Telling Our Stories to Build Community


Storytelling is an ancient human practice. Our stories matter, and our stories build community. Connecting with and telling our personal stories has the power to transform us and to change the world around us. Storytelling can be an act of self-care and a means of personal empowerment.

That's why Companis is proud to co-sponsor a presentation by the author of “Gorilla & the Bird,” the story of a young man fighting to recover from a devastating psychotic break and the mother who refuses to give up on him. Author Zack McDermott will read from his book and answer questions on Saturday, April 7th, at Seattle First Baptist Church. The public presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. with book signing at 8:30 p.m.

On Friday, April 6th, we're also thrilled to offer our Companis Workers and partner agency staff a very special Companis Connects, our quarterly professional and personal development series. Zack will discuss his story, and additional presenters, including Companis Worker Laura Van Tosh and representatives from the Real Change Speakers Bureau, will share some of their stories of healing and transformation in the form of public speaking and stand-up comedy. Companis Worker Susan Austin, who serves as speaking coach to the Real Change representatives, also will be there.

Participants will also have the opportunity to consider how and where we tell our own stories, as well as what supports us and what gets in the way of our personal storytelling. Thanks to Laura for her work in bringing Zack to Seattle!