The energy in the room was indescribable. You could hear a pin drop. Yet, it buzzed with energy.
We had a dream that we could show people how much they were valued, that we could connect with people different from us, and that we could inspire others to do the same. And so Untold was born: an event sharing the stories of the elderly, homeless, refugees, Cornellians, and members of the Ithaca community through photographs and audio.
We learned that hands can say a lot. We learned that our boundaries could be pushed. Most importantly, we learned that no matter where you come from or what you believe in, you have a story. And your story is important, because it’s what makes you...you.
On November 18th, 2016, after 7 months of work, our doors opened. For three hours, we saw over 300 attendees come through from all across the community. 18 stories were listened to. Over 100 notes were written back to our interviewees, which we delivered back as gifts.
Strangers stood together, listening, sharing the connection of simply being human. There were tears. There was laughter. A movement on campus to do something was ignited.
And us? Five engineers stood in that room that night, in awe of what we had done. Our hearts overflowed with gratitude; we could hardly breathe.
Thank you for listening.