APM Reports - Investigations and Documentaries from American Public Media

What We Do

Investigations and documentaries striving to raise awareness, trigger debate and prompt positive change.

More About APM Reports
Be informed: Get notified when APM Reports publishes new stories.

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43c278 20161011 wetterlings

Update: A Sentencing, A Demand, No Closure

The sentencing of Danny Heinrich on Nov. 21, 2016, brought to a close the 27-year investigation into the abduction and murder of Jacob Wetterling. But it didn't end the story.

B487ba 20161109 dimock pad

EPA's late changes to fracking study downplayed risk of polluted drinking water

Early versions highlighted contaminated drinking water and vulnerabilities from fracking. The final version turned out differently: Fracking had not "led to widespread, systemic impacts." Oil and gas cheered the findings.

F8524c 20161107 historically black episode 8

Black Love Stories

This episode spotlights stories of enduring love among African American couples.

Caab92 20161031 historically black episode 7

The Path to Founding an HBCU

Born into slavery, William Hooper Councill founded one of the nation's first HBCUs, Alabama A&M University.

D1a7c0 20160912 duane hart

Duane Hart

He was convicted of sexually assaulting four boys around the time Jacob was abducted.

494446 20160903 wetterling home st joseph minn

Episode 9: The Truth

When Danny Heinrich confessed in court on Sept. 6 to abducting and murdering Jacob Wetterling and assaulting Jared Scheierl 27 years ago, investigators declared that at last, the public had the truth. But despite Heinrich's excruciatingly detailed accounts, the truth remains elusive. Many questions remain unanswered.

160c6e 20161024 historically black episode 6

The Question of Black Identity

Racial identity in the U.S. is complicated because race is an invented category rooted in slavery. This episode explores the question of black identity in America through the voices of four people who, at one time or another, have had to answer the question: "What are you?"

0e8b30 20160930 brian guimond

Brian Guimond

He is convinced the Stearns County Sheriff's Office hasn't looked hard enough for his son, who disappeared 14 years ago.

4e287e 20160930 ryan larson full

Ryan Larson

He was detained in connection with the 2012 shooting of a Cold Spring police officer, but later declared not a suspect.

A3e749 20160930 in the dark episode 8

Episode 8: What's Going on Down There?

In November 2012, a police officer named Tom Decker was shot and killed in Cold Spring, Minn., after getting out of his car to check on a man who lived above a bar. The man was quickly arrested and held in the Stearns County jail. He was interrogated but then released without charges. The state crime bureau later ruled him out as a suspect. Investigators turned their focus to another man, Eric Thomes, who hanged himself before he could be charged with the crime. Nearly four years after the murder, Sheriff John Sanner has refused to close the case "because we're still hopeful that new information will come in," he said.

0b8542 20161017 historically black 5

Harlem Through James Van Der Zee's Lens

James Van Der Zee was a celebrated African American photographer who documented black New York for much of the 20th century.

40ef78 20160930 rita reker

Rita Reker

The woman Patty Wetterling didn't want to see.


in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Encourage people to tell their own stories

File under: other

0 (0 votes)

From: Elaine B., Memphis, TN

I tell stories to children who are falling behind academically in the public school, and I tell stories to women in the county correctional system. I provide opportunities for the students and inmates to share their personal stories, and I promote listening as a valuable skill. When people, young or old, are given the opportunity to tell their stories to other people who really listen, transformation happens. Poverty erodes self image and makes us think we do not matter, that we are invisible. By listening, neighbors, family members, teachers, co-workers and church members can pull each other out of poverty's destructive forces.

Last year I gave each of the children a disposable camera when they went home for the holiday break, instructing them to take pictures of their family. I told them I would develop the pictures and make an album for each child. They would be expected to stand up and tell us the story of "My Family and the Holidays." One boy used all 24 exposures taking pictures of the television. He took 24 pictures of 24 programs on television. Each child took pictures that included images of the television set. In every case the television was the most photographed member of the family and a central character in the holiday story.

This project turned out to be very telling about the children and their struggles to succeed in school. No one at home has the time or capacity to listen to the children, look into their faces and attend to their narratives and needs. Poverty robs mothers and fathers of their time for parenting. Poverty robs parents of their self worth and their dreams. So they finally give up on even trying to pass along anything positive. Face to face sessions of storytelling and story listening can open new windows for change and hope. Sitting in a safe circle where all stories are heard and respected as sacred gifts, we can hear people's dreams coming back to life. Each human being is so much more than what they possess or how much money they keep in the bank account. Each story is a reflection of power and purpose. A story shared is a story made real.


Comments:

APM Reports - Investigations and Documentaries from American Public Media

What We Do

Investigations and documentaries striving to raise awareness, trigger debate and prompt positive change.

More About APM Reports
Be informed: Get notified when APM Reports publishes new stories.

Recent Stories


43c278 20161011 wetterlings

Update: A Sentencing, A Demand, No Closure

The sentencing of Danny Heinrich on Nov. 21, 2016, brought to a close the 27-year investigation into the abduction and murder of Jacob Wetterling. But it didn't end the story.

B487ba 20161109 dimock pad

EPA's late changes to fracking study downplayed risk of polluted drinking water

Early versions highlighted contaminated drinking water and vulnerabilities from fracking. The final version turned out differently: Fracking had not "led to widespread, systemic impacts." Oil and gas cheered the findings.

F8524c 20161107 historically black episode 8

Black Love Stories

This episode spotlights stories of enduring love among African American couples.

Caab92 20161031 historically black episode 7

The Path to Founding an HBCU

Born into slavery, William Hooper Councill founded one of the nation's first HBCUs, Alabama A&M University.

D1a7c0 20160912 duane hart

Duane Hart

He was convicted of sexually assaulting four boys around the time Jacob was abducted.

494446 20160903 wetterling home st joseph minn

Episode 9: The Truth

When Danny Heinrich confessed in court on Sept. 6 to abducting and murdering Jacob Wetterling and assaulting Jared Scheierl 27 years ago, investigators declared that at last, the public had the truth. But despite Heinrich's excruciatingly detailed accounts, the truth remains elusive. Many questions remain unanswered.

160c6e 20161024 historically black episode 6

The Question of Black Identity

Racial identity in the U.S. is complicated because race is an invented category rooted in slavery. This episode explores the question of black identity in America through the voices of four people who, at one time or another, have had to answer the question: "What are you?"

0e8b30 20160930 brian guimond

Brian Guimond

He is convinced the Stearns County Sheriff's Office hasn't looked hard enough for his son, who disappeared 14 years ago.

4e287e 20160930 ryan larson full

Ryan Larson

He was detained in connection with the 2012 shooting of a Cold Spring police officer, but later declared not a suspect.

A3e749 20160930 in the dark episode 8

Episode 8: What's Going on Down There?

In November 2012, a police officer named Tom Decker was shot and killed in Cold Spring, Minn., after getting out of his car to check on a man who lived above a bar. The man was quickly arrested and held in the Stearns County jail. He was interrogated but then released without charges. The state crime bureau later ruled him out as a suspect. Investigators turned their focus to another man, Eric Thomes, who hanged himself before he could be charged with the crime. Nearly four years after the murder, Sheriff John Sanner has refused to close the case "because we're still hopeful that new information will come in," he said.

0b8542 20161017 historically black 5

Harlem Through James Van Der Zee's Lens

James Van Der Zee was a celebrated African American photographer who documented black New York for much of the 20th century.

40ef78 20160930 rita reker

Rita Reker

The woman Patty Wetterling didn't want to see.