The Facing Project

Stories connect us and build empathy and understanding across differences, but it takes bravery to share your story, and it takes courage to have the empathy to listen to others.

The Facing Project is a national nonprofit that creates a more understanding and empathetic world through stories that inspire action. Founded in 2012, the organization provides tools and a platform for individuals and communities to share their stories, connect across differences, and begin crucial conversations through their own narratives. Since its founding, over 100 Facing Projects have been organized in 18 states, with select stories from projects shared on The Facing Project Radio Show that airs once a month on NPR-affiliate stations and via NPR One.

In 2020, the organization expanded to include a publishing imprint, The Facing Project Press. The press provides a publishing outlet for books written and developed by Facing Project communities, and the press works with Ingram Content Group to distribute books worldwide.

Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic is excited to join forces with The Facing Project to bring listening and storytelling to the forefront of community-engagement. Together, we will select two institutions in Maryland to lead a project using The Facing Project’s model on one of two topics:

1) Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI).
2) Global Citizenship.

If chosen, your institution will receive a 70% member discount to participate at The Facing Project’s Affiliate Level. This $5,000 value will be reduced to $1,500 for the following resources and services:

· The Facing Project Toolkit.
· Toolkit training for the lead project organizer (including some coaching/consulting throughout the project).
· Writer’s training.
· Editing of all stories (copy and content).
· Book layout, cover design, and publishing.
· Two-hundred copies of the book available at cost (approximately $5.00 per book or $1,000 – not included in the Affiliate fee).
· Project promoted on The Facing Project website, across social media channels, and on the NPR show.

How The Facing Project model works:

The Facing Project provides training on the Toolkit with the lead project organizer, as well as a writer’s training once the writers and storytellers are recruited by the community. Writers and storytellers are then paired one-on-one for listening sessions where they begin to learn about each other, including their motivations, their hopes, their fears, and their biggest challenges.

Together, the pairs collaborate on first-person narratives told from the perspective of the storytellers. These stories are published by The Facing Project Press, distributed throughout your community as a resource, brought to life on stage through monologues, and then used in listening circles at various locations (libraries, schools, colleges/universities, etc.). The listening circles provide a facilitated opportunity for members of the broader community to have safe spaces to explore the selected issue/topic, ask tough questions, and dig deeper into the human condition that connects us all.

If your institution is interested in participating, please complete a short (no more than 750 words) proposal by April 18, 2022, using the following guiding questions:

1. Why is your campus and community interested in The Facing Project?
2. Has your campus and community been involved before in similar projects? If yes, how will this project be different?
3. Which one of the two topics does your campus and community plan to face?
4. Beginning with the end in mind, what outcomes do you hope to achieve with your project?
5. In addition, how do you plan to use the stories to create community conversations and impact beyond the publication of your Facing Project book?
6. Who will be an external partner(s) with your campus on the project? (Ex: nonprofits, Mayor’s councils, etc.)
7. Who will be the internal partners on the project? (Ex: campus clubs, departments/courses, etc.)
8. How do you envision Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic being involved in your project?
9. What will be the timeline for your project? (Ex: semester-long; two semesters; etc.)
10. Any other information not covered in the questions above that you would like to share with The Facing Project and Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic?

Anthony Wagner V
Associate Director & Program Officer for the Global Citizenship Initiative, CCMA
wagner {at} ccmidatlantic(.)org

J.R. Jamison
Co-Founder & President, The Facing Project
jr {at} facingproject(.)com

View past and current projects here.
Hear stories on the NPR show here.
Institutions will be selected in May with projects beginning during the Fall 2022 semester.