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Leveraging Your Unique Narrative – A lab to build storytelling skills

At work, we constantly reveal who we are – from clarifying pronouns, to referencing our spouses, to more strategically personalizing LGBTQ+ equality to advocate for a policy change. Each of these acts is about telling your truth, sharing your story, and in doing so, having the power to change lives and transform organizational culture.  

Out & Equal has partnered with JD Schramm to develop a six-week Leveraging Your Unique Narrative lab to build storytelling skills. The lab builds on Out & Equal’s workplace storytelling resource for LGBTQ+ people and allies: Your Story. Your Truth. Your Power. Leveraging Your Unique Narrative is designed to provide participants with the tools and practice to:

  • Drive change and achieve impact
  • Reduce resistance and opposition
  • Create a culture of storytelling

Applications for the inaugural Leveraging Your Unique Narrative lab are now open and will close on Friday, April 22, 2022

Applicants may be in any industry and at any career stage but must be employed by Out & Equal partner organizations. Preference will be given to LGBTQ+ applicants, especially those who identify as transgender and/ or nonbinary, women, people of color, and people with disabilities.

The inaugural lab is provided at no cost to a small cohort of accepted participants.


Lab Dates & Time Commitment

The six-week online lab will consist of three live sessions (via Zoom) with individual coaching between sessions. Participants will work with an individual coach for about an hour between each session, at a time they mutually schedule. Involvement in the lab will take a minimum of 10 hours and a maximum of 20 over a six-week period from May 9 through June 20.

  • Monday, May 9th 4-5:30pm Eastern
  • Monday, May 23rd 4-5:30pm Eastern
  • Monday, June 6th 4-5:30pm Eastern
  • Monday, June 20th 4-5:30pm (optional closing salon, the Mariposa Story Hour)

About the Coaches

JD Schramm and Gina Grahame will co-facilitate the three instructional workshops. They will be joined by Karlyn Boen to coach lab participants one-on-one.

JD Schramm has helped hundreds of LGBTQ+ Leaders communicate more effectively over the past two decades. He currently teaches for USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and has previously taught at NYU, Columbia, and Stanford. He wrote Communicate with Mastery in 2020 and contributed a chapter to the best-selling Thriving in Business: strategies for the LGBTQ+ Entrepreneur in 2021. He and his husband, Ken Daigle, make their home in the Bay Area where they are raising 3 very active children.

Karlyn Boen is a Restorative Justice Partitioner and Poet who enjoys the art of storytelling and community building. She loves to fuel conversations around diversity, equity, & inclusion, community resilience, and transformative justice in her work as a Social Worker and Nonprofit strategist. It is Karlyn’s hope to embrace, inspire, and empower BIPOC and other marginalized groups using restorative justice principles. 

Gina Grahame is a communications coach and past lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. As a teacher of Executive Presence at Google, Gina has helped over 2,000 ‘Googlers’ around the world to develop their unique personal voice and leadership style. Gina is also the founder of the Grahame Institute of Strategic Communication with clients in tech, biotech, law, finance, construction. non-profit, women and LGBT owned small businesses. 


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Out & Equal is the global convener, thought leader and catalyst actively working to achieve workplaces of equality and belonging - supporting LGBTQ+ employees and leaders who thrive in their careers and lives and achieve greater impact on the world.