Dear Public Narrative community,
This has been a year of rolling with the punches, that quickly became a year of firsts.
Since going fully remote when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Chicago in March, we’ve offered several freely accessible virtual events on storytelling, community voices, media relations, public safety, and narrative change. We published the first-ever Public Narrative zines, featuring anti-racism and COVID-19 relief resources, as well as perspectives from youth, emerging adults, artists, city officials, and nonprofit leaders.
The pandemic quickly shed new light on our Chicago Community, Media & Research Partnership. Communicating equitably about public health and health research suddenly became urgent in new and broader ways, in light of a global pandemic that impacted each and every member of our Task Force.
A summer of daily protests against police brutality in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many others prompted us to ask: “Will we show up?” We raised awareness around the 2020 Census, in a year when that important work became more complex, challenging and threatened than anyone could have predicted.
After months of remote work, we moved out of our home of 27 years at Columbia College, and decided to operate fully remotely. We opted to postpone the Studs Terkel Community Media Awards to spring 2021. But we featured several past Terkel winners in the Voices of Our Time series.
Though the year has been full of challenges, our team grew. Our community of supporters allowed us room for growth in significant ways. And in September we held our very first Celebration of Change, a free, online event that featured panels on public health, public safety, and public education.
When the quarantine began months ago I wrote, “I can only hope that we maximize this moment of isolation to plan and prepare for better days ahead.”
Well, we’ve got big plans for 2021! And we can’t do it without you.
Please consider supporting our work with a tax-deductible donation. Your contribution will help us continue to offer events, resources and training on narrative change, media literacy, and imagining and manifesting a more equitable, just Chicago.
Happy New Year,
President and Executive Director
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1245 S. Michigan Ave #121
Chicago, IL 60605