For years Planned Parenthood has trained and supported storytellers throughout the country, and in Fiscal Year 22, in an effort to localize the program, we launched our very own Storytellers Bureau.
Our goal? To invest in the people willing to be vulnerable in order to help advance Planned Parenthood’s mission. With the help of Allegory, a renowned public speaking and storytelling coach, our inaugural class of twelve volunteers attended six intensive weekend workshops to better understand themselves and each other. Our facilitator, Christina Harbridge, pushed and prepared our storytellers to be their best.
Here are some of the things our storytellers had to say about their training experience:
I found myself eager to tell a story, and even almost confident!
As attendees we need to risk and practice more, thank you for inviting us to do so!
I loved the feedback [from the other participants]!
Christina modeled what she is teaching, each of [us] felt seen and heard.
This was a wonderful training. I felt emotionally drained for the first hour or so after and then it was like a breath of fresh air. Thank you SO much, Christina.
From community events and rallies to committee hearings, council meetings, and even a Good Morning America interview, our storytellers made the state and national debates personal.
Many spoke in favor of city or county governments passing resolutions declaring their jurisdictions supportive of reproductive freedoms. Others spoke in favor of local government funding to support Planned Parenthood Mar Monte health services such as clinical exam trainings and service expansions. One of the storytellers spoke in front of the California State Senate Committee on Judiciary in favor of SB 1142.
Following the leaked draft opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in May, many of our storytellers spoke at rallies throughout the affiliate. In Stockton, one of our storytellers shared her story of being a homeless, young parent of twin babies. She became pregnant again, after having her twins, and decided that seeking abortion care was the best decision for her and her young family.
In Sacramento, another storyteller, Karen, unapologetically shared her abortion experience when she was a young college student struggling to make ends meet. While sharing her story with the thousands in attendance she felt all the love and support from the crowd cheering her on. Afterwards, Karen said, “The crowd was with me, so encouraging. The training with Allegory helped me anticipate and work with the natural jitters. I am so glad to be in the [Storytellers] bureau.”
Do you have a story to share and need support? Our next cohort application period opens in October. News will be shared in your inbox.