Awesome Member of the Week: Kristin Pedemonti Listens and Learns Before Doing
A 'Do' I want to share with the world
Whatever field or issue you happen to be passionate about, there’s universality in listening and learning.
Stop, listen and learn before doing.
It is even better when we understand the value of doing good, the potential and inherent talents of the population we seek to positively impact.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is what you’re offering what’s truly needed?
- What talents are available locally and how can you form partnerships and collaborations?
- What local ideas can you bring to fruition by working together?
- Are you harming more than you are helping?
- What are the consequences of the program or project you wish to initiate?
The common thread throughout my work history, whether it was in women’s clinics, the national AIDS hotline, or cancer research, was the power of story and the importance of listening. Those jobs laid the groundwork for my current vocation as a Cause-Focused Storyteller.
Since 2005 I’ve donated programs for 33,000 students and trained 800 teachers and librarians in how to use their own cultural stories in teaching and programming. I've gained far more than I gave. I learned to listen and to adapt and to provide what was truly needed as voiced by the local people. I learned to collaborate and creatively problem solve.
What I care about
We need to break the pity/poverty model. As I’ve traveled the developing world, I’ve heard over and over again, “We are more than poverty. We are more than someone to be pitied.” With a desire to break the pity/poverty model, I’ve been fortunate to become the Lead Facilitator for Artfully Aware’s Community-Created Book Project. We seek out local organizations and individuals who creatively problem solve as well as lift each other out of difficult situations and circumstances. We highlight stories of resilience, overcoming adversity and perseverance. We envision these stories being shared globally as models of best practices with the potential for replication in other communities and countries.
In Kenya I interviewed 66 widowed women who are now working on a farming cooperative created by Kenyan Jared Akeni. They broke tradition, risking being shunned by their communities after their husbands died. The women worked together four years, but until our sessions, they had never shared their stories. Afterwards, they realized they all had similar experiences and they felt empowered to help other women in their community. They are now micro-lending to other women in their community and making fair trade peanut butter.
We can all learn from each other. Especially in this age of internet technology; it is easier than ever to collaborate and form projects across cultures and the globe. But first we must honor the fact that everyone has a skillset, everyone has something to offer and everyone has a story. There is so much good in this world just waiting to be tapped into and shared.
My Biggest Goal for 2014
Getting the message out on an even larger scale that everyone has a story and that story matters. Artfully Aware’s Community Created Book Project will continue collaborations in Haiti, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and, next year, in Colombia and Belize. We are always seeking partnerships as well as consultancies. We especially seek stories of resilience, creative problem solving, overcoming adversity, and sharing inspiration. We need help with marketing our co-created books to a larger audience as well as creating a larger social media presence. Our goal is to share the stories collected both in print and on-line with organizations, communities, universities, and individuals worldwide to illuminate Best Practices and motivate others to replicate featured projects and ideas.
If you would like to collaborate, partner or volunteer with us please let us know at Kristin.firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit my website to learn more about my other storytelling work at www.storytellerkp.com.
Chelsea Handler Tries Making Fun Of Andy’s Weight. It Backfires Immediately. An embarrassingly bad attempt to make fun of Andy’s weight
Another Kind of Street Meat Searching for abundant, organic, all-natural, free meat? Consider roadkill.
“I Know It's Not P.C. But...” Sam Harris, #Gamergate, and the explosion of white, male, illiberal rage
The Best (or Worst) Outbreak Movies to Watch While in Self-Imposed Quarantine If you’re going to be scared, be really scared A panicky film primer for the Ebola zombie pandemic sure to … oh my god, look out behind you!
Why Cutting Michael Sam Was a Mistake for the Dallas Cowboys The subversive NFL moment that never happened
7 Unlikely Male Feminists Lately feminism has been all about … men. Here are seven dudes who prove that gender equality really is for everyone.
The NFL’s Most Violent Man on How to Curb Football Injuries Jack Tatum’s modest proposal
Understanding Africa’s Ebola-Denying Communities While Americans panic over a tiny risk, some Africans in Ebola-stricken counties think the entire virus is make-believe.
Why Your American Wiener is Unimpressive We should all be envious of Iceland’s tasty, high-quality hot dogs
Stepping Inside a World of Private Violence A new documentary probes domestic violence in America via the gut-wrenching story of one survivor seeking justice.