Last year’s Ignition Philly participants share what they’ve learned.
Ignition Philly, a weekend-long storytelling workshop put on by Ignite Good, is back for a second round in Philadelphia on May 2-May 4. Ignite Good held it’s first ever city-based event last November in Philadelphia. It should also be noted that Ignition Philly is also not to be confused with the popular and closely named Ignite Philly — the flash presentation style event held semi-annually at Johnny Brenda’s.
“Our interest is in connecting young leaders in the city and empowering them,” said co-directer Todd Schechter. “We’re interested in coming in repeatedly over a long period of time, building a community and helping to increase the value we can deliver there.”
Once again, the event will bring together 50 individuals interested in social change from Philadelphia-based, millennial-led organizations to learn storytelling techniques.
“The process that people experience is built around a training that’s a component of community organizing called Public Narrative. ” Schechter said. Public narrative was created by Marshall Ganz, a renowned Harvard lecturer and life-long civil rights activist.
Past participants, according to Schechter, have gone on to use the skills they’ve gained to do a wide variety of things.
“Some people used what they learned to raise more money, some people have used it to gain volunteers. But other people have just found its changed their relationship to the city, they feel like they have a community now,” he said. Schechter added that one of their alumni told them that she was thinking about leaving Philly but has decided to stay because of the people she met at Ignition Philly.
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Sonja Claxton, whose project Social Chang(h)er grew out of her experiences with Ignition Philly, said that the experience she had at Ignition Philly was was an opportunity to really connect her story to other people’s stories.
“I think it is an opportunity that most people don’t get. It’s an opportunity to really delve into your own personal story and then have that story connect with other people and those stories build upon a bigger movement,” said Claxton.
The one major change to this year’s event is that they won’t be allowing guests to drop in throughout the weekend, but instead, they’ll be allowing observers to attend (such as those who don’t fit the requirements to participate), but accepted participants must be able to attend the entire weekend.
How to get involved
The event will run from May 2-4 at Portside Arts Center, and the storytelling event and graduation will be held May 6 at the Friends Center. Participants must be available to attend the entire weekend.
Applications for Ignition Philly are open on a rolling basis and the application is available here.
Full disclosure: Generocity’s editor, Mike Kaiser, is a coach for this round of Ignition Philly.
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