Event Background and Description

Stories can reveal and heal. Stories can be windows, mirrors, or sliding glass doors. From August 4 – 6, 2021, join us online and in person as we listen to stories of truth and transformation from our Earth and from people of diverse races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, physical abilities, genders and more.

This institute will ask of participants - am I a victim, survivor, or hero transforming challenges into wisdom and compassion?

We will explore and question how we educators can recognize our individual stories, engage in educational practices that will help our students realize their own “sacred stories” and human dignity, help them actively listen to the stories of others, and compassionately embrace civic engagement for equity and justice, leading to the creation of new, better stories for the future. Let’s gather across campuses, across cultures, across the city.

San Antonio has the unfortunate distinction of being among the top 25 largest U.S. cities with the highest percentage of people living in poverty, and of being one of the most economically segregated cities with large disparities in education, job opportunities, housing and medical care availability. The pandemic magnified this reality as news sources around the world featured images of 10,000 local families lined up waiting for food, as the pandemic had prohibited them from earning an income. As we learned, emphasis on independence, in contrast to interdependence, can hold us back from sustainable development.

This project seeks to transform us – the educators, the learners, the staff, and the administrators – that we may recognize the structures of inequity and segregation so that we can work to co-create a just “City of Compassion” through sharing and listening to the stories of others.

“We cannot be indifferent to suffering; we cannot allow anyone to go through life as an outcast. Instead, we should feel indignant, challenged to emerge from our comfortable isolation and to be changed by our contact with human suffering. That is the meaning of dignity … The decision to include or exclude those lying wounded along the roadside can serve as a criterion for judging every economic, political, social and religious project.” – Pope Francis in Fratelli Tutti

Register to help plan, assist, publicize, and/or present.


"Stories of Truth and Transformation" is part of San Antonio’s Compassion Movement. This event is co-hosted by the University of the Incarnate Word’s Center for Teaching and Learning, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability, Liturgical Outreach, and Mission and Ministry’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Additional co-hosts include Compassionate San Antonio, Faith-Based Initiative (City of San Antonio), and the Justice, Peace and Creation Committee of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

Special thanks to GivePulse, a community of volunteers, professionals, civic leaders and service-learning students.