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Storytelling Master Class | Black Lives Matter

This workshop will be developed in collaboration with other organizational learning partners to explore with courage, compassion and creativity our personal response to the question, “How is the Black Lives Matter Movement intersectional with rapidly advancing a sustainable future?”

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Storytelling Master Class | Black Lives Matter
Storytelling Master Class | Black Lives Matter

Time & Location

Aug 02, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT

Zoom Meeting

About the Event

This session has been in development for 401 years, since 1619, when enslaved people from Africa were forcibly brought to this continent. We need to fundamentally rewrite the story of our individual relationship to racial, economic, and environmental justice. Read more to see what we’re reading...

With a focus on the urgency of Question #8 below we are reaching out to an expanded set of coaches and learning partners based on our commitment to equity and organizations we admire.  

These are some of the stories that are rewriting the story...

Trevor Noah, The Daily Social Distancing Show  

Trevor shares his thoughts on the killing of George Floyd, the protests in Minneapolis, the dominos of racial injustice and police brutality, and how the contract between society and black Americans has been broken time and time again.

Trevor Noah

May 29, 2020

What is Owed

If true justice and equality are ever to be achieved in the United States, the country must finally take seriously what it owes black Americans.

Nikole Hannah-Jones

June 24, 2020

Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police

We should redirect the billions that now go to police departments toward providing health care, housing, education and good jobs. If we did this, there would be less need for the police in the first place. We can build other ways of responding to harms in our society. Trained “community care workers” could do mental-health checks if someone needs help. Towns could use restorative-justice models instead of throwing people in prison.

Mariame Kaba

June 12, 2020

You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument

If there are those who want to remember the legacy of the Confederacy, if they want monuments, well, then, my body is a monument. My skin is a monument.

Caroline Randall Williams, June 24, 2020

These Teen Girls are Fighting for a More Just Future

Two days after George Floyd was killed by the police, Zee Thomas, 15, posted a tweet: “If my mom says yes I’m leading a Nashville protest.” Ms. Thomas had never been to a protest, let alone organized one. And yet five days later, with the help of five other teenagers, she was leading a march through her city, some 10,000 strong.

Interviews of four young activists by Jessica Bennett June 26, 2020

Beyond ‘White Fragility’

If you want to let freedom ring, hammer on economic injustice.

Jamelle Bouie

June 25, 2020

“All the worlds a [screen]”  - William Shakespeare

For youth from middle school through high school

Limited to first 24 Zoom faces

Three hours via Zoom, including break out coaching sessions

All three Master Classes cover the same fundamentals but within a different theme. You can register for one or all three Storytelling Master Classes. With more practice, you just get better.

About the Acting Coaches

Jasmine Lomax (she/they)

Jasmine (She/They) is an Actor, Playwright, Director, Dramaturg, and overall “Artistic Generator” - meaning that Jasmine thoroughly enjoys collaborating with other Artists and devising work that rocks the foundation of outdated ideologies. As a recent graduate from Cornish College of the Arts specializing in Original Works, Jasmine’s goal as an artist is to share, promote, and develop New Work and Original Content with their communities to bust free from stories too steeped in classical text, binary social norms, and outdated narratives. Jasmine thrives on giving space to uplift disenfranchised and marginalized voices by sharing stories that have been silenced by our current political, social, and emotional climate. Jasmine is a mother to one amazingly adorable 10-year-old son, Kayden, and to many (many) cute animals, including a Ferret named Cooper! They have had the opportunity to move all over the United States. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Jasmine is proud to have made it from one coast to the other in their twenty-nine years of life, collaborating and learning from so many wonderful artists along the way. Prior to falling in love with the PNW, Jasmine has lived in several small towns including Duluth, MN, and Boise, ID (random, but it is true) and believes that these experiences helped shape the artist, the citizen, and innovator that they are today. With over twenty years of experience in the performing arts, their past credits include Pass Over (Dramaturg) Directed by Tim Bond, Raisins in a Glass of Milk 2019 produced by Live Girls! At Taproot Theater, Baltimore directed by Malika Oyetimen, and O! Beautiful directed by Michael Place.

Ethan Sandler

Ethan, a Seattle native, is a writer/performer/producer working in Los Angeles. He began his storytelling education at the Youth Theater Northwest (with Peter Donaldson), where he wrote, appeared and directed numerous plays - but, more importantly, learned the importance of collaboration and clarity in the storytelling process. After graduating from Northwestern University, he continued his journey through numerous glorious failures/successes (usually both at the same time) in New York, including a series of solo shows which were produced in Seattle, New Haven, the Williamstown Theater Festival, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Public Theater in New York. Epitaph, a two person show he created with Adrian Wenner, won a Stage award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was a finalist for the Perrier award. Ethan has worked for the last 15 years in television and film in LA, writing many episodes of TV and a few films you haven’t seen, while constantly relearning the same lessons as when he was 12 - that every story demands purity of voice and a complete willingness to drop everything you think you know about it. He is currently working on a documentary about the time he was smacked in the face by one of his heroes and a film adaptation of Wheedle on the Needle.

