The Storytelling Class
Located in Winnipeg's downtown core, Gordon Bell High School is probably the most culturally varied school in the city, with 58 different languages spoken by the student body. Many students are children who have arrived as refugees from various war torn areas of the world.
In an effort to build bridges of friendship and belonging across cultures and histories, teacher Marc Kuly initiated an after-school storytelling project whereby the immigrant students would share stories with their Canadian peers.
The catalyst for this cross-cultural interaction was the students' reading of 'A Long Way Gone' by Ishmael Beah, a memoir of Beah's horrific time as a child soldier in Sierra Leone's civil war.
These voluntary after-school meetings take dramatic turns and reach their climax when Ishmael Beah and professional storyteller Laura Simms travel from New York to work with them. With their help the students learn to listen to each other and find the commonality that so long eluded them.
'Wow, what a wonderful film. In an era when narrowed standards, high-stakes testing, and the drive to earn profits are dehumanizing this place we call school, it is easy to lose sight of the profound suffering by our youth. But not so with the creative educators and diverse group of students in The Storytelling Class. This moving and inspiring film showcases the healing potential of telling one's stories, and the liberatory potential of listening deeply.' Dr. Kevin Kumashiro, Professor, University of Illinois-Chicago, Director, Center for Anti-Oppressive Education, and Author, Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice
'For any educators who have the courage to be real about school reform, this video will show you where to begin. Resist the testing and the scripted curriculum, and start with your students' own stories. This program demonstrates how to release the power of your students' intelligence by inviting their authentic voices into the classroom. When the teacher and students in this film create a safe space to share and heal their own pain, they also show us how we might heal the world.' Gary Howard, Founder, REACH Center for Multicultural Education, Author, We Can't Teach What We Don't Know
'The Storytelling Class is an engaging and powerful resource for teaching about breaking cultural boundaries and creating community. Students from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural groups learn that their differences are overshadowed by shared hopes, fears, and joys that bind them together in the human journey.' Dr. James A. Banks, Chair in Diversity Studies, Founding Director for the Center for Multicultural Education, University of Washington-Seattle, Author, Teaching Strategies for the Social Sciences
'I found this documentary to be about so much more than diversity. It is about people connecting as they try to make sense of the world around them. This is a very useful, real, and sometimes raw look at how story teaches us lessons of identity, inclusion, healing, change, acceptance and much more.' Kimberly M. Cuny, Director, The University Speaking Center, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
'[A] heartwarming documentary of finding commonality and learning to listen to one another.' The Midwest Book Review
'The intensity of each participant's emotions is palpable as the camera records both prepared and spontaneous moments...An excellent choice for classes reading A Long Way Gone and those exploring the collective responsibility to overcome prejudice.' School Library Journal
'Gordon Bell High is comprised of rich and poor, aboriginals, Afghans, Arabs, Africans, refugees for war-torn countries, immigrants, and a recent influx of Burmese students. Much of the film portrays students talking about their ethnicities and races and how stratified and segregated the school is...Marc Kuly, a teacher, set out to bring students together...The experience 'was like wildfire spreading through the school. Kids loved it.' Recommended.' Caron Knauer, La Guardia Community College, Educational Media Reviews Online
'The Storytelling Class is a positive and hopeful example of the simple process of taking the time to get to know the people in your immediate vicinity, and perhaps once the skill of listening and accepting is acquired, it can be practiced and spread. Suitable for high school classes and college courses in cultural anthropology, intercultural communication, anthropology of conflict and war, anthropology of conflict resolution, and Canadian/North American studies, as well as for general audiences.' Jack David Eller, Community College of Denver, Anthropology Reviews Database
'A powerful film...The Storytelling Class is not a 'how-to-do' film regarding teaching the art of storytelling, but rather it is an evocative demonstration of how a particular teacher got students, outside of class time, to tell important stories from their own lives. While this film focuses on the experiences of young people in wartorn countries, the techniques illustrated can be used with any group of adolescents or adults. Highly Recommended.' CM Magazine, Manitoba Library Association
'Kuly's charges not only learn from each other, but also teach their dedicated instructor a thing or two...Recommended.' Video Librarian
Paskievich, John (screenwriter)
Paskievich, John (film director)
Paskievich, John (film editor)
Paskievich, John (cinematographer)
Paskievich, John (film producer)
Whiteway, John (screenwriter)
Whiteway, John (film director)
Whiteway, John (film editor)
Whiteway, John (film producer)
Camera, John Paskievich; original music, Norman Dugas.
Distributor subjectsAnthropology; At-risk Youth; Biography; Canadian Studies; Conflict Resolution; Education; Global Issues; Human Rights; Immigration; Language Arts; Migration and Refugees; Multicultural Studies; Psychology; Social Justice; Sociology
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So for me just waking up, is
enough for me to be happy.
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I think people are always looking for the
grand miracles and things like that.
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For me the grand… the… the miracles really are our human
interaction, our genuine day to day human interaction,
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that’s where the miracle is at.
When you are able to meet
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each individual on that human level we’re
able to see each other’s humanity,
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regardless of the conditions that
were in, that is the change,
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that is where it is. So that’s what I wanted to
instigate, to inspire in people during this book.
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By putting my story out there and hoping that it would allow
certain people to know that they can tell their stories,
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that they shouldn’t be
ashamed of the experiences,
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that they can actually transform it positively for the allies
and for the benefit of the people that are around them.
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Gordon Bell High school is located
in Winnipeg’s downtown core.
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It’s probably the most culturally and
economically diverse school in the city.
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We have kids from high income areas, from the south
end of the city and poor kids from the inner core.
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We have a large urban
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off reserve students from up north
are here in the school as well.
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We have large numbers of Arab
students from Middle East,
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African students from all over Africa
and Asian students, a brand new group
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has just arrived from Burma.
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Because Gordon Bell’s located downtown in Winnipeg,
a lot of people have negative assumptions about it.
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These assumptions are based on
exaggerations and a lack of knowledge.
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I’m not saying it’s a perfect place,
but it’s a great place for kids
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and I love coming to work here every day. When I first got
here… like I said I thought I was going to getting in fights
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or getting into trouble because
I came here to avoid trouble,
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so it’s just all I seem to
be getting into before.
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So and I have my (inaudible) that will… I didn’t
find there’s a whole lot of trouble to be found.
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People get the wrong idea about
our school, like, because they…
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they just assume that because we’re inner city,
that we’re in not a good school but Gordon Bell
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is full of great people and great things
and there are a lot of different cultures
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and I see that as a good thing.
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Umm… The school is are very diverse,
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but we don’t really all come together.
Like, you walk down the hall
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as you see the black kids on one side, the
people from Afghanistan on the other side,
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the few Asian people we have on another
side and it’s very segregated.
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These Canadian kids were… I don’t know,
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they… they were nice but like I didn’t talk to
anyone and nobody talked to me. So I would just
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pretty much sit there and
do not… do nothing almost.
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After a while, my other friends
came, like other Afghani girls,
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so I was very relieved. So
I made friends with them,
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and we’ve been friends ever since.
Uh… I’ve been…
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we have no Canadian friends, sometimes
I wish I had, but I don’t know.
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I knew that the students from knowing them
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were interested in the experiences of others. And so
they were sitting in these sort of segregated groups
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and they talked openly about
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stratification in the school but
they weren’t able on their own
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without some encouragement to and without
some tools to be able to as sort of bridge
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the gaps that divided them.
When I read Ishmael Beah’s book
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I thought it might be one of these tools.
The book’s a Memoir of Beah’s time
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as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. It’s a
story of how he was forcibly recruited,
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and then how he managed to overcome the
traumas that he experienced in the war.
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And when we taught the book, it was like
wildfire spreading through the school,
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kids loved it and it opened
up conversations that I’d see
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where a kid… a Canadian kid would… would come
up to a refugee kid who was reading the book
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and he would say, you know I was… I
was here. Yeah, I… I know about that.
