Marshall Ganz Photo

Marshall Ganz

Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing, and Civil Society


Questions of what am I called to do, what is my community called to do, and what we are called to do now are at least as old as the three questions posed by the first century Jerusalem sage, Rabbi Hillel:

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

If I am for myself alone, what am I?

If not now, when?

This course offers students an opportunity to develop their own leadership practice by asking themselves these questions at a time in their lives when it really matters and, at the same time,  learning how to ask them of others.

Public narrative is the leadership practice of translating values into action. To lead is to accept responsibility for enabling others to achieve shared purpose in the face of uncertainty. Because narrative engages the "head" and the "heart," it can both instruct and inspire, teaching us not only why we should act but also moving us to act. Storytelling is a discursive process with which individuals, communities, cultures, movements and nations can articulate values they share, construct shared identities rooted in those values, and enable mindful response to disruptive challenges to those values by accessing hope over fear; empathy over alienation; and self-worth over self-doubt. In short, we can use public narrative to assert the value of our own humanity, articulate the value of our shared humanity, and motivate action respectful of that humanity. We also give particular attention to enabling ourselves and others to deal with the challenges of loss, difference, domination and change. 

All students interested in enrolling in MLD355: Public Narrative should submit a Student Commitment Form

Contact with any questions.


Also offered by the Graduate School of Education as A-111P. Please note, students will also participate in Thursday weekly sections, occasional meetings to be scheduled with the teaching team, and a required (virtual) weekend workshop on Saturday, September 9th and Sunday, September 10th, with specific times to be scheduled shortly.