Tell us a story…
No story is harder to tell than the one about our changing climate and what it means for each of us. Reciting the facts is not enough to move people to action, in fact, many shut down when they hear even the mention of global warming. How do we break through the collective silence in creative and effective ways? How do we inspire curiosity? How do we connect with people who on the surface seem to have no interest in sustainability, climate change, or environmental issues?
Peterson facilitates this engaging and interactive workshop, which helps participants explore practical and effective methods to develop stories that inspire people to be curious about climate change. Participants will come out of the workshop better understanding how to connect with people who do not see themselves as environmentalists. They will gain confidence in speaking beyond traditional environmental talking points to find common ground.
His unique ability to infuse humor into serious topics and foster a sense of empathy created a powerful experience for my students in a way I wouldn’t have expected in Zoom. I can’t wait to have him return to my program for another engaging session. Ultimately, Peterson left my students with a sense of hope and empowerment- so needed in these times.
-Jennifer O’Brien, Ph.D. Global Studies Program Director at Watkinson School
Now retooled for Zoom audiences
In this time of Coronavirus and physical distancing, Peterson is pushing Zoom to its limits and now provides this workshop through an interactive live on-line experience. Watch his breakout session at the 2020 Citizens Climate Virtual Conference.
2 lessons for storytelling from @CitizensCRadio‘s @p2son:
1. Know your audience.
2. Tell stories that point to a better future- stories that point to climate solutions, rather than just climate impacts.#CCL2020 pic.twitter.com/Et1Hc6eUW6
— Natasha DeJarnett (@DrDeJarnett) June 13, 2020
.@CitizensCRadio‘s @p2son shares his first childhood memory- an asthma attack. After that, his parents moved to a community with healthier air, and his asthma improved. Everyone isn’t able to move, but all children deserve safe air to breathe. #CCL2020 #ClimateChangesHealth pic.twitter.com/1CiIqeuEFa
— Natasha DeJarnett (@DrDeJarnett) June 13, 2020
Peterson is the host of Citizens Climate Radio. He has presented this workshop in person at a variety of venues including the Citizens’ Climate International Conference, the Gulf of Maine Education Association, Swarthmore College, and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Retreat and through webinars with the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI) and Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Climate and the Art of Storytelling
Experience Peterson and some of his many different characters
Conversations that entertain and enlighten
As an active climate leader, Toscano finds inspiration in his Quaker faith, and while that certainly has a lot to do with his motivation, it's far from his only method of relating to diverse audiences. For Toscano, a character actor who regularly performs his climate-minded theatrics in live productions across the country, the art is to bring people in with laughter and not scare them away with doom and gloom scenarios. He purposefully avoids shame and instead provides hope accompanied with a chuckle, giving audience members something to feel good about.
Who is Peterson Toscano?
Peterson Toscano is a performance artist, activist and comic storyteller. Although he performs throughout North America and Europe, he actually lives in Sunbury, PA. Toscano presents original one-person comedies that explore gender, sexuality, faith, and climate change.
As someone concerned with human rights, for the past two years Toscano has taken on climate change as his primary focus as he considers LGBTQ, faith, and comic responses to the climate crisis. His does not dole out the typical gloom and doom, shame and guilt global warming messages. Instead he infuses his work with hope. He challenges audiences to pursue community building as he helps them connect climate change to everything from immigration to a cup of coffee. He is the creator of Climate Stew and the host of Citizens Climate Radio.
Peterson Toscano led a transformative lunch-time discussion exploring the intersection between race, justice, and climate change, focusing on environmental racism in disaster relief efforts. From beginning to end, Peterson made Bates students feel welcomed, supported, and hopeful - a task nearly impossible when discussing the climate crisis. Peterson Toscano, a true beam of light, touched hearts and minds as he equipped Bates students with the rhetorical tactics and perspective necessary to create a more equitable world, and for that we are so thankful!