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And so that inspired me to try and
start a storytelling project here,
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where in just like Ishmael, the refugee and immigrant
kids in our school would tell their stories
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or share their stories, so that we
could all listen and hear that.
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And hopefully it would open a bridge
between the kids in the school
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who I know want to know each
other but don’t know how.
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I’m going to read it just so we remember, what Ishmael went
through to be able to have such a strong effect on us.
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I’m pushing a rusty wheelbarrow in a town where
the air smells of blood and burned flesh.
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The breeze brings the faint cries of those whose
last breaths are leaving their mangled bodies.
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I walked past them, their
arms and legs were missing,
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their intestines spilled out through the bullet holes in their
stomachs. Brain matter comes out of their nose and ears,
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the flies were so excited they intoxicated,
they fall on the pools of blood and die.
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My body begins to ache and I can’t lift
a foot without feeling the rush of pain
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from my toes to my spine. I collapsed on
the ground and hold the body in my arms.
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Blood spots begin to emerge on the white bed sheets
covering it. Setting the body on the ground,
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I start to unwrap it, beginning at the feet. All
the way up to the neck, there are bullet holes.
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One bullet has crushed Adam’s apple and sent
the remains of it to the back of the throat.
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I lift the cloth from the body’s face.
I’m looking at my own.
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Before, we really start reading this book, I too had
like the worst problem but I didn’t talk about…
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I …I didn’t talk to anyone
about it or anything
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but when I heard Ishmael story, I was like, why am I being such
a drama queen because he’d been through so much than I have.
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So it just made me feel so bad
about saying, Ishmael, help me
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like, with (inaudible) out of stuff and it help
me get through it too. I used to feel like,
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perhaps I am the only one
disturbed, or thing happen to
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and I’ll never ever agree
to tell my story to anyone.
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But then after I read Ishmael Beah’s book,
it really encouraged me to tell my story.
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I thought wow,
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like, my story compared to what
he’s been through seems nothing.
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So that… that he really inspired me.
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So I decided to tell my story.
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Every book that a school’s ever given me,
I’ve never entirely finished, not one book
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I can say that for a fact, like
there’s the complete chapters.
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Like, almost entire books that I’ve just not read or
like maybe guessed on the questions if they had any.
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This was the first book that I’ve
ever been issued by a school
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that I read from cover to cover and wanted
to just keep reading. So just on that basis,
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that, a school actually finally
gave me a book that I enjoyed,
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was enough to make me want to go more into depth
into this. Like, well, that was a really…
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really moving book for
someone to write that.
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And so I just want to see what…
what else can we do of this.
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So here’s the basic plan.
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All the kids who are going to be involved in the project and volunteer to be
part of it, and there’s about 30, 35 that have said they’ll be part of it.
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I don’t know that all of them will. Because
we’re going to be doing it after school,
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and I made it clear to him that… that it’s
going to be hard work, it’s going to be
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outside of school time, that they aren’t going
to get any reward from it in terms of marks
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or grades or… or anything like,
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that that this work is being done
because they believe it’s valuable.
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And I’ve promised them rewards in the
sense of I believe that they will,
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that they will not regret the time they spent doing
it, but what we’re going to do is get together
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umm… tell stories I’ll… I’ll lead
it and we’ll see where it goes.
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For right now Wednesday nights are going to be the
time that we meet, and we’ll meet from around now
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like around 03:30 until 5:00, 05:30,
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okay, at the latest. Uh… (inaudible) was trying
to figure out how she could get out of work today
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and she said I… I want to be there so badly, I
want to be there so badly and (inaudible) cried.
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So I know you guys are committed to being here.
What about classes like biology and math
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like obviously we’re excused. You’re excused. But
you’ll be required… you’ll be required to do the work.
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The first exercise we’re going to do is uh… a naming exercise,
whereby students are going to tell each other their names.
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It’s really simple on the surface but
what’s important about it is that
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we all have names, and they’re
the first part of our story.
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And by claiming them and then telling somebody else
the story of your name, you’re in fact saying to them
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here I am, this is who I am and
this is how I want you to see me.
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I… my… my name is like a… a Muslim name. It’s
a Quran name. You get it from the Quran.
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Yeah, so I got my… And my last
name is my… my father’s name.
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Yeah, where do… Where do you get it from?
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And Lela means night. So I
got born in night. Oh, wow!
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Yeah, so I had name for couple… My name is
(inaudible), like every time I ask my mother
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what’s my name mean, they are like, oh, it just
sound like a shadow, it’s a shadow of something.
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So it’s (inaudible). It may sound. So I saw my
last different from my other family members.
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Yeah, so that’s all. Okay.
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come on in.
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What we’re going to do here is
acknowledge each other. Okay. Good.
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The person who locked eyes starts,
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bows in recognition. When
that’s done, the next person,
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that person bows back, okay?
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Now, those people return
and this is the magic.
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Someone else goes.
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The bowing ritual’s is an important thing and it makes
the kids feel really awkward, but that’s important.
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But the storytelling project means we’re going
to actually have to spend some time listening
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and seeing each other. We have
to get to know each other,
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and the bowing is a way to leave behind
the day, look closely at somebody else
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and accept each other.
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In grade nine I used to like I hung out with
some girl that like smoked drugs and stuff,
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I’ve never personally smoked drugs but umm… the
vice principal accused me of smoking drugs
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during the volleyball game. And
he was like checking my eyes
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and everything and like I’m like I don’t smoke
drugs and he’s like and I don’t know it just…
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I took it personally.
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I’m asking the students about times when
they’ve been discriminated against or felt
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that they’ve been the victim of a misconception.
And the reason I’m doing this is because
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their identity is important,
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they have a right to an identity and…
and a right to choose that identity.
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When people miscon… have misconceptions
about us or discriminate against us
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what they’re in fact saying is, \"No, you can’t be
that person, or being that person is going to be
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a… a problem for me and I’m going to make it a
problem for you.\" I want them to talk about
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the problems they have with
being who they want to be.
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Are you’re going to join the
group and sit in your group,
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so sit beside the people who are in
your group sharing join the group.
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We are finishing the practice and we were walking to McDonald. So they
just come out from nowhere, fall on us and they are they’re like,
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\"Oh, you boys looking for trouble.\" We’re like, \"What are you talking about?
We’re just walking around. So, well, you seem like you looking for trouble.
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And then were like, what
is that got to do with us,
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just walking to McDonald. You know,
because I feel that like we…
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I haven’t seen, you know, some white kids, you know, getting
stuff and on the street we’re just crossing the street,
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you know, could just, you know, every time they
see a black you’d walk by to. You have to stop
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and id him for nothing. The cops
pulled over me and few of my friends
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and before they asked any questions or anything they just
grabbed me by the neck and started choking me, one of them.
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And then there was another cruiser,
like there was more than one
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and then they took my friend like one of
my other friends around to a back lane
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and they took out phone books and beat them
with their… beat him with their baton.
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And then they put me in the car
eventually they just put me in the car
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and drove me around and they dropped me off
in the middle, it’s like some neighborhood
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I forget where far from home
anyway, and I just busted home.
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One time I was in a park like, I was reading
a book, I was sitting with my old sister,
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and this man was just passing by
and he’s like, just calling like,
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\"Hey, like what is that
shit you’re wearing.\"
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And I got like, out of
nowhere just told me that.
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I’m like, \"It’s just the cultural thing like, why would
you say that?\" He’s like, \"Well, you’re in Canada now,
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well, you have to adjust now, it’s not
like your own country or something.\"
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So I said, \"It’s none of your
business.\" But he just swore, swore,
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and had said nothing and then he just left.
When I was in Greece, so that my mum
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and I moved up to a crenation, called Norway house,
and it was fine. I had a friend in the summer
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and she was really nice but when it came time
for school, like I was the only white person
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for like miles and miles
besides my mom. And uh…
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she just stopped talking to me, because I was white
and she was afraid of people thinking school and,
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you know, that feeling when, you know, everyone’s talking in
the room and then you walk into the room and it just stops.
