iSchool Capstone

Liberating Literature: A Participatory Approach

Project tags:

community engagement & outreach

digital youth & youth services

equity & inclusion

Authentically enacting principles of participatory design, Liberating Literature installed a six-session, self-sustaining storytelling curriculum for children at Compass Housing Alliance, a facility that supports residents having experienced traumas related to homelessness. Extant research attributes distinct therapeutic value to the practice of community reading and links narrative building to both self-expression and resilience; thus, Liberating Literature employed collaborative design methodologies to ensure users both benefited from and enjoyed these protective practices. Upon the program’s conclusion, users communicated an interest in continuing work with Liberating Literature, as well as significant increases in creative confidence and sense of environmental agency through program ownership.

Project participants:

Sydney Geyer


Sydney Powell


Ellen Barker