In 2019 we facilitated storytelling workshops for Young Community Developers (YCD), a 45+year old 501c (3) community-based organization that provides a variety of training and support opportunities for residents of the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco. YCD developed its own goals for the storytelling workshop: to galvanize the project “100 Black Homeowners in the Bayview,” which is central to addressing the immediate affordable housing crisis its community faces. The community leaders and other storytelling workshop participants developed three main themes – Legacy, Homecoming, and Knowledge – and ultimately a local filmmaker, Shantre Pinkney, wove them a short video which is now featured on YCD’s homepage.
The campaign to galvanize 100 Black property owners continues. YCD recently convened a breakfast meeting around Shantre’s film, pitching a proposed project intended to house Black teachers in the Bayview. At its core, this is a story about building generational wealth, power, and agency for the Black community in San Francisco. A storytelling workshop simply gives the community tools to express how they want those things to look and feel and, specifically, to imagine for themselves how stable housing fits into that future.
“Most urban planning takes a top-down approach. One of our core goals at the SFUFF is figuring out how to turn that process on its head — how might we let the community, with its wealth of individual contexts and lived experience, have control over the planning ideation to begin with? We see storytelling as a democratic way to achieve this. Sharing stories contextualizes the past, present, and future of urban issues while connecting with people emotionally, meeting them in this age of the endless sensorium.”
This workshop was partially funded by the