Hi, my name is Lauren Slagter.
I’m a communications strategist and writing coach who’s passionate about storytelling as a powerful way to cultivate empathy and spur change. I help organizations serving marginalized groups find creative ways to amplify their clients’ stories and maximize impact through strategic communications.
Mission-driven organizations are frequently so invested in doing the work that they don’t have a chance to step back and think strategically about how to communicate the impact of their work. At the same time, the marginalized groups these organizations serve are too often left out of conversations about how to address the challenges they face, despite their valuable expertise gained through lived experience.
Stories from the Margins offers communications solutions that empower people to share their stories in meaningful ways, save service providers’ time and staff capacity, and raise awareness of the organization’s mission while maximizing opportunities for social impact.
Writing circles are a first step in empowering people to share their expertise gained through lived experience, giving them a supportive and creative space to reflect on their experiences, create positive meaning-making, and develop a persuasive personal narrative.
In addition to facilitating writing circles, I can provide writing coaching and editing to prepare writing circle pieces for publication as op-eds, blog posts, or personal essays. And I offer strategic communications consulting on how to build personal narratives into a broader campaign to raise awareness of an issue, advocate for change, or highlight your organization’s impact. Strategies are tailored to meet your communications goals, whether that’s connecting with new donors, influencing policy, increasing web traffic, growing your social media following, or earned media placements.
My track record
My communications strategies and knowledge of the news media landscape yield hundreds of media mentions each year. I have helped develop and place op-eds in The Hill, Detroit Free Press, Blavity, and other publications. I have guided grassroots advocacy strategies that centered the priorities of people working to move out of poverty in 2020 voter engagement outreach, efforts to lower the cost of childcare, and campaigns to direct local governments’ spending of American Rescue Plan Act funds. My reporting on how the housing choice voucher system contributes to residential segregation prompted the introduction of state legislation to curb housing discrimination.
I have a track record of crafting meaningful stories and communications strategies that mobilize action.
My professional experience and education
For the past three years, I have worked as a senior communications specialist at the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions research initiative. Prior to that, I was an award-winning reporter for eight years at MLive, the Kokomo Tribune, and Big Rapids Pioneer, primarily covering education, poverty issues, housing, and LGBTQ issues during that time. My creative writing has been published in Flyover Country Literary Magazine and Great Lakes Review. I have a journalism degree from Grand Valley State University, where I was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, and a creative writing certificate from Wesleyan University. I volunteer with Circles of Washtenaw County and previously served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care.
Most Read Blog Posts
A whole body of research points to what makes personal narratives an especially persuasive form of communication.
As I delved deeper into the world of strategic communications, marketing, and how to elevate experts’ opinions in public discussions, I realized there isn’t always a good mechanism for including the stories of marginalized groups in conversations with decision makers.
Strategic communications is a high-level strategy that brings alignment to your other communications activities — like internal communications, public relations, media relations, marketing, and social media — to ensure your efforts send a cohesive message that advances your organization’s mission.
Write With Me!
Join my monthly virtual writing circle to discover your authentic voice on the page, hone your craft, and take your writing in new directions.