This year’s pracritical IRD Skills Workshops were fully online, open to our Fellows and JPII Leaders, and focused on the practical skill of “Crafting your message.” Our work, actions and projects in the field of interreligious dialogue need to be supported by our ability to concretely tell our stories and convey our message through words and images. This is what we explored on March 5th and 6th thanks to the help of two specialists in this domain.
On March 5, Kaleb Warnock facilitated the workshop on “crafting your message through images”. A Public Affairs Officer and multimedia storyteller at the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) where he creates and commissions multimedia stories and films to promote dialogue and the work of the Centre, Kaleb gave the Fellows tools to develop visual vocabulary to tell their story and think visually. During the session, the participants reflected as well on the power of visual storytelling. Through images and a visual story, we “show, don’t tell”, as Kaleb reminded the group.
On March 6, Skyler Oberst offered the second part of the workshop on “crafting your message through words”. A millennial interfaith expert, Skyler focuses on the intersectionality of young people, technology and faith. A Germanacos Fellow for young innovative interfaith leaders through the Interfaith Youth Core, he developed his groundbreaking and award-winning video-series Meet the Neighbors which uses a unique mix of interactive social media and community events to foster collaboration and community building.
Skyler introduced the participants to the workshop to the importance of personal narratives. “You may think that your story doesn’t matter, that people aren’t interested, that you shouldn’t be talking about yourself. But when you do public work, you have a responsibility to offer a public account of who you are, why you do what you do, and where you hope to lead,” he said, reminding us all that our contributions to interreligious dialogue are going to be a resource for many.