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“We can connect with people just by sharing stories.” – Donte Woods-Spikes

At an empathy and storytelling workshop via Zoom hosted by Healing Broken Circles, the organization that operates the Community Center at the men’s prison where I’ve taught, leader Donte Woods-Spikes shared, “You’ll find some of yourself in someone else’s story.”

In small-group breakout rooms, participants told brief stories addressing this question: When was something or someone unexpectedly taken from you and what impact did it have on you? With just minutes to meet and connect, people let themselves be vulnerable with strangers. When participants rejoined the larger group, each of us retold someone else’s story and why it impacted us.

After communicating someone else’s story of illness, neglect, unhappiness, betrayal or unbearable loss, we felt an important bond with others and with ourselves—a level of connection we all need, especially during these months of social distancing.

To join or learn more about Healing Broken Circles, please visit

Sunday Journal Prompt

What story has impacted you? Who communicated it? Why do you think it resonated? What does it teach you about yourself?


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