Culture series seeking stories

This year’s Culture Series is focusing on Human Rights for the community. In addition to special movie screenings, photo exhibitions, and guest speakers, the community has the opportunity to share their own stories through Stage for Change.

Stage for Change is a production that will feature students retelling anonymous stories, as submitted by students, staff, and the broader community. Trained and led by the organization InterAction Inc, who uses storytelling and the arts to build inclusive communities, Elkhart students will use the submitted stories to write performance pieces.

“We channel raw individual narratives on identity and difference into solutions that transform campuses into environments where all students can flourish,” said Deandra Cadet, InterAction’s Co-founder & Executive Director. The program began at Notre Dame and has spread to college campuses around the area.

The theme of Elkhart’s Stage for Change is “Different Together” and will focus on empowering our community by celebrating our differences.

Students are invited to participate in Write for Change, the accompanying writing program, which will help them understand how to collect and write the submitted stories. In addition, the Elkhart Public Library is hosting a Write for Change session on November 14 at 6:30pm, where the community will be invited to participate in writing their stories.

“It’s our hope that we can collect stories from throughout the community,” said Tessa Sutton, Supervisor of Connective Leadership & Inclusion. “Our students have incredible stories to tell about their lives, as do many people in the community.”

After their training, students will seek out stories throughout the community during the months of November and December. They will spend the next few months writing the stories, and preparing their performances, with plans to perform their Stage for Change show in April and May, in both high schools, as well as the community.

The following are a few of the writing prompts to consider when submitting a story:

  • Describe a time when you felt defined or confined by one aspect of who you are (Race, Gender, Ethnicity, Age, Class, Sexual Orientation, Religion, Ability, etc).
  • Describe a time when you felt your voice was silenced, squelched, dismissed, or ignored.
  • Describe a time you chose not to speak up or when you chose to speak up.
  • Describe a time when someone wouldn’t listen to you or include you because of your age.
  • Tell a story of a time when someone made an insensitive joke at the expense of others.
  • Tell us about the unsafe spaces in our schools or wider Elkhart community.
  • Describe a perspective or point of view that you have, that you wish others would understand.
  • Describe a time someone tried to change an aspect of who you are.
  • Describe how a stereotype or label impacted you personally.
  • Tell us about how belonging to a social, ethnic, cultural, racial minority group shapes your life (Latinx, Black, Asian Pacific Islander Desi American, Indigenous, Middle Eastern American, non-Christian, LGBTQI, etc.)
  • Tell us about how mental health and/or disability impacts your life.
  • Tell us about how we can be different together.

To submit a story to Stage for Change, please visit:

If you have any questions about Stage for Change, or would like to sponsor or participate in the Elkhart Culture Series, please email: