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Even at a Distance, Stories Unite Us

The return of Double Take, HGSE’s community storytelling program, helps renew connections and foster healing amid challenging times.
Double Take
Event organizer Rilda Kissel (bottom) outros master's student Jeannette Barbosa after she tells her story during Double Take on May 13.

Although at a physical distance from Appian Way, five storytellers from the HGSE family came together — virtually — to share their heartwarming and heartbreaking stories as part of Double Take, the community storytelling event that has become a signature part of HGSE’s year.

“The purpose of this event seems even more important [now],” said Dean Bridget Long, in her greeting to the online audience of HGSE community members. Calling it one of her favorite events of the year, Long acknowledged the five storytellers for their bravery and for the importance of personal storytelling in questioning what we assume we know about one another.

Double Take

Ed.L.D. student Dexter Moore tells his story during Double Take on May 13

Launched in 2016 as a recognition of storytelling as a powerful tool in education, Double Take features the personal stories of HGSE students, staff, and faculty, creating an opportunity to strengthen the community and celebrate its diversity while also growing more connected to one another.

HGSE program administrator Rilda Kissel, a former Double Take storyteller and now the event’s organizer, spoke about how stories can heal, connect, teach, and empower.

In congratulating this year’s storytellers, she admitted that holding this kind of event virtually due to the pandemic was unorthodox, but said she hoped it would foster healing during these challenging times. "Now more than ever," she said, "HGSE needs stories."


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