Dear World is an internationally renowned portrait and storytelling project that has been featured on NBC, USA Today, CNN and Buzzfeed. Representatives from the project will present a live show at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 15, in the Cone University Center, McKnight Hall.
Believing that short, honest stories and the many meanings behind them can be transformative to communities, Dear World provides a platform for voices to be heard.
What started as love letters to the city of New Orleans in 2010 has turned to into a transcending outlook of the actual people who bring the city to life, and from that the world. Founder of the Dear World project Robert Fogarty began his search of truths by focusing on Dear New Orleans with the belief that stories are worth telling and can be found in anyone, anywhere.
“What we do opens people in surprising ways,” said Fogarty. "Our process puts people in a place where they aren't afraid to share. Where they trust their story will be honored.”
The Campus Activities Board, Student Involvement, Housing and Residence Life, the Multicultural Resource Center, Dean of Students Office, Student Government Association and Resident Students Association are co-sponsoring the Dear World appearance. The 7 p.m., March 15, event is free and open to the public.
“We are ecstatic to bring the Dear World campaign to campus,” said Rebecca Gillison, residence education coordinator with the Office of Housing and Residence Life. “We are looking forward to highlighting the unique stories of our campus community through this multimedia event.”
In addition to the live show, Dear World will conduct two narrative workshops at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., March 15, in the Popp Martin Student Union, Room 340. During these one-hour workshops, participants will engage in a personal story-sharing experience and portrait session that will become part of the live evening show. The workshops are open to UNC Charlotte students, faculty and staff. Space is limited. Register in advance.
Dear New Orleans kicked off on a Super Bowl Sunday, and at this event a man named Ralph Serpas decided to do something a little different and wrote “Cancer Free” on his chest. Fogarty, the Dear World founder, realized that participants’ stories were bigger than just their city. In March 2011, Dear World was launched from the campus of Harvard University. Since then, the initiative has captured stories of love and loss from Boston marathon bombing survivors to the people of the South Sudan.
More information is on the Dear World website.