Stories matter, now more than ever

A group of women sit together from the National Organization of Women.  From left: Teresa Billington, Betty Friedan, Barbara Ireton, and Marguerite Rawalt.

Courtesy of the Smithsonian and Wikimedia Commons

I sat in my car, in the parking lot of my kids’ school, for nearly half an hour this morning before I was able to bring myself to continue on to the office. The history-making moment of this election did not turn out as I had expected, and—feeling at a loss myself—I wasn’t sure what I could or should say to my staff.

But the medium is the message and at JWA, our medium is stories. Today we need those stories more than ever, because stories connect us to one another; they comfort us; they inspire us. At JWA’s weekly staff meeting today, we set aside the intended agenda and instead, we each shared the story of a woman whom we are turning to for courage and encouragement today.

Stories will heal us—individually and as a nation. So today, and in the coming days, reach out to someone and share a story or engage in conversation. We offer the following questions as conversation starters. If you’d like to add your voice to something larger, please consider recording the conversation as a voice memo on your phone, and share it with JWA.

JWA post-election conversation starters:

  • What role model or stories are you drawing strength from today?
  • What do you need from your family and/or community right now?
  • What message do you want to share with your friends/partner/family today?
  • What experiences in your own life or in your family history motivate you to work for a better world?
  • What actions are you planning to take in the coming months to bring about your vision?
  • Thank you for sharing your stories and yourself. And if you feel the power of these stories, please consider supporting JWA.

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    How to cite this page

    Rosenbaum, Judith. "Stories matter, now more than ever." 9 November 2016. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 20, 2024) <>.