Which stories?

Stories shape our identity as a community, including stories of diversity and inclusion. We want to contribute to AU’s community in a broad sense, especially by gathering some missing voices, and circulating them in new ways. We believe this may require a new storytelling system, connecting our physical community to digital recordings and flows of communication. Our goal is to tackle a series of deliberate issues — almost like an audio magazine, published with a series of releases.

The stories we seek are first-person accounts, typically recorded by phone after public events (like an alumni weekend, or a gathering of students at the Latino and American Student Organization).

In a digital age, it is easy to publish — but hard to be heard.  Our ambition is to shift what voices are heard through careful design.  By asking a single question (or prompt) at a time, we stay on topic.  By reaching out to specific networks (not “anyone/anytime”), we affirm that communities are always made up of sub-cultures, and not just individuals.  Our goal is to listen at the group and community level when possible.

Listening takes place in person, especially at our “listening station.”  The station is a hybrid, built with pieces from an old payphone, but with a tiny computer inside called a Raspberry Pi — and wired to the internet and a cloud-based system for communication.

If successful, these stories will help the AU community to more completely and holistically understand its shared identity and celebrate and acknowledge its diversity.