This is the video that launched Social Impact Supper Club.

Sometimes you just need to give the camera to people living the story. Don’t tell it for them, or about them, but with them. That’s how Adam Robinson from Viacom met Emily Forbes from Seenit and Tim Parsons from 5:00 Films & Media.

Sometimes the problem is one of scale. With just one day to capture authentic stories of volunteerism from 5000+ employees spread across 100+ locations in 20+ timezones, Adam worked with Seenit to create an internal community of volunteer storytellers. Every team had a story captain, and every story captain received training in creating video, conducting interviews, and using the Seenit app to shoot to a script and collaborate on the fly with Adam’s team in NYC.

The videos have been incredibly popular with the Viacom family, to the point that story captains now compete to get their clips into the annual supercut.

The #Giveback Concert

// song

When Broadway Unlocked asked a group of nine musical theatre writers to take letters and writings from survivors of assault and abuse and write songs inspired by them, the results were astounding. Not one writer directly translated the contents of the letter into their song. Instead, each one found a beautiful idea, phrase or thought and imagined the stories hidden in those words. 

Together, they created the throughline for an evening that celebrated the strength, hope, resilience and joy that surrounds the work of Crime Victims Treatment Center. 

In this video, Stranger Things star Cara Buono and The Voice's Chris Weaver discuss the letter that inspired "You Got This", performed by Joe Kinosian, and written by Drama Desk Nominees Kinosian and Blair.



The Zuckerberg Institute

// audio drama

For the past ten years, SISC member and Zuckerberg Institute co-founder Michael Littig has worked with refugees from Tibet, Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia.  He says:


"Through them, I have come to understand the power of storytelling not only as a vehicle to galvanize communities around a greater issue, but most importantly the power in allowing an individual to give space and language to their "story".  This year, the Zuckerberg Institute established a relationship with the Tibetan community in partnership with the Office of the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration to learn about Social Ethics in relation to an individual's respective vision.

Within that, we have to understand that our individual story serves as a foundation for the ethics we pursue in the world.  As a result, it was important for me to tell Lhakpa's story as a glimpse into the plight of the Tibetan people."


This bonus audio drama episode of Michael's #ShowUp Podcast paints a rich and moving picture of the plight of Lhapka Tsering, who had set himself on fire in 2006 to protest China’s occupation of Tibet.


// theatre & dance

What happens when you decide to no longer be immune? This piece of communal theater, created by Broadway veteran Tanya Birl-Torres,  tracks this 13th “lost tribe” - her daughter's generation - as the first of the last of the slaves.


According to history books, the year 2019 marks 400 years since the first slaves left through "the door of no return" in Africa on slave ships to the new world. That aligns Tanya's daughter as roughly 13 generations removed from slavery in the West. A Play in Three Movements revolves around the theme of autoimmune disorders in women and its link to the suppression of truth. The play has a strong emphasis on Afro Hebrewism and the 12 lost tribes of Israel. This semi-autobiographical tale tracks three women's journies through history all witnessed in the body of a young black girl, breaking the chains of physical, mental and systemic slavery.

This complicated narrative is emotionally captured through the beauty and simplicity of movement.


// photography

If music or video or playwrighting isn't your medium, why not consider photography? 

UK-based hairdresser Josh Coombes didn't know the solution to eradicating homelessness, but he he wanted to do something to help - not tomorrow, not next week, but today.

He began going out once a week to offer haircuts to the homeless. Along the way, he started asking his clients for their stories. and then a photographer friend started joining him. What began as simply doing what he loved to give back, is now a social media movement, inspired by the stories he's collected through his year's of work.


Now, Josh travels the world - teaming up with other like-minded individuals to make a small difference to the lives of people who live on the street. And #DoSomethingForNothing is much bigger than his volunteerism, proving that using creativity, using your passion, using what you love can make an enormous difference.

Ear Hustle

// podcast

Located in the Bay Area, San Quinton Prison has one of the largest volunteer programs of any prison in the United States. Nigel Poor, a visual artist, and former teacher in San Quentin’s Prison University Project, had been working with an inmate, Earlonne Woods, on stories for prison radio when she proposed making a podcast about life inside prison.

Three years and 30 million downloads later, Ear Hustle has mainstreamed dialogue about incarceration by simply telling the stories of those living inside - and now outside - prison walls. Since the podcast launched in 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown of California has commuted the sentences of three inmates featured on the podcast - including co-host Earlonne.  

Ear Hustle is a beautiful example of how telling stories can create the space to see yourself reflected in between the lines,  provide room to examine your own thoughts and beliefs and create empathy around a cause by capturing hearts and minds.


ear hustle


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