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Our Favorite Female Storytellers

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This year, Women’s Herstory Month is celebrating women who have been storytelling in all forms of media – from stage to screen and everything in between. To help celebrate, we asked you to share “Who’s Your Favorite Female Storyteller?” Read on to find out about a few of the women keeping your fellow Tritons riveted. 

Storyteller: Yusra Mardini
Why she’s my favorite: The film, “The Swimmers” documents Olympic athlete Yusra Mardini’s experience fleeing Syria. Her story shows determination and heroism, and exemplifies the extreme bravery of all refugees who do whatever it takes to find safety and make a new life for themselves. More importantly, it reminds viewers of the humanity of refugees. They are people with dreams, aspirations, talents and skills, whose lives were uprooted by forces they have no control over. All too often, stories about the lives and experiences of women, especially young women, are not recognized. By missing these narratives, we fail to accurately define what a hero is: they are not always men with muscles, but more often they are people of all ages, genders and backgrounds whose sense of humanity leads them to face danger and sacrifice for the good of others.

Yusra Mardini pictured swimming in a pool.
Syrian native, Yusra Mardini, was selected to represent the first International Olympic Committee Refugee Olympic Team at Rio 2016. Photo: IOC

Storyteller: Elizabeth Kolbert
Why she’s my favorite: A Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Kolbert tackles pressing topics like climate change, with wonderful anecdotes and simple storytelling. This combination makes her books extremely informative, yet entertaining and inspiring. 

Portrait of Brene Brown sitting in an arm chair with a painting behind her

Brené Brown, photo by Maile Wilson

Storyteller: Brené Brown
Why she’s my favorite: Brown is my all-time favorite public speaker because of how she makes the audience laugh. She is so honest, raw and funny that I feel inspired after her Ted Talks. She is vulnerable with the audience when she is nervous, and is so relatable and human that it’s easy to connect with her and how she feels. Her energy is contagious, and if I’m ever given the chance, I hope to embody the same energy one day while giving my own Ted Talk.

Storyteller: Lisa Ling
Why she’s my favorite: She’s very thoughtful and authentic with her storytelling. Not only that, but she takes the time to understand other cultures and communities through her journalism.

Storyteller: Alexis Nikole Nelson
Why she’s my favorite: She’s an incredible storyteller because she weaves historical narratives into her very active wild foraging lifestyle that she shares on social media. She is inspiring, engaging, funny and welcoming! 

Portrait of Alexis Nikole Nelson sitting in the grass in a forest holding a bouquet of flowers and smiling
Alexis Nikole Nelson is behind the popular TikTok and Instagram videos based on her experience and advice on foraging. (Photo by Tim Johnson/Columbus Monthly Magazine)

Storyteller: J.K. Rowling
Why she’s my favorite: If it wasn't a textbook, I thought reading was a waste of time. When I watched the first Harry Potter movie I was transported to another world, I bought the book and never looked back. She made me a reader.

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