Social Justice Discussion Guide

School Safety Resources

Telling Our Stories


Dear NAD Educators,


Over the past year, we have spent much time reflecting and telling our stories, like how COVID-19, injustice, and politics have impacted our lives and work. We shared stories of personal suffering and triumphs, and we also spent time listening to one another. Professor Marshall Ganz, a professor at Harvard University, teaches a course in Public Narrative which uses storytelling as a values-based leadership practice. Ganz (2016) notes that, “Narrative is not talking “about” values; rather narrative embodies and communicates [those] values” (p. 27). These trying times have allowed us to fully understand what our core values are and how values impact our present and future. These unique times have also provided Adventist educators a platform to share and dialogue about truth and justice, from a Biblical perspective, to the many who are searching for answers in a chaotic world.

As educators, we’re used to telling stories to our students and to each other; it is, after all, how we best communicate. But what is often overlooked is the value in looking to our own stories to understand our purpose and motivation. Also, it is by listening to stories that we become empathetic to the plight of others. Jesus, the master storyteller, used parables to express truth and justice. Understandably, stories are central to human cognition and communication. Engagement with others is through stories, and storytelling is a lot more than just a recitation of facts and events. As human beings, we are automatically drawn to stories because we see ourselves reflected in them. Stories are important because they are universal; help us understand our place in the world; help us to learn how to act wisely; help us shape our perspectives of the world; help us understand other peoples and their perspectives; and pass down values, morals, knowledge, and beliefs.

We live in a time when technology dominates our lives, information is at our fingertips, and it has become more difficult to discern which information truly matters. Without stories we lose our perspectives. Let us use this opportunity in history to tell our stories and to listen to one another. Stories will always matter, now and in the future.

“Finally, brothers [and sisters], whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8 ESV).



Prayers and courage,

Arne Nielsen, Vice President for Education

Arne Nielsen, PhD

Vice President of Education

Engagement with others is through stories, and storytelling is a lot more than just a recitation of facts and events.


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