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chaz-barracks“It’s hard to hate someone once you’ve heard their story.”

Chaz Barracks is a unique character in his own life story. Click here to learn more about Chaz.

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I AM MY LIFE Spotlight Articles

Research: What are Narrative Methodologies?

Here is a bit of research to help conceptualize the power of narrative methodologies (personal storytelling), intersectionality, and education: Abstract: "This paper examines narrative methodologies as one approach to exploring issues of gender, education and social justice and, particularly, insights into “undoing gender”. It furthermore examines the possibilities of exploring gender and its multiple intersections in a range of global and [...]

Performing Statistics

Performing Statistics connects incarcerated teens with an incredible group of artists, designers, educators, and Virginia’s leading policy advocates to transform the juvenile justice system. Visit the resource here.

Brain Pickings

The core ethos behind Brain Pickings is that creativity is a combinatorial force: it’s our ability to tap into our mental pool of resources — knowledge, insight, information, inspiration, and all the fragments populating our minds — that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary [...]

Stanford Storytelling Project

The Stanford Storytelling Project is an arts program at Stanford University that explores how we live in and through stories and, even more importantly, how to deepen our lives through our own storytelling. Their mission is to promote the transformative nature of traditional and modern oral storytelling, from Lakota tales to Radiolab, and empower students to create and perform their own stories. The [...]

Using Story to Drive Change

 This speech is from the 2015 ESPYS awards, where Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. This speech reigns true with I AM MY LIFE because it is an example of how one can use their story (and their platform) to foster needed change, education, and acceptance. Caitlyn expresses personal vulnerability to inspire a more compassionate community that respects [...]

Being black can be more fun than being gay

The ‘minority of a minority’ experience: Blacks in Japan A previous colleague of mine, upon viewing the Japan project HERE, identified parallels in a recent piece published on Japan Times entitled, ‘Being black can be more fun then being gay’. It features the personal experiences of two black, gay, international men living in Japan, who call themselves a “minority of [...]

How STORIES Drive CHANGE

Great social movements often have one thing in common: they are created by people with the courage to talk openly about their lives and experiences. YES! This is the foundation for I AM MY LIFE. We believe in the power of story to produce not just healing for YOU: Storyteller, but to change the minds, hearts, and existing stereotypes (barriers) [...]

USE YOUR DIFFERENCE Feature Article

Check out Chaz's piece from UYD Media, an inspiring and innovate collective for folks who are using their difference to impact their communities. Differences ARE okay! Tell us a little bit about yourself, background and your passions. My passions, like me, are all over the place. I love to cook (I'm definitely a foodie), dance, and enjoy engaging with different ways [...]

Pilot Program: A Wild Success

#IAMMYLIFE_RVA In April, I AM MY LIFE held its first MOVE event in collaboration and mentorship with University of Richmond, ART 180, and The People's Library of Richmond Public Library-Main. We count this pilot workshop a wild success! We can't wait to work with other organizations to create something powerful. During our first workshop, Richmond area students were invited to [...]

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