Peter Donaldson

Peter Donaldson is a strategic storyteller with over 35 years of experience in performance art, public speaking, curriculum design, and community facilitation. Peter founded Sustainability Ambassadors in 2012 and serves as the Director of Learning, coaching student leaders, teacher leaders, and community leaders on how to advance collective impact strategies, design problem-based learning curriculum, and support sustainable systems thinking at the intersection between classroom learning and community impact. With a BFA in Painting and a Teaching Certificate from the University of Washington, Peter started out as a middle school art teacher tinkering with new models for teaching as storytelling. He frequently found himself impersonating famous artists. From 1986-1996 Peter was the Artistic Director for Youth Theater Northwest, authoring 17 plays for young actors and audiences. In 1994 he was recognized as National Youth Theater Director of the Year by the American Alliance for Theater and Education. Peter wrote and acted in two of his own one-man, touring shows, The Life and Times of Leonardo da Vinci and Salmonpeople, with follow up seminars at high schools and colleges across the northwest. Impact storytelling for a sustainable future is just a bigger stage with 7 billion actors. In 2009, he was appointed Distinguished Scholar to the Dan Evans Chair for the Liberal Arts at The Evergreen State College where he facilitated seminars on sustainable systems thinking. In 2010, Peter was recognized by E3 Washington as the Outstanding Environmental Educator of the Year. Peter’s focus on strategic storytelling is informed by his passion for coaching youth at the cusp of adulthood. To rest his mind at night, Peter writes a lot of poetry. Poetry and his early passion for painting are both method and metaphor for leading a learning organization.


12:00 Full group fundamentals, modeling and practice,

1:00 Small group breakout rooms for application and direct coaching

2:00 Full Group presentation and peer feedback


  1. Screen: How can I maximize the theatrical potential of my computer screen as a storytelling frame?
  2. Production Values: What are the highest level production values within our control for staging, lighting, video and audio?
  3. Voice: How can I take advantage of every possible dynamic of my voice to tell my story?
  4. Gesture: How can I use my head, shoulders, face and hands to reinforce my story?
  5. Imagination: How do I observe, construct and manipulate images in my mind that will get into your mind?
  6. Story Structure: How many different ways can I construct a story?
  7. Purpose: How can I use great stories to engage, inform and inspire any audience to rapidly advance a sustainable future.
  8. Right Now: How is the Black Lives Matter Movement intersectional with rapidly advancing a sustainable future?

You can register for one or all three Storytelling Master Classes.

Message from Barack Obama

In the last several weeks—and the last several months before that—we have seen the kinds of epic changes that are as profound as anything that I’ve seen in my lifetime.

Although all of us have been feeling pain, uncertainty, and disruption, some have felt it more than others. Most of all, the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and Tony McDade and Sean Reed and too many others to mention.

Michelle and I—and the nation—grieve with those families. We hold them in our prayers. And we are committed to the fight of creating a more just nation in memory of their sons and daughters.

This evening, I joined our My Brother’s Keeper Alliance in a conversation with local and national leaders to discuss the tragic events of recent weeks, the history of police violence in America, and specific actions we can take to encourage reform of our law enforcement system.

Part of what's made me hopeful in these days, despite it all, is the fact that so many young people have been galvanized and motivated and mobilized. So much of the progress that we've made in our society has been because of young people. Dr. King was a young man when he first got involved. Malcolm X was a young man. Dolores Huerta was a young woman. The leaders of the feminist movement were young people. Leaders of union movements were young people. The movement to make sure that members of the LGBTQ community finally had a voice and were represented were young people. And the leaders of the gun violence and environmental movements in this country are young people.

Today, when I see young people all across the country stepping up and speaking out in such meaningful ways—when I see their talent and sophistication and passion—it makes me feel optimistic. It makes me feel as if this country is going to get better. But real change starts with a focus on results, and everyone committed to doing their part.

We’re calling on everyone—from mayors to city council officials to everyday citizens—to recognize and root out the tragic, painful, maddening effects of systemic racism and to take concrete steps to address police use of force policies in their communities.

It will take all of us working together to ensure we can reimagine policing so it recognizes the humanity of every person—so it honors the dignity of every person.

“My daddy changed the world,” Gianna Floyd, George’s six-year-old daughter, said yesterday.

Yes he did.  Yes we can.


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