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Yeah, that happened like
every day and it was just,
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it was hard. Just as I hangout with, like my
(inaudible) my friends are like, why an Asian?
00:15:55.000 --> 00:15:59.999
So whenever people see me
hanging out they are all like,
00:16:00.000 --> 00:16:04.999
\"She is a black girl, she wants to be white, all that stuff,
even in school. People who like… and… and it really hurts,
00:16:05.000 --> 00:16:09.999
like last time I was working with Joe
in a mob, and all these black girls
00:16:10.000 --> 00:16:14.999
who’re passing by gave me this dirty look, like every I walk
past by a black person, they just look at me in a weird way.
00:16:15.000 --> 00:16:19.999
And it just… it was really annoying,
00:16:20.000 --> 00:16:24.999
I mean, I stopped talking to
people in school for that reason.
00:16:25.000 --> 00:16:29.999
Jamie Oliviero was a friend of mine
and he’s a traditional storyteller,
00:16:30.000 --> 00:16:34.999
an excellent storyteller.
Telling traditional stories
00:16:35.000 --> 00:16:39.999
and sitting around and listening to
them is a form of learning that’s uh…
00:16:40.000 --> 00:16:44.999
that how these kids grew up with and it was how
they learn. So even though they’re about monkeys
00:16:45.000 --> 00:16:49.999
and about giraffes and about
blind men and strange forests
00:16:50.000 --> 00:16:54.999
and magical creatures, they speak
to a basic human experience.
00:16:55.000 --> 00:16:59.999
Now, in a hunter’s trap there
was a plain grey bird,
00:17:00.000 --> 00:17:04.999
but in a blind man’s trap
00:17:05.000 --> 00:17:09.999
here was his beautiful bird
with feathers of emerald green
00:17:10.000 --> 00:17:14.999
and crimson red gold.
So the hunter said uh…
00:17:15.000 --> 00:17:19.999
\"Hey, what good luck uh… the both
caught birds. I’ll tell you what,
00:17:20.000 --> 00:17:24.999
you stay here and I’ll get your bird for you. And
a hunter walked into the (inaudible) himself
00:17:25.000 --> 00:17:29.999
and he’s a blind man.
00:17:30.000 --> 00:17:34.999
He won’t know the difference.
So what does he do?
00:17:35.000 --> 00:17:39.999
That’s right. He changes them. He gives
the blind man the plain gray bird.
00:17:40.000 --> 00:17:44.999
He keeps the beautiful bird with feathers of red, green
and gold. So now they’re walking back to the village.
00:17:45.000 --> 00:17:49.999
And the hunter is feeling
pretty full of himself,
00:17:50.000 --> 00:17:54.999
hey, I pulled one over on him, wise
one, huh…? So they’re walking along
00:17:55.000 --> 00:17:59.999
and he says, \"Hey, blind man,
everybody says you’re so wise huh?
00:18:00.000 --> 00:18:04.999
Well, than come on tell me, how
come there’s so much anger and hate
00:18:05.000 --> 00:18:09.999
and war in the world today, huh?\"
The blind man said,\" Oh, my friend
00:18:10.000 --> 00:18:14.999
that’s a very easy. The
reason, there are people
00:18:15.000 --> 00:18:19.999
in the world like you,
00:18:20.000 --> 00:18:24.999
who take what does not belong to them.\"
00:18:25.000 --> 00:18:29.999
00:18:30.000 --> 00:18:34.999
All of a sudden the hunter is very ashamed
00:18:35.000 --> 00:18:39.999
and he switches back the birds
and he says, \"I’m… I’m sorry.\"
00:18:40.000 --> 00:18:44.999
And they walk a little further
00:18:45.000 --> 00:18:49.999
and the hunter now with a different tone
for the first time. He say’s, \"Blind man,
00:18:50.000 --> 00:18:54.999
if you are so wise and tell me how
can there then still be kindness
00:18:55.000 --> 00:18:59.999
and love and… and peace in the
world?\" And the blind man says,
00:19:00.000 --> 00:19:04.999
\"Oh, it’s even easier my friend, because
there are people in the world like you,
00:19:05.000 --> 00:19:09.999
who learn from their mistakes.\"
00:19:10.000 --> 00:19:14.999
And they went back to the
village, ladies and gentlemen,
00:19:15.000 --> 00:19:19.999
and after that, whenever anyone
would say, hey, blind man,
00:19:20.000 --> 00:19:24.999
how come you’re so wise? The hunter would put his
arm around his friend’s shoulder and say, because,
00:19:25.000 --> 00:19:29.999
he sees with his ears
00:19:30.000 --> 00:19:34.999
and he listens with his heart.
00:19:35.000 --> 00:19:39.999
To that point of the story really was
told to us as a kid’s growing up,
00:19:40.000 --> 00:19:44.999
was to emphasize the idea that listening
00:19:45.000 --> 00:19:49.999
and meeting people in a basic human level is
only possible when you are willing to listen
00:19:50.000 --> 00:19:54.999
with your heart, your head and your
heart, not just with your head.
00:19:55.000 --> 00:19:59.999
Because when you listen with
your heart deeply, what it does
00:20:00.000 --> 00:20:04.999
is it allows you to meet
people and look at them
00:20:05.000 --> 00:20:09.999
for who they are without
any judgment at all.
00:20:10.000 --> 00:20:18.000
00:20:20.000 --> 00:20:24.999
Traditional stories often have
in a wish as a central element,
00:20:25.000 --> 00:20:29.999
and the reason for this is because wishes
take us down to our basic human desires.
00:20:30.000 --> 00:20:34.999
When we wish, we imagine a better
world and ourselves in it, it’s a way
00:20:35.000 --> 00:20:39.999
to get ourselves out of the conditions
that we’re in and move our story forward
00:20:40.000 --> 00:20:44.999
and whether they come true or
not, these wishes, they matter,
00:20:45.000 --> 00:20:49.999
because they’re the thing that gives us
the potential to become something else.
00:20:50.000 --> 00:20:54.999
What I’d like to do is have the kids think
00:20:55.000 --> 00:20:59.999
about one of their own wishes, or their own
wish. And from there they’ll be able to
00:21:00.000 --> 00:21:04.999
choose and form the story that they want to
tell about themselves to the rest of the world.
00:21:05.000 --> 00:21:09.999
00:21:10.000 --> 00:21:14.999
What do you really want?
This is an important thing
00:21:15.000 --> 00:21:19.999
to ask yourself over and over again in
life. Uh… I actually… which is that umm…
00:21:20.000 --> 00:21:24.999
my mom and my dad be on my graduation day,
00:21:25.000 --> 00:21:29.999
because, you know, I was
a kid my dad usually…
00:21:30.000 --> 00:21:34.999
like he’d tell me all this, go to school.
Like every time I think of them like,
00:21:35.000 --> 00:21:39.999
every time I go to school
I just tell them like…
00:21:40.000 --> 00:21:44.999
I think I just want someone
to be with, someone to love
00:21:45.000 --> 00:21:49.999
I think it’s about it.
00:21:50.000 --> 00:21:54.999
I want to… I want to meet my two…
00:21:55.000 --> 00:21:59.999
my other two sisters, that I have never met
00:22:00.000 --> 00:22:04.999
and I want… I want my dad
00:22:05.000 --> 00:22:09.999
to start treating me like a son and not a
relative that he just visits once in a while.
00:22:10.000 --> 00:22:14.999
00:22:15.000 --> 00:22:19.999
No, I don’t want to share what I want just
because I know it’s not going to happen
00:22:20.000 --> 00:22:24.999
and I won’t waste my time.
00:22:25.000 --> 00:22:29.999
I wish I was a healthy kid.
