USA Today Seeking Participants for Local Storytelling Series

The Coachella Valley Story Teller Project will be hosted at UCR Palm Desert

Do you have a true, first person story you’re willing to share for six to 10 minutes in front on an audience? Would you like to be coached by performance specialists and journalists alike to develop your story and delivery?

The Coachella Valley Storytellers Project, part of the USA Today network, have called for submissions for their 2018 four-part series, advertising that UCR faculty and local media experts will be available as coaches for participants. UCR Palm Desert will host the season.  

“Love and heartbreak” is the theme for the first event, which will take place Mar. 19 at 6 p.m. Storytellers are welcome to address themes literally or metaphorically.

Each teller receives a minimum of three hours of training to develop their stories. Tellers begin working with the project coaches about two months before the event. Tod Goldberg, director of the low residency MFA in creative writing & writing for the performing arts, will be coaching this season, in addition to Maggie Downs, an essayist and journalist in Palm Springs who holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from UCR Palm Desert.

Submit your story online here.

For more information, please email:

Full article, here.

Stigma-free UC: Ending shame and silence surrounding mental illness

Mental health issues touch all of us. For example, anxiety and mood disorders appear in nearly every family; suicide rates are climbing; rates of ADHD and autism spectrum disorders are soaring. Although our understanding of, and treatment options for, mental illness have expanded dramatically over the past 60 years, public attitudes have largely remained unchanged. Stigma persists, preventing too many people from getting the help they need.

Stephen Hinshaw, professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and of psychiatry at UCSF, will present a systemwide webinar on Feb. 22 about the social and personal costs of the stigma surrounding mental illness — especially what can be done to open dialogue and ensure access to needed treatments. Hinshaw will share insights about mental health and stigma gathered both through his distinguished research career and his family history, explored in his 2017 book “Another Kind of Madness: A Journey through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness.”

The webinar will be held on Thursday, Feb. 22 from 1–2 p.m. To join online, go to To join by phone, dial 408-638-0968; Meeting ID: 941 574 800. A recording will be available on the UC Living Well page as soon as possible after the event.

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