we all embody.”
JESSA BRIE MORENO
Studio Pathways Co-founder
is Co-Director of School Transformation Through the Arts and the Integrated Learning Specialist Program with Mariah Rankine-Landers, out of the Alameda County Office of Education. Moreno is Assistant Professor at the California Institute for Integral Studies and Theatre Arts Lecturer with San Jose State University. She is founding director of award-winning student theatre company OakTechRep and the Oakland Theatre Arts Initiative. Her passions are theatre, directing, acting, story circles and firing up mirror neurons through empathetic listening.