00:22:30.000 --> 00:22:38.000
00:22:50.000 --> 00:22:54.999
I kind of wish I’d be able
to feel like I’m beautiful,
00:22:55.000 --> 00:22:59.999
because all my life,
I’ve been the ugly girl
00:23:00.000 --> 00:23:04.999
and like in school I’ve been categorized like
all the cool people were the pretty people
00:23:05.000 --> 00:23:09.999
and the ugly people were like losers.
00:23:10.000 --> 00:23:14.999
00:23:15.000 --> 00:23:19.999
Maddy, when you say I want to
be, I want to feel beautiful
00:23:20.000 --> 00:23:24.999
and the person comes along and
tells you that you are beautiful
00:23:25.000 --> 00:23:29.999
you can believe that person.
00:23:30.000 --> 00:23:34.999
Because if you don’t say to yourself I want to be beautiful, you’re
going to have the story in the back of your head that says I’m not,
00:23:35.000 --> 00:23:39.999
and it’s a lie, but it’s a
lie that will haunt you,
00:23:40.000 --> 00:23:44.999
and you won’t let people tell you the
truth which is that you’re gorgeous.
00:23:45.000 --> 00:23:49.999
So you need to get this out so that you
can actually accept the answer, okay.
00:23:50.000 --> 00:23:54.999
00:23:55.000 --> 00:23:59.999
I’ve began to see that
00:24:00.000 --> 00:24:04.999
it is very easy sometimes for people to belittle
each others suffering. Now the priorities
00:24:05.000 --> 00:24:09.999
that might lead to the way we address
people suffering obviously different.
00:24:10.000 --> 00:24:14.999
What I believe when the human spirit
is at discomfort, when it’s suffers.
00:24:15.000 --> 00:24:19.999
It doesn’t matter what the circumstances
are, we all should pay attention,
00:24:20.000 --> 00:24:24.999
for example some of us might suffer because
we lost family. Somebody might be in pain
00:24:25.000 --> 00:24:29.999
because they lost the dog. I don’t want
anyone to bleed with that suffering,
00:24:30.000 --> 00:24:34.999
because once we begin to do that, we begin to
say that some people’s lives are more important
00:24:35.000 --> 00:24:39.999
and valuable than others. And once we do
that, that’s where we lose the respect
00:24:40.000 --> 00:24:44.999
of the sacrosanct nature
of each individual life.
00:24:45.000 --> 00:24:49.999
The way we live our lives might be
different, but the sacrosanct nature of life
00:24:50.000 --> 00:24:54.999
in each individual is the same.
00:24:55.000 --> 00:24:59.999
And then… All right. So this is love.
00:25:00.000 --> 00:25:04.999
Have a great weekend. We’ll try.
00:25:05.000 --> 00:25:13.000
00:25:20.000 --> 00:25:24.999
Oh, this is Mr. Cameron’s(ph) house, we’re going to
burn this house, put fire, come put fire on this house.
00:25:25.000 --> 00:25:29.999
Put fire, they’re only small kids, because they
I mean they… they don’t scare of anything,
00:25:30.000 --> 00:25:34.999
they can do anything. They… they are responsible
mostly for becoming (inaudible) people.
00:25:35.000 --> 00:25:39.999
Yeah, like their, I mean,
long sword and sharp shroud
00:25:40.000 --> 00:25:44.999
you know. They… they
amputate people just like…
00:25:45.000 --> 00:25:49.999
it’s just like… it’s just like funny thing to them, you
know. And, you know, it’s really… it’s, I mean like,
00:25:50.000 --> 00:25:54.999
sometime when I think about my son being here in
front of people talking or mingle with people here
00:25:55.000 --> 00:25:59.999
and I just what I think is that,
00:26:00.000 --> 00:26:04.999
I don’t know I… I mean why… why
I am here today, you know.
00:26:05.000 --> 00:26:09.999
And it was like people bleeding everywhere,
there is straight bullets flying everywhere
00:26:10.000 --> 00:26:14.999
and then, yeah, after,
that really sticks to me.
00:26:15.000 --> 00:26:19.999
And I was like… Sometimes it’s just like, it’s happening
again when I go to sleep I still dream about it.
00:26:20.000 --> 00:26:24.999
So, you know, I was captured by this rebels
and what they did, they take me in the town,
00:26:25.000 --> 00:26:29.999
what all it do wanted me to
do is to carry that weapon.
00:26:30.000 --> 00:26:34.999
Yeah, like the gunpowder or something.
Yeah, so I took that because I was,
00:26:35.000 --> 00:26:39.999
I guess about 12… 12… 12 or 13 years
old, yeah. So I told, you know,
00:26:40.000 --> 00:26:44.999
I (inaudible), because like
if they capture here to take…
00:26:45.000 --> 00:26:49.999
uh… they are away from the proper list to another
city. So if you reached there, if you have a chance
00:26:50.000 --> 00:26:54.999
you can run because they would
look for another person
00:26:55.000 --> 00:26:59.999
there like another civilian (inaudible)
just may be beat you and let you go.
00:27:00.000 --> 00:27:04.999
Yeah, if you are lucky,
they’ll let you (inaudible).
00:27:05.000 --> 00:27:09.999
Yeah, so I was captured and they told me to
carry that weapon… the gun powder, yeah.
00:27:10.000 --> 00:27:14.999
And also my brother he was,
he… he got killed in the war
00:27:15.000 --> 00:27:19.999
because of that too, my
elder brother. Yeah.
00:27:20.000 --> 00:27:24.999
So they took us to like the chief’s
compound, the chief’s house,
00:27:25.000 --> 00:27:29.999
like a big compound, then they threatened
us to like they’re gonna kill us.
00:27:30.000 --> 00:27:34.999
So they lined us up like… and
everyone was praying like,
00:27:35.000 --> 00:27:39.999
the Muslims praying, the Christians. Some of them,
they go to church, but not all, they don’t put it out,
00:27:40.000 --> 00:27:44.999
they don’t like go to church always, you
know. Yeah, so everyone was praying,
00:27:45.000 --> 00:27:49.999
he was just funny, so I almost laughed.
00:27:50.000 --> 00:27:54.999
They carried knife and
big sticks with them.
00:27:55.000 --> 00:27:59.999
Uh… So when they just
entered the room they…
00:28:00.000 --> 00:28:04.999
they attacked my dad and when my
dad couldn’t fight back anymore
00:28:05.000 --> 00:28:09.999
they asked for money, jewelry,
00:28:10.000 --> 00:28:14.999
umm… of course we didn’t have any of that.
00:28:15.000 --> 00:28:19.999
So umm… they just… we told them that
and they just left and they uh…
00:28:20.000 --> 00:28:24.999
locked the door behind us and
threw the key in the yard,
00:28:25.000 --> 00:28:29.999
and my dad basically
00:28:30.000 --> 00:28:34.999
bleeded to death. Me and my mom and my
two other sisters went for shopping,
00:28:35.000 --> 00:28:39.999
so when we came back and
somebody told my mom that
00:28:40.000 --> 00:28:44.999
the bomb come to our house and my
mom became suddenly unconscious.
00:28:45.000 --> 00:28:49.999
And when I got home, my mom, my
dad and my sister was in pieces
00:28:50.000 --> 00:28:54.999
so, the bomb came to our house
00:28:55.000 --> 00:28:59.999
and my father died because of the war.
00:29:00.000 --> 00:29:08.000
00:30:10.000 --> 00:30:14.999
When we first started teaching the book, I took
the picture of the kids reading Ishmael’s book,
00:30:15.000 --> 00:30:19.999
and I sent the picture to him
along with an email telling
00:30:20.000 --> 00:30:24.999
him what and affective book he was having. And
he emailed right back and was really supportive
00:30:25.000 --> 00:30:29.999
and since then I’ve been
in contact with both he
00:30:30.000 --> 00:30:34.999
and his adoptive mother Laura Simms who also
happens to be a professional storyteller.
