What do you get when you bring together Young Storytellers alumni, entertainment industry professionals, and thought leaders to discuss representation in the media at National Public Radio West? A truly awesome NPR Generation Listen event, that’s what!

A movement to connect NPR with younger audiences who share the same curiosity about the world and a passion for creating a more informed populace, Generation Listen shares the Young Storytellers belief in the transformative power of stories. We didn’t quite know what we’d get when we decided to gather our community for a Listening Party, where our group would listen to a few NPR stories about a focused topic (ours was diversity and representation in the media) and then have a discussion about the themes covered. We were lucky enough to be joined by the two NPR reporters whose pieces we listened to, Mandalit Del Barco and Shereen Marisol Meraji.

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L to R: Mandalit Del Barco, Shereen Marisol Meraji, Generation Listen Producer Joanna Powlowska

The wide-ranging discussion hit on crucial questions facing our Young Storytellers as they navigate the world today: Who gets to tell someone else’s story? Why are stories important when it comes to issues of diversity? What is the value of stories not everyone can understand or relate to? From folklore around Dia De Los Muertos to the gems of Steven Universe, no form of media representation was left unexplored.

We’re grateful to Generation Listen and NPR West for giving our young people and their families the opportunity to be heard on these issues and to hear from storytellers working in the media.

BONUS: If this Listening Party idea sounds like something you’d like to host with your friends in your community, Generation Listen has you covered!

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