Volume XVI | Issue 1 | Spring 2016
Volunteers attend a compassionate listening workshop led by Mark Yaconelli (at head of table), project coordinator of The Umpqua Story Project. Photo: Keith Henty

Sharing our stories

The Umpqua Story Project captures what we did, how we felt

There are distinct moments when the world changes. There is before and after. For those touched by the events at Umpqua Community College, Oct. 1, 2015, was one of those moments. All of the people affected hold a story of how they were changed. Sharing those stories can help heal, teach and engage.  And, as organizers of The Umpqua Story Project hope, sharing of the stories will contribute to the efforts to prevent similar acts.

The project, sponsored by the Douglas County Museum and The Ford Family Foundation, launched within days of the tragedy.  

“We are working to capture what the community did, how we felt, and what we learned. The focus is on the community’s resiliency, unity and healing,” said Mark Yaconelli, a professional storyteller and the project coordinator.

In addition to the lessons-learned stories contained in this issue of Community Vitality, The Umpqua Story Project is gathering personal stories. Project volunteers, trained in compassionate listening, have deployed throughout the community to collect written and audio-recorded stories of generosity, kindness and compassion. More than 225 stories have been collected to date. 

All the stories are being archived with assistance from the Douglas County Museum, and they will be curated. 

Live event

In the fall, The Umpqua Story Project plans to produce a live storytelling event with music performed and stories told by community members. Photos, written stories and audio recordings also will be shared in an exhibit.

It will be a time of reflection and a way to acknowledge that darkness can be the source of great light.   


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