00:30:35.000 --> 00:30:39.999
And the two of them are going to be coming
into Winnipeg to do work with University
00:30:40.000 --> 00:30:44.999
and they both agreed to work with
the kids here at Gordon Bell,
00:30:45.000 --> 00:30:49.999
pretty excited about that.
00:30:50.000 --> 00:30:54.999
Once a nurse told me that she grew up in South America
in Colombia where there was umm… really a Civil War
00:30:55.000 --> 00:30:59.999
it was very dangerous. And
if somebody really suffered
00:31:00.000 --> 00:31:04.999
a tremendous in the beginning at least and there
was last cast, somebody suffered a tremendous loss
00:31:05.000 --> 00:31:09.999
or abuse of some kind,
you could go to a house
00:31:10.000 --> 00:31:14.999
and everybody would tell stories and you would
tell that story. And then your story then
00:31:15.000 --> 00:31:19.999
would not be isolated, it would be part of the whole
history, and there’d be things that existed before it,
00:31:20.000 --> 00:31:24.999
and things that exist after it. And
you and you become part of something,
00:31:25.000 --> 00:31:29.999
that’s what the stories are about.
00:31:30.000 --> 00:31:34.999
00:31:35.000 --> 00:31:39.999
I’ve come to care about these people, I am like, here I
have an… I… you know, what never really got to know before
00:31:40.000 --> 00:31:44.999
and it’s amazing and I… I… I am very… I want to hear
their stories but I also like want to know stories
00:31:45.000 --> 00:31:49.999
about my Canadian born friends that I don’t know.
Because I mean, I know that like violence and stuff,
00:31:50.000 --> 00:31:54.999
you know, like we don’t have war here very much but
like we get affected by other things that are,
00:31:55.000 --> 00:31:59.999
you know, in our cases are, you
know, bad and we don’t enjoy them.
00:32:00.000 --> 00:32:04.999
But we’ve got stories and experiences to share too and I feel like
we don’t get the chance because everything is focused on not us,
00:32:05.000 --> 00:32:09.999
I don’t really know why, like, I know we’re here to like listen
and stuff, I don’t feel like we’re here for the same reasons.
00:32:10.000 --> 00:32:14.999
We’re trying to listen to all the African
kids and we’ve connected with them
00:32:15.000 --> 00:32:19.999
and we see them in a different light but they haven’t seen us
at all because like, I don’t think you know they really know
00:32:20.000 --> 00:32:24.999
what I’ve been through. And I know it’s not, like I
wouldn’t go through war but it’s like you don’t see me in
00:32:25.000 --> 00:32:29.999
the same way I see you now, and I don’t think that’s part of the group, I don’t
think we’re leveled right now. But we’re not talking very commonalities,
00:32:30.000 --> 00:32:34.999
we’re talking about how the African students went through this and the
Canadian students didn’t go through anything because we lived in Canada
00:32:35.000 --> 00:32:39.999
and we don’t have problems. We just have
like this happy heavenly life here.
00:32:40.000 --> 00:32:44.999
This whole thing started
because we all felt something
00:32:45.000 --> 00:32:49.999
you all have stories to tell but it just seems
like, it’s only about the war affected kids,
00:32:50.000 --> 00:32:54.999
it’s always like about us. Whatever you guys said actually is right
because we never heard you guys telling us that your stories
00:32:55.000 --> 00:32:59.999
that what you guys been through.
So it was always like I asked up
00:33:00.000 --> 00:33:04.999
there telling you guys our stories, you
guys crying for what you guys heard from us
00:33:05.000 --> 00:33:09.999
and then we never heard anything from… from you guys.
So it seemed like oh, those Canadian kid who didn’t go
00:33:10.000 --> 00:33:14.999
through anything hard, so we don’t need to like
listen to them, like they don’t have anything to do.
00:33:15.000 --> 00:33:19.999
Everyone went through something
here, whether it’s good or bad,
00:33:20.000 --> 00:33:24.999
you know, but umm… it’s I mean it’s a
time for us to tell what happened to us,
00:33:25.000 --> 00:33:29.999
not just African kids and stuff
like that, I think I already said,
00:33:30.000 --> 00:33:34.999
they are right and like this is the time
for them to raise a concern to Mr. Kuly.
00:33:35.000 --> 00:33:39.999
00:33:40.000 --> 00:33:44.999
I was able to eavesdrop
00:33:45.000 --> 00:33:49.999
on the conversation that two of you
00:33:50.000 --> 00:33:54.999
brave young women had with
Mark and Shelley yesterday
00:33:55.000 --> 00:33:59.999
about those of you who… who are really from
00:34:00.000 --> 00:34:04.999
you know Canada for a long time
and by birth you feel like you…
00:34:05.000 --> 00:34:09.999
you haven’t been able to tell your
story so you haven’t been heard.
00:34:10.000 --> 00:34:14.999
I want to say something about listening
which is that first of all listening
00:34:15.000 --> 00:34:19.999
is not doing nothing. It is a
complete act of generosity
00:34:20.000 --> 00:34:24.999
and it is a tremendously strong activity.
00:34:25.000 --> 00:34:29.999
Whether we were born here,
00:34:30.000 --> 00:34:34.999
you know, a and living in the same house, we’re
born in a really serious part of Winnipeg
00:34:35.000 --> 00:34:39.999
or we came from far away at the heart
00:34:40.000 --> 00:34:44.999
of our ability as human beings to
feel connected and to feel whole
00:34:45.000 --> 00:34:49.999
is this issue of being
heard and not being heard.
00:34:50.000 --> 00:34:54.999
But the sad thing we’re able
to speak up to me shows that
00:34:55.000 --> 00:34:59.999
there is a tremendous amount of connection all around because,
if there wasn’t you wouldn’t be able to say something like that
00:35:00.000 --> 00:35:04.999
in the face of people whose
stories are very… very intense.
00:35:05.000 --> 00:35:09.999
So that shows me a tremendous respect
00:35:10.000 --> 00:35:14.999
between all of you.
00:35:15.000 --> 00:35:19.999
I think because we all became really close we wanted
them to know that they weren’t alone I guess kind of
00:35:20.000 --> 00:35:24.999
or that like we had to deal with hard
things too so… I think we just wanted them
00:35:25.000 --> 00:35:29.999
to know that, yeah, they weren’t alone.
00:35:30.000 --> 00:35:34.999
And so I don’t know I just had
like… it was weird because,
00:35:35.000 --> 00:35:39.999
the whole project was supposed to be
that we’re bringing kids together
00:35:40.000 --> 00:35:44.999
but then when we only were focusing
on the refugees in war torn kids,
00:35:45.000 --> 00:35:49.999
it kind of just made the people that
haven’t dealt with war torn situations
00:35:50.000 --> 00:35:54.999
feel kind of like and significant. And I understand
that because the book was about child soldier that
00:35:55.000 --> 00:35:59.999
this project should be more
focused on war torn things
00:36:00.000 --> 00:36:04.999
but I don’t know, I guess
like watching them
00:36:05.000 --> 00:36:09.999
kind of break out of their shells and being able
to tell those really hard things kind of made
00:36:10.000 --> 00:36:14.999
us wanted to tell ours too I guess.
But what’s just happened is,
00:36:15.000 --> 00:36:19.999
with these students is pretty profound.
I should… I should’ve seen it coming
00:36:20.000 --> 00:36:24.999
because when we did that wish session
00:36:25.000 --> 00:36:29.999
every kid there imagined a
better world for themselves,
00:36:30.000 --> 00:36:34.999
their friends and their families.
00:36:35.000 --> 00:36:39.999
And each one of them went really
deep an experienced the thrill
00:36:40.000 --> 00:36:44.999
of realizing that if they can imagine it in other
world, it’s possible to get a different world.
