Teaching & Residency

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

In 2018-19, I am working at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, providing 6-week cycles of storytelling workshops to the youth who live there. The first and second cycles in Spring and Fall 2018 are dedicated to teenage girls who have been commercially sexually exploited, also known as sexual trafficking. We are working to help them cultivate and perform stories from their lives. In Winter and Spring 2019, I will work with other special populations at the facility, including one cycle dedicated to teenage boys in treatment foster care who have encountered trauma.

Reference: Dr. Yolanda Graham, Executive Director of Mental Health Services, ygraham@devereux.org

 Young African Leaders Initiative

Summers 2016, 2017, and 2018, I’ve enjoyed a return engagement as guest lecturer at Georgia State University’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative.

Over the course of 3-4 workshops each summer, I help the fellows explore personal storytelling as a professional development tool under the framework of Storytelling for Your Personal Brand.

Here’s a picture of the fellows in their final week, singing “Happy Birthday” to President Obama, as well as a great article about this outstanding program.

Reference: Shereen Bhan, Senior Research Associate/Assistant Director, International Center for Public Policy, sbhan@gsu.edu


Click here to see a slideshow of photos by Aashtha Vashi from our first YALI workshop, June 2016, Piedmont Park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Decatur Writers Studio

Fall 2017 (and coming again January-March 2019), I taught a six-week course called “Storytelling for Writers” for the Decatur Writers Studio. Here’s the description:

Learn how to step out from behind the beauty of your words and develop the skills to tell your story “IRL.” In this course, storyteller/coach Shannon M. Turner will help you get ready for live literary events like The Moth, radio appearances or even that future TED Talk. Learn what makes a good spoken personal story, how to make vulnerability a strength, the basics of public speaking, and the brain science about written vs. oral storytelling. Plus we’ll take a field trip to Carapace, Atlanta’s premiere storytelling venue. Participants will emerge having crafted and honed at least one story by the end of the course.

Reference: Suzanne Van Atten, Decatur Writers Studio Diretor, info@decaturwritersstudio.com

North Piedmont District of the United Methodist Church

In Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, I returned to my roots in the United Methodist Church to provide two week-long residencies with clergy and laity from across the North Piedmont District.

Clergy Workshops

  • Day 1 included basics of personal storytelling, vulnerability, change, professional moments where a personal story is just the right thing, deep listening, life maps, and selecting one story from the life map to practice.
  • Day 2 included connecting with the lectionary, finding stories for upcoming ministerial opportunities and practicing. We also learned & used Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process as a means for feedback and discussed other professional moments where Critical Response Process is a useful tool.
  • When I returned in Spring 2018, I did a full day of advanced workshops and coaching with the fall class, specifically focused on cultivating new stories.

Laity Engagement

  • Night 1 included basics of personal storytelling, deep listening, and spiritual moments where sharing of yourself is appropriate.
  • Night 2 was a public event where we all (ministers and members of the community) came together at a local yogurt shop and shared stories.

Reference: Maria King, Church Vitality Specialist for the Western North Carolina United Methodist Church, aking@wnccumc.org

%d bloggers like this: