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Developing Diverse Voices

Our congregation has committed to “use our collective voice to accompany others in speaking their truth.” We believe that we should do all we can to help elevate the voices of our dear neighbors, especially those who come from under-resourced communities. To that end, we have developed the Developing Diverse Voices curriculum, a free set of workshops for not-for-profit organizations to use to train their clients to tell their own stories.

Developing Diverse Voices logo

This program has two main goals:

  • To help people hone their stories, so they can tell them with conviction and
  • To connect clients to service organizations in new ways, including as spokespeople and colleagues.

Benefits of the program

Individuals who can tell their stories gain personal agency that serves them well in a variety of situations. The people who take part in this program will gain confidence in situations as simple and seemingly ordinary as talking to their children’s teachers or advocating for themselves in business transactions.

Additionally, when clients tell their stories in public venues, organizations gain allies in the community who laud the value of their services. They will be prepared to make presentations to a variety of organizations and make their voices heard in local, state and national politics.


Over the course of 10 workshops, participants will learn how to:

  • Tell their story
  • Effectively talk about the experience of poverty today
  • Structure a speech
  • Reduce stress and practive self-care
  • Give and receive constructive feedback
  • Work with the media

For the final session, participants would present the speeches they’ve developed for their friends and family.

How it works

We recognize that agency staff have limited time, so these workshops are designed to be presented by volunteers, board members, junior or senior college students, interns and others.

  • All the materials needed for the workshops are included.
  • Detailed lesson plans provide all the handouts, media and other materials for the classes and list the materials needed for each session as well as the room set-up.
  • The activities in each session are designed to be completed in 60 to 90 minutes depending on the size and interaction of your group.
  • Groups of 8-12 participants will work best, but you can adjust to a smaller group. Larger groups will need to be broken into two separate groups for best results. Participation is essential for these activities, and larger groups will mean more time is needed for each session.
  • The lesson plans can be adapted for virtual sessions or to otherwise fit your needs.

How to get started

This series of workshops, developed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is free for any not-for-profit organization to use as is appropriate in your situation. If you are a for-profit organization, please contact us for permission to use any portion of these materials.

Simply fill out the form below for access to the curriculum documents.


If you have questions or suggestions about this curriculum, please address them to receptionist@csjcarondelet.org.