00:36:45.000 --> 00:36:49.999
And they recognize they could
be authors of their own lives,
00:36:50.000 --> 00:36:54.999
of their own stories. And then, you know,
00:36:55.000 --> 00:36:59.999
the focus remain on the refugees,
00:37:00.000 --> 00:37:04.999
but everyone needs to tell their story,
so I understand that the… I should…
00:37:05.000 --> 00:37:09.999
I should’ve seen it coming. But all the
kids are going to tell their stories.
00:37:10.000 --> 00:37:14.999
It’s going to take more time, we’ve
scheduled our extra sessions.
00:37:15.000 --> 00:37:19.999
But they’ve all volunteered to be there
00:37:20.000 --> 00:37:24.999
and they’ll all be there.
00:37:25.000 --> 00:37:29.999
My story starts in the second grade.
00:37:30.000 --> 00:37:34.999
Mom and I had just moved to a strange rural
community and I didn’t know why we moved.
00:37:35.000 --> 00:37:39.999
We had been there for a month and I was
still too shy to ask any questions
00:37:40.000 --> 00:37:44.999
because the entire month that we’d been there,
besides asking me what I wanted for lunch
00:37:45.000 --> 00:37:49.999
and dinner, and what I was
going to wear in the morning
00:37:50.000 --> 00:37:54.999
my mom didn’t talk to me. My dad
formed together a hockey team
00:37:55.000 --> 00:37:59.999
called the Saad Falcons and they
actually got in the Hockey Hall of Fame
00:38:00.000 --> 00:38:04.999
for being the only hockey
team in Saudi Arabia.
00:38:05.000 --> 00:38:09.999
So umm… it kind of that area really
it became like a place for my family,
00:38:10.000 --> 00:38:14.999
it became like I learned how to skate there, I remember skating holding
like my mom’s hand, you know. In the end like a year before we left it umm…
00:38:15.000 --> 00:38:19.999
terrorists came and they got,
00:38:20.000 --> 00:38:24.999
they had twenty three hostages
and they were all killed there,
00:38:25.000 --> 00:38:29.999
so it’s really… really like
took away from like umm…
00:38:30.000 --> 00:38:34.999
uh… I don’t know. It’s really… it’s like a
special place and evolved like a safe place
00:38:35.000 --> 00:38:39.999
and like a family place, you know. And after
that happened it was like we didn’t go there
00:38:40.000 --> 00:38:44.999
and it was done. Rhonda
took care of me like
00:38:45.000 --> 00:38:49.999
just as much as my mom did and
at first I didn’t have a dad
00:38:50.000 --> 00:38:54.999
so I umm… actually called
my auntie Rhonda now my dad
00:38:55.000 --> 00:38:59.999
for a little while, then
my mom had to explain but
00:39:00.000 --> 00:39:04.999
she was my auntie even
though she isn’t really.
00:39:05.000 --> 00:39:09.999
And so we started packing up and
then my dad got another brain tumor,
00:39:10.000 --> 00:39:14.999
and so yeah, it was kind of a shocker
00:39:15.000 --> 00:39:19.999
and he also beat that one. And all he lost
00:39:20.000 --> 00:39:24.999
was his sense of smell and he got all his vision
back, so once we actually got to the house.
00:39:25.000 --> 00:39:29.999
Uh… We are all healthy and we just
unpacked and kind of started fresh
00:39:30.000 --> 00:39:34.999
and I’ve been living Wellesley ever since.
Every fiber of my being
00:39:35.000 --> 00:39:39.999
want to kill it right then and there.
Like I was set, I was going to kill them
00:39:40.000 --> 00:39:44.999
and then I looked over and I
saw the look in my mom’s eye.
00:39:45.000 --> 00:39:49.999
Just that look, I can’t even
describe it, I said no.
00:39:50.000 --> 00:39:54.999
So I didn’t. I gave them an alternate. I said you be out of
this house before I get home from work or I will kill you,
00:39:55.000 --> 00:39:59.999
I promise you that.
00:40:00.000 --> 00:40:04.999
Of course, when I came home
from work, he was gone.
00:40:05.000 --> 00:40:09.999
And I guess that concludes my story.
00:40:10.000 --> 00:40:14.999
00:40:15.000 --> 00:40:19.999
All right, who’s the
first… I like the hair.
00:40:20.000 --> 00:40:24.999
My name is Karlisle. What’s your name?
00:40:25.000 --> 00:40:29.999
00:40:30.000 --> 00:40:34.999
Katy has an interesting way.
00:40:35.000 --> 00:40:39.999
I definitely think that his
outlook on life is probably…
00:40:40.000 --> 00:40:44.999
has probably changed a lot in his past but
it definitely helps me realize that things,
00:40:45.000 --> 00:40:49.999
you know, can change for the better and things can, you know,
you can go through things but so come of the other side.
00:40:50.000 --> 00:40:54.999
00:40:55.000 --> 00:41:00.000
Hi, how are you? Where… where are you from?
I am from Liberia.
00:41:15.000 --> 00:41:19.999
When I met Ishmael Beah, I told
it’s a great opportunity for me,
00:41:20.000 --> 00:41:24.999
we tried to talk about a lot
of stuff, sending back home
00:41:25.000 --> 00:41:29.999
and, you know, stuff like that but I
felt very good when I met Ishmael,
00:41:30.000 --> 00:41:34.999
you know, I felt like, I
should move on like him, yeah.
00:41:35.000 --> 00:41:39.999
Hi, I am Marc Kuly.
00:41:40.000 --> 00:41:44.999
Oh, Marc. How are you. Oh, you’re Marc Kuly.
Yeah. You see, you’ve met all my kids.
00:41:45.000 --> 00:41:49.999
I’ve heard so much about them. Oh, yeah.
Thanks so much for writing this book.
00:41:50.000 --> 00:41:54.999
Thanks so much, Ishmael.
Nice to meet you finally.
00:41:55.000 --> 00:42:00.000
She is crying.
00:42:05.000 --> 00:42:09.999
I think she’s crying…
00:42:10.000 --> 00:42:14.999
00:42:15.000 --> 00:42:19.999
I think all of us have a strong spirit
00:42:20.000 --> 00:42:24.999
and the beautiful spirit that if we just
allow ourselves to shine a little bit
00:42:25.000 --> 00:42:29.999
of it orders, it… it gives them the power
to see their strength as well, you know.
00:42:30.000 --> 00:42:34.999
But there’s a fear, everyone that came to live in the US, well why does they fear,
always say we don’t want (inaudible) tell us because we don’t want people to judge us,
00:42:35.000 --> 00:42:39.999
we don’t want people to
see us a particular way,
00:42:40.000 --> 00:42:44.999
we want people to see us a different way, so we
fear so much sometimes. But also I realized that
00:42:45.000 --> 00:42:49.999
when that was happening the more I held my story back, the more
I felt like I would never be fully comfortable with anyone.
00:42:50.000 --> 00:42:54.999
So there’s also a backlash to
it which is that I don’t tell…
00:42:55.000 --> 00:42:59.999
talk to most people about my story and I feel like
I made friends that didn’t know me very much.
00:43:00.000 --> 00:43:04.999
And I knew they were struggling to know me but at
the same time I was reluctant because I wanted them
00:43:05.000 --> 00:43:09.999
to see me first for what I was
now and only that, so that fear
00:43:10.000 --> 00:43:14.999
is sometimes can be quite damaging too,
you know. I will tell my story and,
00:43:15.000 --> 00:43:19.999
don’t know about how horribly I lost…
00:43:20.000 --> 00:43:24.999
we lost for that and we
simply, I feel like umm…
00:43:25.000 --> 00:43:29.999
it’s about (inaudible)
00:43:30.000 --> 00:43:34.999
or something that’s,
00:43:35.000 --> 00:43:39.999
I feel like, you know… Yeah, it’s just the,
00:43:40.000 --> 00:43:44.999
just let it go,
00:43:45.000 --> 00:43:49.999
like umm… just let it…
00:43:50.000 --> 00:43:54.999
let it be… I feel like every
time I tell the story,
00:43:55.000 --> 00:43:59.999
he’s not really like
00:44:00.000 --> 00:44:04.999
comfortable about it, (inaudible) but,
00:44:05.000 --> 00:44:09.999
so umm… I don’t really
know if I should continue
00:44:10.000 --> 00:44:14.999
or just stop.
