An entrepreneur, a skilled storyteller, and an effective coach, and trainer. Piper is the founder and President of Create Forward, a social impact firm that produces experiences to advance equity and justice. Her career over the last 20 years has traversed the arts, youth development, community organizing, education and the healing arts providing her with an interdisciplinary toolbox of cultural strategies to advance social change.
As a writer and performance artist, Piper’s work has been published in two books, “How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office (Soft Skull Press 2004) and Growing Up Girl (Girlchild Press) as well as numerous publications and journals. She has written and toured two solo performance works, “Black Girl Speak” (1999) and “In Her Memory” (2006-2009). As a company member with The American Place Theatre’s Literature to Life program, she performed an educational theatre adaptation of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and adapted James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk into an interactive educational theatre production commissioned by Harlem Stage. Her work in educational theatre was an important training ground for developing her expertise as a facilitator. She has translated her work with young audiences into a transformative facilitation practice with communities nationally.
In 2016, Anderson was awarded a TED Residency to develop an innovative storytelling project called Mass Story Lab. Mass Story Lab has traveled to more than thirteen U.S cities creating immersive storytelling laboratories that center the experiences of people impacted by incarceration, then channeling these personal stories into instruments of justice. As part of her residency, Piper gave a TED Talk, "Can Stories Create Justice?” Her talk challenges us to throw out conventional notions of punishment, and to imagine a justice system that builds and restores humanity.
Known for her masterful facilitation, Piper is in high demand for her training, speaking, and consulting with institutions to help them make workplaces and communities more inclusive and equitable. Responding to growing national urgency to constructively engage across differences, Fast Company turned to Anderson for her strategies on facilitating difficult conversations.
Piper Anderson is a professor at NYU’s Gallatin School and a founding member of the advisory board and faculty of NYU’s Prison Education Program. She has guest lectured at universities across the country including Harvard Law, Columbia University, Georgetown, and Occidental College. She is a New School Writing Democracy Fellow, a Culture Push Fellow for Utopian Practice, and a former Civic Hall Organizer in Residence. Piper Anderson has dedicated her life to providing leaders with the generative spaces and tools they need to define and build the kinds of communities they want to live and work in.
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