Boosting the Craft of Story

There’s no denying the power of story. Stories shape the cultural narrative, normalize that which has not previously been normal, and influence what we believe is right or wrong. Well-told stories bring complex and important issues to us in a way we can comprehend. They open us to the possibility of deeper empathy and greater understanding. And we can be inspired to take action, from the small and personal to the bold and revolutionary.

The documentary Y2Y encompasses the personal and the revolutionary in the unfolding story of young people idealistically trying something daring and new to address the complicated issues of homelessness. We witness the real human drama of homeless young adults and idealistic university students trying to work together through all the hard choices that go into creating a safe environment for an extremely vulnerable population. We can tell you about it, but the filmmakers take you inside the story.

TheHF takes bold action with its investments in storytelling, and we know that bold doesn’t always need big bucks. Awesome Without Borders, a program of the Foundation, offers no-strings-attached micro grants to support an impressive variety of projects, including film and storytelling projects. Some of our “awesome” grantees include these five women-directed films:

1. Chipped: If you ever wondered about the life of the woman doing your nails, this film reveals what you don’t hear while getting your mani-pedi.

2. Black Women in Medicine: From medical pioneers to local physicians, these seven Black females are crushing it, and this film is making sure we recognize their power.

3. Rokia: Voice of a New Generation: The story of one of Africa’s most successful singer/songwriters heads to the big screen.

4. Mr. SOUL!: Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was SOUL! — TV’s first “Black Tonight Show.” You kids don’t remember it, but I sure do. It deserves its place in media history, so our grantee did this.

5. Y2Y: A Bold Experiment: Students are running shelters for the homeless on college campuses? They sure are, and award-winning filmmaker Laurie Khan is documenting it all.

We choose a new Awesome Without Borders grantee every week, and we invite you and share your story with us. Who knows? We might soon be helping you to share that story with the world.