Societal problems like racism and inequality can often feel overwhelming. Clint Smith sees understanding and empathy as our best responses, and one strong way to establish them is through storytelling. In his work as a poet, activist, and educator, which includes teaching writing at innovative program at the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, Smith often confronts how we're socialized to simplify others down to their race, their class, or even just their worst moment. The same is being done to us, and thus our lives can feel riven by social divides. But if we learn to tell our own storiesÑto explore our emotions and to captivate the emotions of othersÑwe can fully engage with our shared humanity. Smith's experience as a poet has made him adept at teaching these key storytelling tools, which he'll be sharing at this year's FoST summit.