Equity-driven, trauma-informed

Storytelling As Strategy

Jennifer D. Gonzalez

Based in San Diego, CA

My Philosophy

Storytelling is at the core of identity and worldview. The stories we tell and operate under (often subconsciously) shape the way we see ourselves, others, and the possibilities we see in the future. I help individuals and organizations untangle the unspoken stories that limit their growth and capacities. Together, we craft new stories that power values-driven decision-making, change-management, team dynamics, and, of course, communications and brand strategies.

Transformative change only happens when we practice on an individual level what we aspire to build systemically. Equity and justice are the foundation of every project when we seek to build organizations and companies that recognize the value of the human beings that make them work.

Trauma responses—whether individual, communal, or cultural—are often the biggest roadblocks to positive change within an organization, especially in the wake of a global pandemic. Trauma-informed approaches ensure that the humanity of everyone involved is recognized and valued so that solutions are human-centered and resistance, fear and anxiety are anticipated and deescalated early on instead of waiting until they become roadblocks.

Speaker Highlights

  • InterAmerican Council on Human Rights

  • South By Southwest Interactive (2016 & 2017)

  • US DHS Office of Civil Rights Civil Liberties

  • Immigrant Rights Community Action Boards (Santa Cruz & Santa Clara Counties, California)

  • San Diego Diplomacy Council (European Minority Rights Delegation)

  • SDSU Center for Human Rights

  • StartFest (Provo, UT)

  • WPA: Writing Program Administration

  • Universidad Internacional Collegio de Derechos (Cuernavaca, Morales, Mex)

  • Sunstone Symposium

Recognition & Awards

  • Recognized by the NY Times for grassroots immigrant rights advocacy work.

  • Awarded the National Institutes of Health Director’s Award for designing and implementing a training and leadership development program for the agency’s largest division after a major restructuring.

  • Invited to participate in the Plug N Play Startup Camp as a tech co-founder.

  • Awarded Connors Fellowship by the Council of Writing Program Administrators.
    1 of 4 graduate student recipients, only MA (non-PhD) candidate to receive award in 2005.

Who I’ve Worked With

  • U.S. Dept. of Justice

  • Alma Migrante

  • NC Immigrant Rights Project

  • Arbinger Institute

  • Warren & Bowen

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

  • National Institutes of Health

  • Coalition to Close the Camps

  • One Justice

  • AdviseHub (startup)

  • BUILD.org

  • San Diego State Univ.

  • Brigham Young Univ.

  • UC San Diego

  • Univ. of Maryland—College Park


  • Organized a 2000-person march in under 3 weeks with a diverse, community-centered coalition.

  • Advised and trained US Dept. of Justice agency executives and law enforcement grantees on rapid implementation of $4 Billion in appropriations (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act).

  • Designed and implemented a comprehensive training and leadership development program after a major restructuring initiative of the National Institutes of Health's largest division.

  • Doubled consulting revenue on a $2M federal consulting contract in under a year as project manager.

  • Pitched, won, and managed a $4M federal contract with a team of 6 mid-level, direct reports.

  • Collaborated with cross-disciplinary faculty team to conduct empirical research in support of a university policy change proposal.

  • Premiered a documentary short at the Social Change Film Festival (Co-Producer, Co-Director)

  • Completed 4-month, independent, in-country ethnographic research and folklore study in rural, subsistence-farming community in central Mexico.

Education & Training

Human-Centered Design & Radical Collaboration, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford Univ.

Documentary Filmmaking, Stanford Law and Visual Media Project

Juris Doctorate, Stanford Law School (Passed CA Bar exam)

Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Composition, Brigham Young Univ.

Bachelor of Arts in English, Brigham Young Univ.

Interdisciplinary Coursework & Research: Adult Learning Theory & Practice, Ethnographic Research Methods, Genealogical Research Methods , Legal Observer Training (NLG), Legislative Process, Media Psychology, Multimedia Journalism, Negotiation & Mediation, Public Policy, Somatics of Trauma, Storytelling, Transformative Justice, Trauma-Informed Practice

Community Service