I'm Cliff and I Have a
Passion for Stories
I am an award-winning educator, writer, and director. I have taught oral history, writing, performance, public speaking and journalism skills at numerous schools and organizations throughout the US. I'm a recipient of the Beverly Kees Educator Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. I am currently the lead teacher for The Nation Fund's Fellowship for the Future of Journalism, a two-year program for the development of young journalists.
From 2010 to 2022, I served as the Education Program Director for Voice of Witness, a nonprofit that advances human rights by amplifying the stories of people impacted by-- and fighting against--injustice.
I am the author of The Power of the Story: The Voice of Witness Teachers Guide to Oral History and co-author and editor of Say It Forward: A Guide to Social Justice Storytelling, published by Haymarket Books. I also co-edited two volumes of Hear/Say: Stories About Aging, Dementia, Art and Life, in collaboration with the University of California San Francisco and Trinity College Dublin. My writing has also appeared in Edutopia, Salon.com, and the Firehouse Press.
Facilitation and Teaching
I have designed and facilitated over one hundred oral history and personal narrative-based trainings, workshops and public events, and served as storytelling and public speaking consultant for universities and nonprofits around the US. A handful of these include Columbia University, the University of Chicago, Stanford University, University of California San Francisco, Tibetan Resettlement Project: Voices of Boston, the Whitman Institute, Prison University Project (now Mt. Tamalpais College–San Quentin State Prison) University of San Francisco, True/False Film Festival, National Council of Teachers of English, the Oral History Association, Global Brain Health Institute, 826 Valencia, Bronx Documentary Center, The New Americans Museum, Teachers for Social Justice, and New York Public Library.
From 1997-2000, I served as the Education Director for the Tony award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where I designed and facilitated school and public events, teacher in-services, created theatre-based curriculum, and directed touring productions for Bay Area schools.
I have also staged plays for notable Bay Area companies including Aurora Theatre Company, Shotgun Players, Marin Shakespeare Company, Magic Theater, Rough and Tumble, and The Marsh. My directing work has received awards from the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, Drama-Logue, and the Dean Goodman Choice Awards.
I am currently a resident director for San Francisco Youth Theatre (SFYT), where I directed world premiere productions of Gary Soto’s In and Out of Shadows, and The Afterlife, which was performed at the Kestenberg International Festival of Student Theatre in Bosnia in 2019. Other SFYT directing credits include The Burials by Caitlin Parish and Hamlet. I am currently at work on a stage adaptation Of Mark Twain's The Mysterious Stranger for SFYT.
I am an avid bike rider, farmer, swimmer, music geek and baseball fan.
Organizations I Have Postively Impacted