00:44:15.000 --> 00:44:19.999
Uh… When I started telling my story I…
first of all I didn’t want to tell it,
00:44:20.000 --> 00:44:24.999
when I started telling
it was very difficult,
00:44:25.000 --> 00:44:29.999
but as time went on I did find some
sort of comfort (inaudible), you know.
00:44:30.000 --> 00:44:34.999
Uh… I am not saying that this will apply to you, but I want you
to do what you feel in your heart it’s helpful to you, okay.
00:44:35.000 --> 00:44:39.999
So you don’t have to tell
everything, you can also select
00:44:40.000 --> 00:44:44.999
what parts of your story you want to tell.
And for what purpose you want to tell it,
00:44:45.000 --> 00:44:49.999
if you don’t feel like you need to
tell that don’t tell it, you know.
00:44:50.000 --> 00:44:54.999
And it’s okay, you know.
I’m sure there are moments
00:44:55.000 --> 00:44:59.999
that you had with your father that were
very remarkable, that will make you laugh,
00:45:00.000 --> 00:45:04.999
(inaudible) make you laugh quite a lot. So those are stories
that you can tell like I remember stories with my father,
00:45:05.000 --> 00:45:09.999
just playing football with my father
00:45:10.000 --> 00:45:14.999
and the things we tried to do so we can score goal
against him, that makes me happy when I tell, you know.
00:45:15.000 --> 00:45:19.999
How did you forgive that many
people or come to terms with
00:45:20.000 --> 00:45:24.999
because I have a problem just forgiving
one man. Not to mention an entire army.
00:45:25.000 --> 00:45:29.999
I have seen when you’re angry and that
anger’s manipulated what it does to you.
00:45:30.000 --> 00:45:34.999
One of the reasons why we’re dragged into the war, one of the
reasons why I stayed there and fight up or from the drugs the drugs
00:45:35.000 --> 00:45:39.999
and the cohesion, was that we’ll
avenge to the death of our families,
00:45:40.000 --> 00:45:44.999
and that’s what we did. And actually by doing that a
heard people who had nothing to do with our suffering,
00:45:45.000 --> 00:45:49.999
but we actually made that walk for more people, gave
reason. So I’ve come to know how, when you don’t forgive,
00:45:50.000 --> 00:45:54.999
the opposite which is trying to find is
actually destructive to even your own life.
00:45:55.000 --> 00:45:59.999
Forgiveness is very difficult,
it’s a process also,
00:46:00.000 --> 00:46:04.999
so don’t be hard on yourself to fight that you
haven’t been able to forgive this one person,
00:46:05.000 --> 00:46:09.999
it’s a process, it’s not something you just say, \"Oh, I forgive
you, it’s not genuine if you do it. That was a process,
00:46:10.000 --> 00:46:14.999
you have to arrive and it is very difficult. You know, I always say,
even if I’ve found somebody responsible for what happened to my family
00:46:15.000 --> 00:46:19.999
and I want them to be killed, it will not do
anything to me, it would not bring my family back.
00:46:20.000 --> 00:46:24.999
I would just be making another person actually
suffer because they would lose family too.
00:46:25.000 --> 00:46:29.999
And how do you deal with your nightmares?
00:46:30.000 --> 00:46:34.999
I still get some nightmares not as frequently as I
used to before they used to disturb me severely.
00:46:35.000 --> 00:46:39.999
For me but particularly one of the dreams that I consistently
have is that it, reenacts things that I’ve seen done
00:46:40.000 --> 00:46:44.999
or things that I’ve been a part
of, so but they all in my dreams.
00:46:45.000 --> 00:46:49.999
I am always being chased but never caught,
you know. So when I wake up for me
00:46:50.000 --> 00:46:54.999
that is the part that wakes me
up and why they didn’t touch me,
00:46:55.000 --> 00:46:59.999
so I am still alive, you know. So instead of sort of
really kind of feeling bad about it I will feel bad,
00:47:00.000 --> 00:47:04.999
I will have some reaction but I will say,
well at least I woke up or so, you know,
00:47:05.000 --> 00:47:09.999
and I’m here, you know, so I try to focus on the
fact that I woke up and I’m here, you know.
00:47:10.000 --> 00:47:14.999
But it’s a process that’s within you, when
you see certain things you can’t forget,
00:47:15.000 --> 00:47:19.999
but it’s what you learn to do with your reaction when
they come up, that is what is life changing, you know.
00:47:20.000 --> 00:47:28.000
00:47:30.000 --> 00:47:34.999
In the… our regional culture it
helps you to have good dreams
00:47:35.000 --> 00:47:39.999
and take away the nightmares,
so this is for you.
00:47:40.000 --> 00:47:44.999
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
00:47:45.000 --> 00:47:49.999
Do I… I hang it or…
00:47:50.000 --> 00:47:54.999
Above your head. Above my head. So then when
the dreams come, it passes through here
00:47:55.000 --> 00:47:59.999
and it catches the bad dreams and the good
dreams come down and go into your head,
00:48:00.000 --> 00:48:04.999
and when the morning sun rises, the bad
dreams burn up. Thank you. Thank you.
00:48:05.000 --> 00:48:09.999
I appreciate it.
00:48:10.000 --> 00:48:18.000
00:48:45.000 --> 00:48:49.999
When we first got these kids together, I
said to them we’re going to meet together,
00:48:50.000 --> 00:48:54.999
we’re going to tell stories and we’ll
see what happens, well, what happens
00:48:55.000 --> 00:48:59.999
when people cross boundaries, when they learn things
about people who are from a totally different world
00:49:00.000 --> 00:49:04.999
from them is they get energized.
And I can see that in the kids.
00:49:05.000 --> 00:49:09.999
So their response to what happens
is we want to do something
00:49:10.000 --> 00:49:14.999
and so the kids have designed and umm…
00:49:15.000 --> 00:49:19.999
are rehearsing a storytelling performance whereby
they’re going to tell their stories to their peers
00:49:20.000 --> 00:49:24.999
and to their teachers. And not only have they crossed
the divide that separated them in the classroom,
00:49:25.000 --> 00:49:29.999
they’re going to act as the
bridge for this whole school.
00:49:30.000 --> 00:49:34.999
Okay, we’re done.
00:49:35.000 --> 00:49:39.999
All right, okay… okay… okay.
When I was a boy
00:49:40.000 --> 00:49:44.999
every night we would gather
together to tell our story.
00:49:45.000 --> 00:49:49.999
Some time they were traditional stories.
Once upon a time there was a boy.
00:49:50.000 --> 00:49:54.999
Some times that happened that day.
And all I wanted was to be healthy.
00:49:55.000 --> 00:49:59.999
All I wanted was for my dad.
00:50:00.000 --> 00:50:04.999
To be acknowledged. Was to have a voice.
00:50:05.000 --> 00:50:09.999
Sometimes there were stories of what
would happen. When we go to Canada.
00:50:10.000 --> 00:50:14.999
When I leave my parents’ house.
00:50:15.000 --> 00:50:19.999
For the past eight months, you
have to tell each other stories
00:50:20.000 --> 00:50:24.999
and now I want to share them with you.
00:50:25.000 --> 00:50:29.999
I saw my dad and my sister was,
there were in pieces on the ground.
00:50:30.000 --> 00:50:34.999
And I hope people were running
around and screaming.
00:50:35.000 --> 00:50:39.999
Somebody just give me a something
like a bucket and said like go
00:50:40.000 --> 00:50:44.999
and pick up those piece off
meats from the ground.
