Stories Matter: Equity in Storytelling for the Digital Age

Problem Statement

In a world where digital stories can take off like wildfire (even if they're not true) how do we make sure we aren't simply reinforcing inequities in our storytelling? As we value diversity and work to make sure our programs are inclusive, we also need to consider the impact of our storytelling.

Video and other digital storytelling are critical tools for nonprofits as they seek to communicate, educate, and fundraise. But storytelling also represent a minefield for organizations seeking to promote racial equity and diversity. Organizational stories can reinforce existing biases or become critical tools in the fight for inclusion.

How do we manage these challenges? How does our storytelling relate to our overall work in promoting equity and diversity?

In this session, we’ll look at some principles of equity in storytelling and hear from practitioners about how they navigate the competing priorities, access issues, and work against their own personal and organizational biases. We’ll also look at tools and technology that can help us create more inclusive and participatory storytelling structures.

Michael Hoffman
See3 Communications
Michael Hoffman is a leading authority in online video for nonprofits and a long-time consultant to nonprofit leaders on online fundraising and outreach strategies. He started his career as a political consultant and Washington-based nonprofit fundraiser before joining a venture investment firm to develop internet start-ups. Post-bubble, Hoffman founded See3 to bring together his belief in the power of the web and his passion and experience with nonprofit fundraising, advocacy, and education. He is a frequent blogger and tweeter on nonprofit marketing (@michael_hoffman) and is a nationally sought-after speaker on topics such as online cause marketing, web video, and Web 2.0 for social change.

Nicole Long
See3 Communications
Digital Marketing Project Manager
Nicole brings a knack for strategic planning to her role as digital marketing project manager. In her role as digital marketing project manager, Nicole is responsible for bringing projects from idea to implementation for clients including Alzheimer's Association and Make-A-Wish America. Prior to joining See3, Nicole worked as a freelancer and an integrated communications consultant for small businesses, associations, and nonprofits. A passionate and self-proclaimed “minimalist,” Nicole lives with intention and devotes her free time to creating things that bring beauty and social equity to the world. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Towson University and an associate’s in fashion marketing from Parsons The New School for Design.

Roshani Kothari

Roshani is passionate about using technology for social change. She is an influencer, connector and digital strategist. She helps organizations create and implement effective content, engagement, partnership and technology strategies. She has extensive experience working with both nonprofits and technology companies focused on nonprofits. Previously she worked at Ginkgo Street Labs, Trellon, Community IT Innovators, International Women’s Media Foundation, OneWorld U.S., Pact and Catholic Relief Services. Roshani has a BA in International Studies and Communications from Trinity University and an MA in International Development from the Elliott School for International Affairs at George Washington University. In her free time she enjoys organizing NetSquared DC meetings, traveling, photography, vegetable gardening and biking. Roshani is fluent in Gujarati, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Rebecca Kling
National Center for Transgender Equality
Community Storytelling Advocate