Valverde Storytelling Tour
June 05, 2023
This community-based project explores whether participation in a place-based storytelling tour in Denver’s Valverde neighborhood increases a sense of community awareness and motivation to address environmental impacts caused by redlining.
Results from a literature review found that place-based tours are referred to as "toxic tours," which contributes to the common perception that some communities lack power and agency, and that storytelling plays an important role in struggles for environmental justice. The literature resulted in an interest survey among Valverde residents, which found that residents were not interested in a tour focused on the deficits of the neighborhood. They preferred a place-based tour that highlighted structural racism and the diverse spirit of the community, and that was designed by and for the Valverde community. This background work led to a pilot project focused on qualitative methods and place-based community engaged tools to develop, plan, and conduct a storytelling tour in Valverde. The methods and results from the pilot study will add to the various approaches to co-collaborate with communities and highlight the importance of cross collaboration to address social issues.