True Storytelling and the Legacy of Law and Order
The nation appears to be on the brink of civil war, if not already in it. With polarization as bad as at any time in our nation’s history, how can we stop the violence? Discussions about “law and order” ordinarily end up promoting division and triggering historical trauma. Is there a way to stop the cycle of violence and heal victims and perpetrators alike? Can the truth set us free? If so, how do we go about telling the story? And who gets to tell it?
As challenging as this time is, with the underbelly of America exposed, there is also an opportunity to see America as it really is. The first step in changing anything is to see it for what it is and then to create a new story that acknowledges the truth and envisions a better future.
One obstacle to change is that systemic racism is not always easy to see, or understand. It is both complicated and deeply enmeshed in the American psyche. It is not a black and white issue (in more ways than one). Structural racism affects everyone, and prevents America from achieving its sacred purpose: unity in diversity. This purpose is enshrined in our Great Seal: E Pluribus Unum, “Out of the many, one”—a beautiful idea, but one that has yet to be realized.
There is some good news today. More and more people of all colors are coming together to speak out against racism. The other good news is that white Americans are beginning to change their thinking, and in a compressed time frame. Just months ago, two-thirds of white Americans thought that police mistreatment of people of color was only “a few bad apples.” Now, more than half of white Americans recognize that there is systemic racism in police enforcement. As volatile and ugly as today is, more people see the need for change.
Many unanswered questions remain. Now that white America is beginning to see the extent of systemic racism, how many will act for change and how many will seek to hold onto their privilege? Who will win the next election and how much effect will that have? In a representational republic, politicians are always a reflection of the people. Is this the time we finally make real progress? Join us as we delve into all of this with our guests Oscar Edwards and David Boje.
“When we share all our stories, they are all stories, it’s like water, it’s one, and it can flow like water. Right now we lack the collective wisdom to do that. Even though (our stories) come from different streams, it is one source.”
~ Oscar Edwards
“Why are we doing true storytelling? Because I discovered I grew up in a false history, a false narrative, of what is going on in America, and in the world”
~ David Boje
Glenn Aparicio Parry, PhD, of Basque, Aragon Spanish, and Jewish descent, is the author of Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again (SelectBooks, 2020) and the Nautilus award-winning Original Thinking: A Radical Revisioning of Time, Humanity, and Nature (North Atlantic Books, 2015). Parry is an educator, ecopsychologist, and political philosopher whose passion is to reform thinking and society into a coherent, cohesive, whole. The founder and past president of the SEED Institute, Parry is currently the director of a grass-roots think tank, the Circle for Original Thinking. He has lived in northern New Mexico since 1994. www.originalpolitics.us
Oscar Edwards is the Managing Member/CEO of Higher Growth Strategies, LLC (HGS) and also an acclaimed speaker, consultant, trainer, advisor, and business coach with the ability to make complex subjects understandable and fun. In other words, he is a good storyteller.
Oscar goes way back with fellow guest David Boje to their days in the early 80s at the UCLA Anderson School of Management (where Oscar received his BA in Economics and an MBA in Finance & Marketing). They worked together first at the Joint Center for Community Studies with Dr. C.Z. Wilson and they also worked with the late Leroy Wells on the development of a university student quality of life index
Oscar has hands-on experience in management, business modeling, strategic planning, managerial accounting, and finance for a host of industries, including construction, sports & entertainment, media, telecom, public works, public transportation, public safety, and public health industries. He is on the finance faculty for Los Angeles City College. He is also a curriculum designer and instructor for a number of other entrepreneurial eco-learning systems focused on women, minorities, and veterans in Southern California.
Oscar has been recognized for his work with small businesses and his community volunteerism by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, California State Assembly and Senate, the United States Congress, United Way of Los Angeles, and many other civic and community organizations. He received recognition early, winning the Outstanding Young Man in America award in 1984, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Black Business and Professional Association in 2000.
Oscar is currently working with many community based organizations to enhance their organization capacity, including cultural centers, churches, financial, and educational institutions. He strives to empower communities of color to be self-reliant and yet embrace the intercultural dynamic that is the norm in today’s families and households.
David Boje is what Michel Foucault calls a ‘specific intellectual’, an international scholar confronting and deconstructing the ‘regimes of truth’ with his own storytelling paradigm. He has written 16 books as well as a myriad of book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles and been cited in over 5000 books and articles. His most recent books are: True Storytelling (Routledge, Francis & Taylor) with Jens Larsen and Lena Bruun, Doing Conversational Storytelling Interviewing for Your Dissertation ( Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.) with Grace Ann Rosile. He created the field of “ante-narrative” research, which analyzes all that is antecedent to the creation of western narratives and indigenous living stories.
David Bojeearned his Ph.D. from University of Illinois in 1978, and became assistant professor at Anderson School of Management, UCLA, then became full professor at Loyola Marymount University, earning six teacher of the year awards. He retired in 2018 from New Mexico State University, as Regents Professor and is currently Professor Emeritus. He also teaches qualitative storytelling science methods at Cabrini University in Philadelphia.
He helped form the ‘True storytelling’ rock band which teaches a loyal fan base of global participants on ‘true storytelling ethics, ensemble leadership and sustainability. Their newest seminar theme (with Oscar Edwards, co-hosting) is “Intercultural Conversations: A Community-Centered Storytelling Experience to Re-story Narratives on Racism.” Their hope is for a more cooperative, equitable, and just society: find out more on https://true-storytelling.com; https:truestorytelling.org
He also convenes the annual “Quantum Storytelling Conference” each December in Las Cruces New Mexico with NMSU Emeritus Professor Grace Ann Rosile.
David is editor-in-chief of the 16 volume Business Storytelling Encyclopedia, which focuses on topics such as race, gender, ethics, and indigenous studies. He gives invited keynote presentations on storytelling science, water crises, racial capitalism, and the global climate crisis, all around the world. Boje is Winner of the New Mexico State University Distinguished Career Award, and currently holds NMSU’s highest rank as Regents Professor. He also was awarded an honorary doctorate from Aalborg University in Denmark, where he is considered the “godfather” of their Material Storytelling Lab.
Traditional native flute music by Orlando Secatero from Pathways CD.
Liberty song by Ron Crowder, Jim Casey and Danny Casey
Feature image credit: Charmain Hurlbut, CCO Public Domain