00:50:45.000 --> 00:50:49.999
We’re lucky, we’re lucky,
‘cause we were gonna die,
00:50:50.000 --> 00:50:54.999
they say that they are gonna kill…
00:50:55.000 --> 00:50:59.999
Okay, why don’t we take five seconds.
00:51:00.000 --> 00:51:04.999
I guess we’re lucky.
00:51:05.000 --> 00:51:09.999
I’m here to tell you the story of my family
00:51:10.000 --> 00:51:14.999
and how they struggled through umm… the
war to get to Canada for better life.
00:51:15.000 --> 00:51:19.999
My grandfather was born in 1921 in China…
00:51:20.000 --> 00:51:24.999
We were always really tied on money
00:51:25.000 --> 00:51:29.999
and Phill wanted a kind can of
beer, ‘cause he was an addict
00:51:30.000 --> 00:51:34.999
and that’s only two dollars and 50 cents, but my mom didn’t
have the money to budget it. So this started a fight.
00:51:35.000 --> 00:51:39.999
Finally, after those horrible
days, I can stand now. I started
00:51:40.000 --> 00:51:44.999
and now I’m graduating this year.
00:51:45.000 --> 00:51:53.000
00:52:00.000 --> 00:52:04.999
I always thought working with a white
kid is something really difficult.
00:52:05.000 --> 00:52:09.999
I had this feeling that, we don’t
understand what we’re talking about.
00:52:10.000 --> 00:52:14.999
But when I heard their
stories, well, I thought,
00:52:15.000 --> 00:52:19.999
I… now I have a different view of
white kid, it’s not like being white,
00:52:20.000 --> 00:52:24.999
you have everything and you have no pain in
your life, you do have and the pain and sorrow,
00:52:25.000 --> 00:52:29.999
it’s all the same. Mochkan(ph)
said it like when she was five,
00:52:30.000 --> 00:52:34.999
I believe it was that she came home
and her house was just leveled
00:52:35.000 --> 00:52:39.999
and she saw me about like having to find
00:52:40.000 --> 00:52:44.999
body parts of family members,
just so she can identify them,
00:52:45.000 --> 00:52:49.999
just to make, just so she knew.
To be able to do that,
00:52:50.000 --> 00:52:54.999
to keep going and to tell about it, that’s… it’s really
struck me that someone would actually open up to me that way.
00:52:55.000 --> 00:52:59.999
That right there kind of made me look at
everyone in a different way is to like
00:53:00.000 --> 00:53:04.999
what they had been through was, why
they’re here. The whole point to me
00:53:05.000 --> 00:53:09.999
in the end was you connected, I think we all felt that you
connected basically with people you never would before.
00:53:10.000 --> 00:53:14.999
You’re connecting with people
00:53:15.000 --> 00:53:19.999
from completely different backgrounds,
but we’re doing it through the same way.
00:53:20.000 --> 00:53:24.999
I have had like lot of times to tell my story
and I think people know it now, so like,
00:53:25.000 --> 00:53:29.999
I feel so relieved. And I had a chance to
00:53:30.000 --> 00:53:34.999
let it all out and it feels good.
00:53:35.000 --> 00:53:39.999
How’re you gonna carry it? On your lap?
I’m not inspired of it.
00:53:40.000 --> 00:53:44.999
We all learn from each, like the
Canadian kids and then the African kids.
00:53:45.000 --> 00:53:49.999
We learn from each other and
also they learn from us.
00:53:50.000 --> 00:53:54.999
Yeah, I think it’s a good thing. And
also, people like… it’s good because
00:53:55.000 --> 00:53:59.999
our voices were heard (inaudible).
And then we told our stories too.
00:54:00.000 --> 00:54:04.999
I think it’s a good thing.
00:54:05.000 --> 00:54:09.999
Okay. Will you feed them first?
There you go.
00:54:10.000 --> 00:54:14.999
00:54:15.000 --> 00:54:19.999
It’s not like before, just
starring at each other
00:54:20.000 --> 00:54:24.999
and don’t talk and something really big
shocking to us, but now it helps us
00:54:25.000 --> 00:54:29.999
and it brings us closer a lot. So I
am really thankful to this project
00:54:30.000 --> 00:54:34.999
and to Mr. Kuly. When you have
really heard somebody story,
00:54:35.000 --> 00:54:39.999
you don’t see them as
other anymore, really,
00:54:40.000 --> 00:54:44.999
you see them as someone who has a history.
00:54:45.000 --> 00:54:49.999
And then a lot of the just confusions
00:54:50.000 --> 00:54:54.999
and awkwardness and sometimes
violence that erupts in a school,
00:54:55.000 --> 00:54:59.999
it starts to melt.
00:55:00.000 --> 00:55:04.999
Because you have feeling for each other
really, you have listened to each other.
00:55:05.000 --> 00:55:09.999
So I think that it’s an
00:55:10.000 --> 00:55:14.999
if not the most brilliant way
to bring young people together,
00:55:15.000 --> 00:55:19.999
they could dance together, they could watch
movies together, they could paint together,
00:55:20.000 --> 00:55:24.999
but when they listen to each other
they have literally joined hands
00:55:25.000 --> 00:55:29.999
in the most sort of psychological
and emotional way.
00:55:30.000 --> 00:55:34.999
I think people are always looking for the
grand miracles and things like that,
00:55:35.000 --> 00:55:39.999
for me the grand… the… the miracles
really are our human interaction,
00:55:40.000 --> 00:55:44.999
our genuine day to day human interaction.
When you are able to meet each individual
00:55:45.000 --> 00:55:49.999
on that human level or able to see each other’s
humanity regardless of the conditions that we’re in
00:55:50.000 --> 00:55:54.999
that is the change that is where it is.
00:55:55.000 --> 00:55:59.999
00:56:00.000 --> 00:56:08.000
00:56:15.000 --> 00:56:19.999
I have never felt more promise
from the group of students
00:56:20.000 --> 00:56:24.999
than from group that I have to work
with on the story telling project.
00:56:25.000 --> 00:56:29.999
(inaudible). All the great
twelve kids from the project
00:56:30.000 --> 00:56:34.999
graduated this year. Watching
them across the stage
00:56:35.000 --> 00:56:39.999
filled me with pride, because I
knew what they’d been through.
00:56:40.000 --> 00:56:44.999
00:56:45.000 --> 00:56:49.999
00:56:50.000 --> 00:56:54.999
And that ladies and gentlemen
is your class of 2003.
00:56:55.000 --> 00:57:03.000
00:57:05.000 --> 00:57:09.999
I know things about every one of the
kids who participated in this project.
00:57:10.000 --> 00:57:14.999
One is that they know
00:57:15.000 --> 00:57:19.999
they have a right to be
and exist in this world,
00:57:20.000 --> 00:57:24.999
and that they are in charge of their life.
Nice to see you buddy.
00:57:25.000 --> 00:57:29.999
That they have a deep sense of empathy, they
know what it means to listen to somebody.
00:57:30.000 --> 00:57:34.999
And every single one of them
will give someone the benefit
00:57:35.000 --> 00:57:39.999
of the dealt before judging them.
Every single one of them,
00:57:40.000 --> 00:57:44.999
when they see someone different will see
an opportunity instead of a challenge.
00:57:45.000 --> 00:57:49.999
And because they have that empathy and because they know that
their lives are worthwhile, they’re going to spread that empathy
00:57:50.000 --> 00:57:54.999
to other people. They’re going to
make a difference. I don’t care
00:57:55.000 --> 00:57:59.999
if they go on to be doctors
or lawyers or work at 7/11.
00:58:00.000 --> 00:58:04.999
I don’t care what they do. Who
they are is going to change things
00:58:05.000 --> 00:58:09.999
for people around them.
00:58:10.000 --> 00:58:15.000
These kids did something to me
this year and I thank them for it.