The Facing Project is a nonprofit that connects people through stories to strengthen communities. We provide tools, a platform, funds, and inspiration so communities can share the stories of citizens through the talent of local writers, artists, and actors.
What We Do
Our model guides communities as they enlist a team of writers to be paired one-on-one with citizens who are facing life circumstances that deserve to be shared to better educate the broader community. The pairs meet, get to know each other and share stories of triumph and tragedy, of loneliness and community, of hate and happiness, of deep depression and lofty goals.
The writers will use their talents to take on the voice and persona of their subjects and write as if they were them—in the first person—bringing to life a voice that has been silenced, while keeping the anonymity of the subjects.
All projects culminate with a book to be shared throughout the community, and acted out by local actors through community theatre and monologues—bringing a face to the voice.
Through these awareness outlets, communities can begin to sit down together to face the next steps of discovering new, grassroots solutions to the problem.
The Faces Behind The Facing Project
The Facing Project officially formed as a nonprofit in 2015. Co-founders J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman welcomed Jay Moorman, Ontario Systems’ Vice President of Client Services (chair), Stephanie Fisher, content manager SpinWeb Internet Media (vice chair), James Mitchell, associate director of the career center at Ball State University (secretary and treasurer), and Ro Selvey, Junior High Math Teacher at Southside Middle School (K-12 Outreach), on as founding board members.
How’d all this get started? Read the history of the Facing Project.
The Facing Project was co-founded by J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman because they believe in the power of first-person stories to enact community change. As writers and active citizens, the two have witnessed this firsthand and are passionate about helping other communities tell their stories.
J.R. has spent the past decade promoting community engagement in higher education. His work has been adopted by more than 40 campuses and communities across the globe, and he has written and won over $5 million of grants to support communities in their efforts. His writings on community engagement have appeared in national journals and books, and he has been featured in The Huffington Post, Harlem World Magazine, and on NPR.
Kelsey has spent the last decade helping people share their stories. He is the New York Times Bestselling author of WHERE AM I WEARING? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes (Wiley, 2008) and WHERE AM I EATING? An Adventure through the Global Food Economy (Wiley, 2013). His writing has appeared in publications such as the Christian Science Monitor, Condé Nast Portfolio, TIME magazine, and has aired on NPR. WEARING and EATING have been adopted as a common reader by over 70 high schools, colleges, and universities.
Both regularly speak at colleges, universities, high schools, and speaker series around the nation and the world.