Introduction to Our Blog: Aspire

What are we hoping to accomplish with our blog? 

We Aspire to share meaningful stories of social change to provide connection, inspiration, and fruitful wisdom. 

The Center for Social Change at Walden University has two primary goals: building community and empowering changemakers.  We Aspire to remain aligned with our blog by bridging connections across boundaries through authentic, emotive, and inspiring stories about our community’s work in social change.   Stories provoke the empathy and connections which cultivate our sense of generosity and compassion.  

Paul Zak is a neuro-economist who has studied how oxytocin in the brain can facilitate our behaviors such as trust and empathy, specifically when listening to stories shared by other individuals. Zak’s research suggests that stories have the power to create empathy, generosity, and compassion among strangers and increase our willingness to take action to connect with one another. 

We Aspire to be a vessel for learning by humanizing the real everyday challenges and triumphs changemakers across the world experience as they pull up their sleeves and try to make a positive mark in a way most meaningful to them.   

We Aspire to learn from one another by discovering lessons that can be applied broadly, provoke growth, and deconstruct the complexity of social change with digestible stories and relevant resources. 

From your Center for Social Change Blog Team:  

What this blog means to us, and why we think you should read it

Angelica Lohr, Ed.S.

Stories are the true heart of human experience. In a busy world, it’s easy to just look at the surface of someone.  In a time when everyone seems busy and on the go, it can be hard to really connect.  In an age of instant connectivity, we are more isolated than ever in the ways that count.   I’m passionate about this blog, because sharing our stories is how we re-connect to what really matters in life. Within this website, we are doing more than just writing.  We are creating a community, through the common threads of our experiences. So let’s slow down.  Breathe deep.  Take an extra minute or two (or five or ten) to really see, hear, and feel the moments on the page.  Every person has a story.  What’s yours? 

Maggie Murphy, MS

Welcome to our anthology of inspiration. We are so excited to share stories of hope, connection, and social change. Everyone has a story, whether you think so or not. This platform has been created to share all stories, big and small, to create a community of people across the globe. Every day I find myself inspired by the stories I hear of people around me coming together because of shared passions.  I encourage you to take a moment and explore some stories that we’ve collected for you. Maybe you’ll laugh, or cry, or make some new connections. You might even walk away with a refreshed perspective on what matters most in your life. Enjoy! 

Molly Raymond, MSW

As I’ve “traveled” across the university discovering the various strengths, power, generosity and passion relating to social change that exists throughout our community, I’ve come to realize we need a space to allow these stories to come to life.  A space that illustrates the collective, beautiful tapestry which embodies who we are. Not just stories of triumph and success, but an authentic outlet to talk about the challenges, failures and barriers we face in sustaining change, justice, and service work. I’ve learned that we all see the world as a series of stories and narratives (not chapters in a textbook or lecture hall). This blog is an effort to embrace and harness this knowledge. Perhaps if we can shed more light on our emotional connections to the work of social change, we can unearth more understanding, empathy, hope and social connectedness for good.

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