Stories are valuable to our understanding of ourselves and others. Michael Kass, founder of The Center of Story and Spirit, says that people who share their experiences have the ability to persuade people of the importance of an issue and inspire others to become involved, to donate, and to engage with an issue. Every organization has a story at its core and having people share stories is a very powerful way for an organization to get its message out. For instance, the stories of people who have experienced sexual violence and then take an IMPACT course are very powerful for motivating other survivors of violence and their supporters to consider IMPACT.
Kass says that if organizations use stories, they have an obligation for ethical storytelling--making sure that everyone has a shared understanding of not only the purpose of telling the story, but also in knowing where the story will be used, how it will be used, and how long it will be used. And that people must be informed before, during, and after sharing their story
For the IMPACT Chicago Core Program, IMPACT for Girls, or advanced courses, we let participants know the ways that we might use a quote or story that they share on the "What IMPACT means to me" form (e.g. research, facebook, blog) and participants give permission for us to use it or not and how they want to be identified if we have permission to use it. We have also had instances when a participant has given permission for us to use their quote or story and later decided they did not want to share their and we have removed it.
For more about ethical storytelling:
Navigating the Ethical Maze: Storytelling for Organizations Working with Vulnerable Populations. September 2017.
What does ethical storytelling have to do with GBV[gender-based violence]? Podcast with GBVIMS