The Humanizing Stories Project is research that places more value on praxis rather than numbers. It is a digital advocacy project that sifts through the plethora of children’s and young adult literature, media, and culture with the goal of promoting diverse narratives that represent humanity in its reality. Humanizing Stories is engaged in discovering and disseminating anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and actively emancipatory stories utilizing social media as a platform to target the widest and most diverse audience.
This research helped me to further understand the dehumanization inherent in being surrounded by literature, media, and culture that either fails to speak truth to one’s unique experiences or actively misrepresents or belittles key aspects of one’s identity. Through the act of advocating for diverse and humanizing stories on social media, I have also come to understand social media platforms as essential frontiers for disseminating academic content. Using twitter to share information on the books we researched was extremely intuitive for the broadcast function it was meant to serve.
As someone studying English and Consumer Psychology, I am fascinated by the factors that draw consumers towards a certain piece of art, literature, or entertainment. The Humanizing Stories Project has helped me to better conceptualize an aspect of what makes a certain piece of art more impactful than another. Art – literature, media, culture, etc. – is made more impactful when it is intentional about incorporating a multitude of voices or uplifting those that are scarcely heard. Art that makes allowances for a wider human experience and that accounts for a diversity of narratives allows us to imagine ourselves as more ideal humans and, in that imagination, find, celebrate, and critique our own reality to achieve a greater humanity.