We are our stories
“If you probe peoples stories, it’s harder to hate” —David Axelrod
WHY STORIES ARE IMPORTANT
Sharing stories increases our sense of human connection.
Telling stories turns off our stress response, flips on our self-repair.
Stories relax our nervous system and help heal anxiety, anger, fear, and loneliness.
We’re reminded that we’re not alone.
Someone’s story can elicit empathy & cooperation.
People can be inspired into action.
Stories heal. Individuals & families. Communities & cities. History & hearts.
PORTAL TO STORY PROJECTS IN SAN ANTONIO
“So let us pick up the stones over which we stumble, friends, and build altars.” -Padraig O’Tuama
COVID-19 Oral Historias Project
UTSA Department of Modern Languages and Literature.
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is a Tier One research university and a Hispanic Serving Institution. Housed within UTSA’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures specializes in language-based research and teaching, fostering global connection and intercultural exchange.
The COVID-19 Oral Historias Project, organized by Dr. Whitney Chappell and sponsored by UTSA’s Lutcher Brown Endowed Fellowship, explores COVID-19’s impact on San Antonio’s Hispanic community, which was disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
Our goal is to share lived experiences, amplify local voices, and document this challenging period in a bilingual corpus of stories. In each video, our narrators reflect on how COVID affected their health, family, employment, use of technology, community, and other areas of life in English, Spanish, or Spanglish.
Compassionate San Antonio Grassroots
Stories of Compassionate San Antonians
“The City recognizes, records and celebrates acts of compassion among members of the San Antonio Community.” Section 5, 2017 City Council Resolution designating San Antonio as a Compassionate City
On a regular basis committed volunteers investigate all local media outlets for stories of San Antonians acting in compassionate ways, whether the word “compassion” is used or not in the story. It is the action that helps to grow compassion in San Antonio. There are thousands of collected articles and newsreels in this story project. Stories of young and old, of professionals and people just across the street. Stories of small gestures to large citywide projects. These are the compassion stories that make our good news real in SATX!
Healing in Community Collaborative
SATX Examples Worth Repeating
The Healing in Community Collaborative began forming in spring of 2022, much like the SA Story Collaborative that brings us this StoryPortalSATX. Both community collaboratives are providing ways and examples of healing in response to the collective traumas we have all experienced as San Antonians, like the pandemic. From storytelling in gatherings, to gatherings of their own story-making and healing-making.
The stories that the Healing in Community Collaborative collect are actual events and gatherings from across San Antonio and brought together by San Antonians. Each unique yet easy enough to be replicated and tweaked anywhere else in San Antonio – even beyond San Antonio!
H. E. Butt Foundation
Know your Neighbor
We like to refer to San Antonio as a “small big city,” and it’s true. It’s also true that we are one of the most economically divided cities in the nation. All of us have big dreams for our families and children—but we don’t all have access to opportunities to make these dreams a reality. Together, we can make it better for everyone.
Here we ask the question, “Who is my neighbor?” and discover more about the strengths and struggles of our neighbors across the city.
Interfaith Welcome Coalition
Probably best known as “the backpack people,” IWC volunteers greet and assist asylum seekers, refugees and at-risk immigrants at the Greyhound Bus Station and the San Antonio International Airport. Interfaith Welcome Coalition is a faith-based movement meeting the changing needs of migrating individuals and families in collaboration with others.
Welcome is our middle name!
In these brief accounts, IWC volunteers recall some of their most memorable exchanges and incidents which occurred while carrying out their mission among migrants arriving to and departing from our city.
Living in My Skin
Black men in San Antonio tell their stories
The Black population of San Antonio is only 7%, yet we host the largest MLK March in the nation. Additionally, 63% of our residents are Hispanic, making us a majority-minority city. The purpose of this project is to shine a light on today’s reality, what it’s like to be a Black man or boy in San Antonio, and to help bring about a better understanding of each other as a community. “Living in My Skin” features over 30 oil-on-linen portraits by Lionel Sosa of Black men, ages 10 to 90. Lionel is a well-known San Antonio artist as well as a San Antonio Peace Laureate.
“Living in My Skin” features over 30 oil-on-linen portraits by Lionel Sosa of Black men, ages 10 to 90. Lionel is a well-known San Antonio artist as well as a San Antonio Peace Laureate.
Pride Center San Antonio
The Pride Center San Antonio is a premier resource center in South Texas for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions. The Center promotes the well-being of the overall community through advocacy, education, and outreach.
Pieces of the Rainbow is a share-your-story campaign highlighting LGBTQ+ individuals in San Antonio who have been impacted by The Pride Center services.
Stories from NO CHILD SOLD Campaign
Ransomed Life is a healing community for sexually exploited youth. We offer trauma counseling and mentoring for survivors and we have a dedicated Community Awareness Team to increase prevention through education.
Ransomed Life launched their NO CHILD SOLD Awareness Campaign in partnership with News 4 and Fox 29 to help raise awareness about the risks and realities of child sex trafficking. Ransomed Life’s goal is to protect all youth through increased knowledge and vigilance.
San Antonio Food Bank
The San Antonio Food Bank takes pride in fighting hunger, feeding hope in our 29 county service area. We believe that no child should go to bed hungry, adults should not have to choose between a hot meal and utilities, nor a senior sacrifice medical care for the sake of a meal.
These videotaped neighbor stories and donor stories reflect the lives of individuals who sought or gave help from the Food Bank beginning during the Covid Pandemic.
San Antonio Report:
"Where I live and work"
Thriving online news enterprise with a year-round calendar of civic engagement events, and a full time staff of 21 talented and passionate journalists and nonprofit professionals. Credible, fact-based, public service journalism.
These stories, written by readers, explore many of San Antonio’s neighborhoods and workplaces.
San Antonio Storytellers Association
San Antonio Story Night
We believe that this most ancient of human arts brings people together in enjoyment, wonder and common humanity; that it enhances and facilitates the education of the young, and that, for any audience, the art of telling a story can create "a state of grace" wherein the soul is nourished and the creativity of the imagination is kindled.
The storytellers and story lovers in San Antonio Storytellers Association host a free monthly story swap, “San Antonio Story Night" now on Zoom. Join in on the first Wednesday of any month to hear tales traditional, tall, and true--and, perhaps, tell your story!
The Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio
Stories of the Holocaust
Mission: To use the lessons of the Holocaust to teach the dangers of hatred, prejudice, and apathy, and promote good citizenship, democratic values, and respect for human dignity.
For over 20 years, the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio, the only museum and education center of its kind in South Texas, has been dedicated to serving as a bridge from the past to a brighter future. It serves the community as a beacon of hope, educating students and visitors of the dangers of hate, prejudice and apathy.
The Holocaust Memorial Museum honors the survivors and victims of the Holocaust and transforms history into current, relevant, and universal lessons in humanity. Over 20,000 students and visitors annually visit the Museum, learning through customized tours, intergenerational conversations with survivors, and creative educational programming that delves deeper into the themes of the Holocaust and social justice. These daily interactions provide guests the opportunity to connect the lessons of the past to our world today, breaking down barriers and learning from one another.
YWCA San Antonio
Why can’t they just?
YWCA San Antonio’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Operating in San Antonio since 1910, YWCA San Antonio is one of 200+ associations in the oldest and largest women’s empowerment organization in the country.
Why Can’t They…? Shares the stories of women, served by YWCA and within the YWCA community, who have been experiencing poverty – from intergenerational to situational – an explores the systemic barriers that prevent the from living better lives and realizing their goals. The title, Why Can’t They Just…?, references questions often asked by those who blame individual choice, rather than systemic failure for poverty, including, “Why can’t they just work?” or “Why can’t they just stay in school?” and “Why can’t they just take better care of themselves?”
“Each human is a complex, contradictory story. Some stories within us have been unfolding for years, others are trembling with fresh life as they peek above the horizon. Each is a zigzag of emotional design and ancestral architecture. All the stories in the earth’s mind are connected.” -Joy Harjo
“The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.” —Harold Goddard
The SA Story Community Collaborative
The creation of compassionate and civically engaged collaboratives is a vital part of San Antonio’s current day story. Collaboration has not always been so clearly a part of our story. Battles have been fought. Sides taken. Remember the Alamo? And yet, across time a river of many cultures and peoples flow through our city.
It is the people in this place that bring a richness to our community with a deep love for community. Intentional initiatives have formed life-giving collaboratives to address the most vulnerable of human needs among us; to access the watershed of resources among us. Collaboratives are watering and nurturing the soil of our culture and future together.