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You are here: Home Resources E-Newsletter Archive Spring 2010, Issue VI Today's Storyteller: Journeys takes on Social Media

Today's Storyteller: Journeys takes on Social Media

By Emily Pease, Journeys Staff - Marketing. Journeys dives into the world of Social Media to interact with a global community. Check out our new ways of passing along our story.

By Emily Pease, Journeys Staff - Marketing

Recently I came upon a story of the Griot, the person who, historically, was the holder of the word and memory for many West African communities. He or she, as the elder, was responsible for the transmission of cultural traditions and values amongst the local people. A historian, an educator and a performer, the Griot told stories as musical performances, with the accompaniment of an instrument called the Kora. Their engaging performances were considered flawless, both in accuracy and musicality.

Today Griots have mostly disappeared into the shadows of modern approaches of transmission such as the Internet, leaving few to hold on to this storytelling tradition and even fewer learning the method. This change is not rare. It is not the story of just the Griot, but rather a common loss of oral traditions worldwide. The voice of today is often found in unlikely places, connected by a web of electronic signals.

Journeys, like the traditional Griot, is faced with the same challenges of selecting the values of oral tradition and adapting them to fit within our modern society, helping the stories themselves survive time and change. The transmission of cultural values is everyone’s work and at the core of Journeys’ strategic plan. Our continued willingness to adjust to fit into the world today will affect youth’s future. They are depending upon us, the story keepers, to help them understand their place in the world today.

So, here we go. Journeys is stepping into the big and quickly moving world of Social Media as a way to adapt to the times. Certainly, we have plenty to learn about this new realm and, in contrast to the Griot tradition, Social Media has not been passed down from generation. It is a new art and it is all about conversation.

Our outreach online is about connecting, interacting and sharing our lessons learned through our history as an organization. And even as it exists online, seemingly separate from the real world, it is a way to begin engaging conversations with circles of community. Story, no matter the form, will always be a part of the lives of people who use words to understand, transfer knowledge and build kinship. People, by nature, love sharing stories and stories love being shared.

We can choose not to forget the Griot’s voice and the Kora’s music, but instead help the storyteller adapt to today, binding time. We are given the opportunity to be the story tender and keeper for a population as vast as the Internet will allow. Please join us and support us in this adaptation, whether that means following a link below to read and share our stories or submitting your own rite of passage story to be shared with our community. Help us start the conversation; we need to hear your story.

Our Facebook Page

Journeys on Twitter

Blogging about Coming of Age

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