Showing up whole: Storytelling for connection and healing

You are invited to this, the first of our Member-led events for 2020, hosted in the Healing Solidarity Collective by Jennifer Lentfer, and happening on Thursday, Feb 6th at 4 pm GMT / 11 am EST / 8 am PST  / 7 pm EAT / 9.30 pm IST

Scary and vulnerable as it may seem, we need more people in the global development sector to tell their stories, the “why” behind what their work. Because the stories we have about ourselves are basically the river that flows underneath everything we do. In it flows our deepest motivations – often unconscious – that push us forward, that present obstacles or dictates our reactions to obstacles, that keeps us going.

We are free – right now and always – to tell as much or as little of our story as we want. We can share snippets, or the whole long thing. We can go deep into it, or tell is as if it were something emotionally separate from ourselves. Your story is always under our control.    

When we “own” our story, we are valuing our own voice, and asking other people to do the same. When we share our story, it invites every single person who hears it to think about their own story as well…thus stories are where we go to liberate, to heal, to build community. Stories are powerful and they are needed as a source of strength and solidarity to shift the power in global development.

In the session we will:                                                        
●  Explore the role of our life stories/lived experiences and our professional identities.      
●  Recall and reflect on our first experiences of knowing we wanted to “help” people and probe/understand the circumstances or the motivation around that moment/”knowing”.
●  Practice sharing our stories to invite other people into our inner lives, affirming
transparency, self-worth, purpose, and interconnectedness.         

About your host for this session: Jennifer Lentfer is a farm girl turned international aid worker turned communications strategist, writing coach, and facilitator/trainer. (But she is mostly a poet.). She is one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s “100 women to follow on Twitter” @intldogooder, an author ( and a blogger at, in which she called for an examination of racism in international aid with its first post in 2010. She was most recently the Director of Communications at Thousand Currents, a foundation reimagining equitable approaches to philanthropy and impact investing. With her students at Georgetown, she published “The Development Element: Guidelines for the future of communicating about the end of global poverty” in 2014 and has been teaching “Storytelling and Communications for Social Change” at the University of Vermont Masters in Leadership for Sustainability Program for the past four years. She has served with various organizations in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, and the US, including Oxfam, the Red Cross, UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services, and Firelight Foundation and has consulted with InterAction, Mama Cash, the Global Fund for Community Foundations, Nike Foundation, Feedback Labs, and the Congressional Hunger Center. Jennifer is currently writing her first play about family violence, misogyny, ableism, and U.S. healthcare, which she swears will include laughter.

Do join us for this first Member-led event of 2020 which will be happening via our dedicated space the Healing Solidarity Collective – join us there to get access to this event at