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About Us

  1. Mission

Telling It is an award-winning trauma-informed, healing centered program designed to support school age youth in Washtenaw County. Since 2002, Telling It has established a close collaboration with the University of Michigan’s Residential College through the offering of the Engaged Learning courses, Community Empowerment through the Arts and Advanced Practice in Community Engagement through the Arts. Deb Gordon-Gurfinkel is the lead teacher of both courses as well as the Founding Director of Telling It.

The Telling It internship opportunities provided by these two courses bridge the academic and neighboring communities. Each Telling It site is led by a team leader and social worker along with a trained support team. As a result of their internship experience, many U-M students express a desire to continue their commitment to social justice through a career that involves community service.

Innovative Principles

  • All youth have existing expertise and powerful voices.
  • Multiple intersecting evidence-based methods are employed often at the same time, to meet the social emotional needs of youth.
  • The daily grind of systemic oppression and the pandemic have profoundly impacted the mental health of children and teens.

Outcome Data

Based on youth self-reporting

  • 100% who participate in the weekly Telling It sessions reported feeling safe in the sessions compared to only 60.9% who feel safe in their community.
  • 95.7% would tell their friends to come to Telling It.
  • 86.9% feel that they can tell their story in Telling It.