Telling Your Personal Story

Course Description:

We all have a story to tell. Developing that story is essential to understanding the self, and how we relate to the world around us. There is purpose and power in the personal narrative; an unwavering confidence that transcends our lived experience. In this workshop, students will learn to critically reflect, analyze, and interpret their experiences, while establishing personal and practical applications for crafting their narrative. In so doing, students will be challenged to think about how their personal stories connect more broadly to future academic and professional opportunities.

Donovan Livingston

Donovan Livingston is an award-winning educator, spoken word poet, and public speaker. In 2016, his Harvard Graduate School of Education convocation address “Lift Off” went viral, reaching over thirteen million views and prompting Hillary Clinton to praise, “It’s young graduates like [Livingston] who make it clear that America’s best days are still ahead.” Since his pivotal speech, Livingston has been featured on CNN, NPR, BBC, Good Morning America, and in news outlets across Europe, Australia, India, and South Africa. His convocation address will be published as a book by Spiegel & Grau in 2017.

A believer in the enormous opportunities that education provides, Livingston inspires students, educators, and communities with his conviction that every child has the right to “lift off” and achieve their dreams. Drawing on personal experiences as well as scholarship, Livingston examines the legacy of social inequalities in America’s school system and encourages educational reform as a means to greater change. An impassioned and dynamic speaker, he incorporates creative elements into his lectures such as spoken word poetry and audience collaboration. Livingston has earned master’s degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University, and is now a doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. He lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.