Dr. Carla Hunter received an award from The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for her project "Implementation and Sustainability of the ASPIRE Program." ASPIRE stands for, Ambitions and Stories of young People Inspiring Resilience and Excellence.
Strength and resilience among Black youth and their families in the face of marginalization and dehumanization can be harnessed through storytelling, a healing practice that historically has contributed to resilience in Black communities.
Dr. Hunter and an interdisciplinary team of researchers and community collaborators created the ASPIRE by building on the premise that storytelling is a form of "narrative medicine."
The ASPIRE program is grounded in the interdisciplinary team's Community Healing and Resistance through Storytelling (C-HeARTS) framework. Storytelling is critical both within and outside the family (e.g., in school or in the community) to promote healing and facilitate bonding experiences that highlight and affirm Black youth's identity, strengths, and potential.
The award was granted to Dr. Hunter, CoPi Dr. Shardé Smith (Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies), and Community Collaborators Mr. Tracy Dace and Ms. Shandra Summerville.