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CGI Story Studio 2023: How Storytelling Can Advance Impact

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Storytellers To Address Systemic Injustices, Unifying Divisions, and Sharing Language
CGI’s full program, including agenda and featured participants at 


Sumak Helena Sirén Gualinga, Advisor, Daughters for Earth, participates in the Exploration and Understanding Story Studio session at the CGI 2022 September Meeting. Photo by Joe Prosperi.


NEW YORK – Storytelling can be a powerful tool – not just to shine a light on global challenges, but to actually advance solutions to those problems. For the second year, the Clinton Global Initiative’s Story Studio harnesses that power of storytelling, through an informal and relaxed space where trailblazers and innovators share stories from the frontlines of our biggest common challenges. CGI Story Studio returns with a focus on pushing past divisions to build new pathways to unity; addressing the root cause of systemic injustices; and utilizing shared languages to create change.

Featured participants include:

Dr. Maria Al abdeh, Executive Director, Women Now for Development; Sophie Beren, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Conversationalist; Christopher Buckley, CPS-MH,FPM, Exit Peer Specialist, Parents for Peace; Keely Cat-Wells, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Making Space; Megha Desai, President, The Desai Foundation; Mayor David Holt, City of Oklahoma City; Mayor Steven Reed, City of Montgomery; Maia Ervin, Chief Impact Officer, JUV Consulting, LLC; Nicole Hockley, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sandy Hook Promise; Mayor David Holt, Mayor, City of Oklahoma City; Atif Javed, Executive Director, Tarjimly; Anna Jane Joyner, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Good Energy; Sophia Kianni, Founder, Climate Cardinals; Sage Lenier, Founder and Executive Director, Sustainable & Just Future; Elijah McKinnon, Executive Director, Open Television (OTV); Ruth Miller, Co-Director, The Smokehouse Collective; Dr. Maung Tin Nyeu, New York University Research Scientist; Founder and Executive Director, Our Golden Hour; Senator Gloria Orwoba, Senator, Parliament of Kenya; Steven Reed, Mayor, City of Montgomery; Piyush Tewari, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, SaveLIFE Foundation; Leah Thomas, Founder, Intersectional Environmentalist; Patricia  Velasquez, President and Founder, The Wayúu Taya Foundation; Kyle Zimmer, Chief Executive Officer, First Book

The power of storytelling has long been a staple in President Bill Clinton’s legacy of public service, which inspired the creation of CGI Story Studio. Programming debuted at the CGI 2022 Meeting, and earlier this year, leaders shared personal and stirring stories on the horrors of gun violence, systemic inequities in healthcare, and the tireless work to support women and girls under the oppressive systems in Iran.

Featured storytellers included, Samar Ali, President and CEO, Millions of Conversations; Elise Joshi, Executive Director, Gen Z for Change; Dr. Zahirah McNatt, Assistant Commissioner for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Dr. Michelle Morse, Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Dr. Noé Romo, Director Pediatrics Impatient Service and Medical Director Stand Up to Violence Program, NYC Health + Hospital/Jacobi-Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Councilmember Zulfat Suara, Councilmember at Large, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County; and many more.

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Founded by President Bill Clinton in 2005, the Clinton Global Initiative is a community of doers representing a broad cross section of society and dedicated to the idea that we can accomplish more together than we can apart.  Through CGI’s unique model, more than 10,000 organizations have launched more than 4,000 Commitments to Action — new, specific, and measurable projects and programs — that have improved the lives of nearly 500 million people in more than 180 countries.Learn more about the Clinton Global Initiative and how you can get involved at