Dear World

Thursday, April 13 & Friday, April 14

Dear World’s program begins with a simple question: “if you had one story to share with the world, what would you say?” Through a process of photo shoots and storytelling sessions, they facilitate a two-day event full of opportunities for students and community members to reflect on their identities, find the words to communicate their personal stories and come together to share and illuminate the diversity of the UCSC community. For a better understanding of what Dear World is please watch this video. 

Why Dear World?

Dear World is “an interactive, award-winning project” that has been implemented internationally for a wide variety of communities, including colleges and universities. They have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, PBS, New York Times, and much more. After doing extensive research on various storytelling facilitators, Dear World allows maximum direct and indirect impact on the entire UCSC community compared to the cost of the program. The event has a lasting effect on the communities it visits.

Why is storytelling a need at UCSC?

Storytelling is a powerful way for people to come together and share their story in a unique way, offering a sense of shared humanity. The UCSC Principles of Community articulate a desire to “celebrate the heritage, achievements, and diversity of the community and the uniqueness and contributions of our members;” and teaching the principles of storytelling allows all of these principles and values to culminate into one common practice.

In bringing Dear World to UCSC, we hope that students and community members attending and participating in either of the photo shoots or the storytelling event will clarify and strengthen their personal identities, learn to describe their values and develop an understanding of the intersectionality of identity. They will be able to explore, articulate, and scrutinize their personal identities as well as their moral ethical and spiritual values. We hope to create spaces where participants can tell their stories in public settings. We wish to create an inclusive environment in these areas. Students and community members who attend these slams will enhance their intercultural inclusion based on mutual respect and appreciation for diverse personal cultures and identities. We hope individuals attending will also gain a better understanding of intersectionality within identity and culture as it applies to themselves and others.

VIP Photo Shoot: Thursday, April 13 5:30 pm Bhojwani Dining Room (Terra Fresca), University Center

To launch #DearUCSC, we are holding a smaller VIP photo shoot for any member of the UCSC community to attend. If you would like to join other UC Santa Cruz students, staff, and faculty members for an exclusive VIP Photo Shoot to share your story and have your photo taken by the Dear World team, just fill out this registration form.  We ask that if you participate in the VIP shoot that at the end of the night when you receive your photo digitally that you help us get the word out about the program by changing your profile picture with the #DEARUCSC 

The evening finale will reflect the powerful individual and collective stories of our campus.  


This program is put on for and by the UCSC community. We need your help. If you would like to volunteer on either April 13 and 14? Please fill out this form by Friday, April 7th.

 Participate! Main Photo Shoot:  

Friday, April 14 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Quarry Plaza

 Storytelling Event:  Friday, April 14 8:00 pm Colleges 9/10 MPR

 If you're interested in sharing a story and have a professional photo taken feel free to stop by. This program is open to all students, staff, and faculty.

The storytelling Event is the culminating event to celebrate the act of storytelling. A handful of brave volunteers will tell their full stories and many of the portraits taken over the previous two days will be unveiled. Dessert and tea will be served. All are welcome.

Keep the Conversation Going

Dear World is not just about the 2-day event. Our campus has the potential to continue conversations and future events to promote this message of connection, identity, and strength. We can host gallery exhibits of the photos, add more storytelling workshops or events, create a marketing campaign with the images and messages. We hope to keep the momentum long after April 14.

UCSC Storytelling Committee 

For more information email