An eight-week course by the Tiyya Foundation titled Empowerment through Storytelling is an exploratory workshop held at The William Grant Still Arts Center, open to members of the refugee and immigrant community who wish to give voice to elements of their life story in a safe environment. The Empowerment through Storytelling Workshop creates a space that facilitates creative expression, healing and community building with 1st and 2nd generation refugees and immigrants of all ages. This 8-week workshop encourages participants to explore themes related to displacement through creative means, culminating in the creation of their own personal stories. For the first three weeks, participants will look at different topics through different mediums. By the fourth week, the participants get to tell their story through the medium of their choice, building towards a final reading/performance at the end of the workshop. Emphasis is on the development of basic writing and storytelling skills in order to support this process, individualized to students’ needs. English language support and personal advocacy is provided in each workshop. Writing and drawings exercises are provided by the instructors and completed by students during both lab periods and outside of workshop.
The 8-week structure includes: Week 1- Movement through Poetry; Week 2- Home through Storytelling; Week 3- Change through Songwriting; Weeks 4, 5, and 6- My Story, with preparation for the showcase in the final weeks of the workshop.