One of the things I'm most passionate about is restorative narrative. Restorative narrative "brings communities together, inspire hope, and reveals the personal in the universal." (From Images and Voices of Hope.)
Four years ago today, a series of devastating tornadoes tore through the South, ripping through Alabama; 316 people died as a result. I saw the destruction first hand, and will never forget the images of the following days and weeks as I traveled the South as a reporter. I also saw the kindness of people, many, many times over.
My friend and former colleague Kim Cross has written a remarkable book about the events of those days. Most importantly, "What Stands In A Storm" honors the lives of the people who died as a result. It is an incredible example of restorative narrative that everyone needs to read.
This Thursday, Kim will speak at an event at the brand new Alberta School of Performing Arts in Alberta, Alabama. Called "Beautiful Things Come From Our Brokenness," she and fellow speakers, including James Spann, will speak about the good things that have happened as a result of the storms. The program is free and open to the public. If people choose to make a donation, it will go to support the school and its students. (You can also make a donation via this page.)
The school itself is an example of the good things that come from the bad: it was built after Albert Elementary was destroyed April 27. Beauty from brokenness.