Storytelling against violence — two projects
In this video from the Texas After Violence Project, former corrections officer Jim Willett remembers the first execution he oversaw.
TEXAS AFTER VIOLENCE PROJECT: The Texas After Violence Project uses storytelling to increase the peace. With the tagline “Listening for a change,” the organization “works to create a foundation for public dialogue on violence in Texas, especially murder and execution. We carefully listen to people affected by violence, including friends and family members of murdered and executed people, as well as police officers, first responders, prosecutors, defense attorneys, prison employees, victim and defendant advocates, and others involved in Texas’ criminal justice system. TAVP records their statements, archives them, makes them public with the narrators’ consent, and promotes conversations about the most effective, compassionate, and just ways to prevent and respond to violence.” Read transcripts of some of the moving narratives here.
STORYTELLING AND ORGANIZING PROJECT: The StoryTelling & Organizing Project (STOP) is a set of stories and resources about and for “everyday people taking action to end interpersonal violence.” STOP says that sharing stories helps build true community-based solutions to such violence, ones that do not involve the police, child protective services, or other social services, but rather are formulated by the communities most affected. What can we learn from stories? STOP says, “We can learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t. We can find out what helped survivors feel supported or what helped people change to stop their violence. We can get good ideas about how family, friends, neighbors, and community members can create safety and accountability among ourselves. We can build healthy, self-determined communities.” Listen to some of their recorded stories here.