"We are UWTacoma" storytelling

March 29, 2019

Announcing: “We are UWTacoma” Storytelling Project

From its earliest beginnings in a long-ago conversation between friends, the motivation behind the We are UWTacoma storytelling project has always been an appreciation of the power of story in the lives of people and communities. Even today, in the midst of finally implementing this “dream” project—thanks to a generous grant from the UW Tacoma Strategic Initiative Fund—we are still compelled by that same desire to gather and share the stories of those with whom we live and work in the UW Tacoma community.

Several years ago, the TLC piloted an ethnographic project involving students who frequented the TLC. Simply by inviting students to “tell us your story,” we learned much about them—their struggles and successes, and their view of the TLC as a support system that went beyond simply finding help with writing papers or solving a math problem. Simply by listening to students’ stories, we gained knowledge about their lives we could not have discovered any other way.  We discovered the identities students bring with them to campus are as varied as the stories they tell. As they spoke of the sense of belonging, community, and support they found in our spaces, we also discovered concerns that went far beyond getting better grades and finishing their degrees, to things like overcoming personal or financial struggles—or even getting enough to eat. Yet, the biggest takeaway was that listening to their stories encouraged them, giving them the confidence that someone was standing with them, reminding all of us that making it to college is not the end of the story; it is just the beginning.

In the same way, the We are UWTacoma storytelling project will work to gather stories from all members of the UW Tacoma campus—students, staff and faculty. Once gathered, these stories will be curated by our amazing project intern, Rachel Howe, with many of the storytellers interviewed and their stories shared on a blog connected to the UW Tacoma Teaching and Learning Center, allowing them to be heard by all campus stakeholders. (Sharing what we’ve learned)

The project has already begun to take shape as we work on advertising materials, compose writing prompts and finalize plans for a kick-off event to begin gathering our stories. Scheduled from 6:30-8:30 pm on Wednesday April 24th at the Tacoma Anthem on Pacific Avenue, we’ll spend the evening sharing and celebrating the stories that both define and unite us as members of the UW Tacoma community.

We hope you can join us at Anthem to share your own UWTacoma stories—the evening wouldn’t be the same without you.

After all, it is only together that We are UWTacoma!

Nicole Blair

Margaret Lundberg

Are you ready to tell your story? Follow the link here to get started. And visit us on our Facebook page, too!