By Michelle Reyes and Caroline Triscik

Michelle Reyes: Narrative Justice and the Art of Story

“I think sometimes we just want to figure out what’s the solution, and we ignore the process....And we definitely need to be sitting more in that in-between messy, painful space and giving voice to people’s stories.” — Michelle Reyes

Listen in as WAP associate Caroline Triscik interviews author and activist Dr. Michelle Reyes. In this conversation, we discuss Michelle's journey from academia into incarnational ministry, her studies in German folklore and its relevance to her daily work, and her vision for narrative justice in the world.

A mutual friend pointed me toward the work of Michelle Reyes, and I’m so grateful. Her bio instantly intrigued me. I felt especially curious about what led her to pursue such intensive study of story — in particular folklore — and how that has influenced her current vocation ministering alongside her husband in an urban, multicultural church serving the disadvantaged and minority communities in Austin, Texas. In this candid interview, we hear about the way Michelle’s childhood influences — from Indian folk tales to a conservative Christian church — shaped her thoughts on story, faith, and narrative justice. As a graduate-level clinical mental health counseling student, I found it especially interesting to hear how Michelle’s understanding of story has formed the way she ministers to the women in her community. Engaging their stories through a holistic view, Michelle works to empower women to own and reframe their narratives through the lens of the Gospel. We're grateful to Michelle for sharing her own story with us, and we're delighted to share it with our listeners.

— Caroline Triscik

 
You can listen on iTunes or at All Shall Be Well: Conversations with Women in the Academy and Beyond. We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did.

Links mentioned in this interview:

 

About the Author

Dr. Michelle Reyes is a church planter, pastor’s wife, author, speaker, and activist. She has a MA in Contemporary German-Jewish Literature, and a PhD in 18th-Century German Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a focus on folklore, storytelling and narrative justice. She continues to write and speak on issues of justice, culture, faith, and identity within full-time vocational ministry. She is also the founder and editor of The Art of Taleh, a Christian collective where diverse voices can come together to thoughtfully dialogue about the details of God’s word. Her work has appeared with Christianity Today, (in)courage and Think Christian, among others. She lives in Austin, Texas with her pastor husband and two kids.

Caroline has served with InterVarsity since 2002 as a campus staff member in northwest Indiana and most recently in central Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor’s degree in English with a focus on creative writing from Purdue University in 2002 and is currently working toward a master’s in clinical mental health counseling at Messiah College. Caroline, her husband, John, and their three children live in “the sweetest place on earth,” otherwise known as Hershey, Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she likes to read, discover new music, and attempt to train her uncontrollably exuberant Labrador retriever, Pax. Caroline is an associate with Women in the Academy and Professions.

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