The Story Powered Initiative is a national movement to address stigma .

STIGMA shames and isolates, creating divides of “them” and “us.” Stories can change that. By creating connections through stories, we are working to break down these barriers for a more inclusive world.

If you have experienced stigma or discrimination of any kind, simply because of who you are, we encourage you to share your story. We also encourage those that have supported someone who has faced discrimination or stigma or lost a loved one because of the impact of stigma to share their stories. Your story can make all the difference for someone affected by a similar experience – as well as to educate others on the realities of stigma on a person’s life.

Experiencing stigma can happen to anyone.

You will see people with all types of experiences and backgrounds in our movement, including those who have felt stigmatized for substance use, mental health, public health, disability, justice involvement and incarceration, race, gender, sexual identity, among others. We believe everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

These stories may include experiences and language you may find triggering or upsetting. We acknowledge that the problems discussed on our website may be difficult to digest or hear, but we encourage you to engage with these stories with open ears, hearts, and minds as these are the real, lived experiences of hardship that deserve to be heard. We choose not to censor the stories or change particular language to present an authentic representation from those who decide to share.

The Story Powered Initiative is a space for individuals who are dedicated to making a positive impact. Our hope is that by sharing these stories, we will decrease stigma by putting faces to the acts of discrimination and stigmatizing experiences that have affected so many loved ones and community members.

Please join us in this work.
Connect with us. Share with others.
Learn through understanding.
We support you.

You are not alone, your life is important, and there are several ways to seek help for yourself or to help others find the assistance they need. Please see our Resources page for information.

Thank you to everyone who has shared your story with us and to everyone who have viewed and shared these stories with others. #yourstorymatters

1. Crapanzano et al., 2020; Sterner & Bergner, 2020 2. Livingston et al., 2011; Sterner & Bergner, 2020 3. Livingston et al., 2011; Sterner & Bergner, 2020

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation and The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs have provided funding to support the work of this initiative.

Visit The IBC Foundation’s Someone You Know Campaign
to view more videos of those impacted by substance use disorder.



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