My Global Projects
The world consists of stories. Every nation has a story. Every culture has a story. Every community has a story. Every family has a story. Every individual has a story.
Often we’re unaware of what these stories are. Nonetheless they shape our reality. From communities to nations, I help people bring their unconscious, previously untold, stories to light, providing them with the power to heal from systemic problems and actively transform their lives.
Click on a project to learn more about it.
The World Mother Storytelling Project
We live in a world of overlapping crises. From intergenerational trauma to climate change, systemic oppression thrives when a just and inclusive telling of history is missing. Whose voices are excluded from the narrative? Too often, those of our mothers.
Founded in 2019, The World Mother Storytelling Project fills our collective narrative gap by empowering mothers to share their own stories and teaching children of all ages to listen to and tell their mothers’ stories. By applying my acclaimed method of listening and storytelling, this project seeks to move society forward into a more connected and relationally oriented future.
Hearing our mothers tell their own stories and then sharing those stories with others enhances collective emotional intelligence and advocacy, creating a new narrative that is more equitable, just, and sustainable as we look to the future.
How We’re Taking Action for Mothers
Facilitating Live Events
We’re bringing together mothers and children in interactive environments so they can better connect.
Building Curricula in Schools
We’re developing educational programs for continued use in schools and communities.
Conducting Art-Focused Outreach
We’re raising awareness and educating the public through various art mediums.
“At a moment of profound cultural and political divisions, the World Mother Storytelling Project has devised as tangible a creative intervention as they come. I can say, without reservation, that this is an effort that the world needs now. Mothers, at last, merit this.”
Sarah Stillman, MacArthur Fellow
Staff writer at the New Yorker; Yale College, Columbia School of Journalism
Uplifting the Sugar Hill Community in Harlem, New York
The Sugar Hill Project is an innovative model pairing permanent housing with early education and educational advocacy, and access to the arts. The 191,000 square-feet mixed-use building designed by internationally acclaimed architect Sir David Adjaye is prominently located in Upper Manhattan’s Sugar Hill historic district on 155th Street, the crossroads of the traditionally African American neighborhood of Harlem and the immigrant, largely Latino communities of Washington Heights.
Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling not only as a stimulating space for neighborhood families to gather and share in cultural programs, but as a setting to actively address the educational needs of the community's youngest children, many from families challenged by poverty, little formal education, and a lack of proficiency in the English language.
In 2022 we formed a partnership with the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling. Nine facilitators from the museum and adjoining pre-school were trained to conduct listening circles for children and their mothers and have been disseminating the approach throughout the broader community.
2023 marks the inauguration of The World Mother Storytelling Festival at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling
The festival will consist of:
- The multimedia installation, Conduit. The main idea behind the installation is that children are conduits for their mother’s story. Visitors spend time in a space for absorbing a soundscape of mother stories, delivered in both English and Spanish.
- The walls of the space are surrounded with 24 portraits of mothers and children from the Sugar Hill community.
- World Mother Live, which is a live event featuring storytellers from the community and guest presenters with musical performance interludes.
- A Community Body Mapping workshop.
The Benefits of an Inside-Out Approach
Create Community-Led Change
Spurring organic change by aligning with community values.
Expand Reach through Partnerships
Partnering with existing programs and museums to extend our reach.
Ensure Continuity by Training Facilitators
Teaching facilitators and educators to pass down knowledge.
“The whole project is grounded in an inside-out approach. Change starts at the center of the community circle and radiates out from there."
Co-Founder of Narativ and Founder of The Harlem Community Project
Ending Gender-Based Violence in El Salvador with the U.S. Department of State
Starting with the violence of the Spanish conquest, El Salvador carries a long history of gender-based violence and femicide. Equally impactful is the deafening, cultural silence surrounding the experiences of women and abuse survivors on an individual and collective level.
The U.S. Department of State has commissioned us to create a story-based program to counter and ultimately end gender-based violence in the country.
Through ethnographic research and training small groups of community facilitators, we are empowering El Salvadorans to break the silence of gender-based violence by telling the stories of their mothers.
Transform the Narrative By Ending the Silence
Learn to Listen and Break the Silence
Providing safe listening spaces with community facilitators.
Tell the Stories of Women
Bringing hidden stories of women to light through mothers.
Conduct Community Trainings
Enabling community members to facilitate an ongoing discussion.
“We need spaces to open our minds and our hearts. We are all traumatized, but we need to break through new walls.”
Photojournalist from El Diario de Hoy
The International Forum of Indigenous Women
Indigenous knowledge is being lost at an alarming rate throughout the world. Unless the stories of indigenous people are preserved in their native tongue, the extinction of cultures, traditions, and even languages is inevitable.
To preserve the special knowledges of indigenous women, we partner with the International Forum of Indigenous Women to teach their members how to share their voices with the world.
We bring women together to record, document, and write down their stories to preserve them for future generations.
Tell Stories that Endure
Heal Historic Wounds
Listening without judgment to process pain and historical harm.
Protect from Ongoing Trauma
Advocating for indigenous women by sharing stories in safe spaces.
Acknowledge Strengths and Build Resilience
Recounting how indigenous women continue to overcome obstacles.
“We are still here, we are still singing, still hunting, still fishing, still teaching our children to be who they are. We are still here, and we will continue to do whatever we can to be who we are.”
Meet Murray Nossel
There are a multitude of stories each one of us could tell about our lives. Can we find one that embodies all? Probably not. Nonetheless some stories stand out as pivotal.
On October 10, 2006 my sister left me sixteen voice messages: “Murray, mom and dad have been carjacked and held hostage in Johannesburg.” Three weeks later, I returned to South Africa, my birthplace, to listen to my mother’s story of how she convinced the carjackers not to kill her and my father.
Subsequently, I created the World Mother Storytelling project to teach children of all ages how to listen to and retell their mothers’ stories.
The World Mother Project incorporates many of my life’s endeavors, including clinical psychology, film-making, performing, teaching and transforming communities. However, most notably, it’s based on my work with dying AIDS patients which gave rise to the listening and storytelling method
As a trained psychologist with a PhD in social work, I have been teaching the Narativ method of listening and storytelling around the world for more than 25 years.