Let Communities Tell Their Own Stories

Against an orange gradient background are three images: a screencap of a POPSUGAR article headline reads "As a DACA Recipient, My Mental Health Suffers. We All Deserve Better Care." A photo of Rosio at graduation and a photo of Rosio now.

We have all seen the power of a gripping news story—one where the journalist has a firm grasp on the subject and the people impacted are given an opportunity to speak about the issue. But often, the most compelling story comes directly from someone given the space to tell their story in their own way.

Yet, the more stigmatizing a topic is, the harder it is to find stories from people willing to talk about their experiences. This is especially true for Black and Indigenous communities and communities of color, where storytelling is a way of life, but not all stories are easily told. 

In an opinion piece for POPSUGAR, Rosio Santos Castelan, program assistant for the Edward W. Hazen Foundation, opens up about her mental health while urging lawmakers to create an equitable path to citizenship for her, hundreds of thousands of immigrants living in this country under temporary protected status, and immigrants who live here without legal status. 

Minerva Strategies assisted Rosio in the development and placement of her opinion piece—and while the collaborative experience with our clients varies, we value the power of communities telling their own stories. Despite often being painted with broad brushes, no community is a monolith. The more voices we hear—the more groups often overlooked come into focus. Rosio’s voice is one of many, and she hopes her opinion piece encourages people to tell their stories genuinely and profoundly. 

When people most impacted by an issue share their experiences, resources, and knowledge in a way that feels authentic to them, they come to see themselves reflected in the vastness of stories frequently told by others. 

Read Rosio’s opinion piece on POPSUGAR here.

About The Author

Dori Valerio

Dori Valerio

With a gift for making people feel seen and valued, Dori approaches every situation with kindness and empathy. Her desire to understand the world we live in pushed her into the news industry, where she spent seven years developing her skills as a storyteller. Learn more about Dori.