Storytelling Brings What’s Hidden Into The Light

Sandra de Castro Buffington

As an acclaimed public speaker and leading authority on storytelling, consciousness, and social impact, I catalyze audiences and creative capitals worldwide using social impact entertainment, and conscious media to awaken viewers and ignite change. 

My work in developing countries for more than 20+ years uplifts the health and well-being of women, girls, and families. I’ve empowered writers and producers of television, film, and emerging media to integrate storylines that entertain, and at the same time positively impact popular culture and move viewers to action. During this time, I’ve served as:

  • Founder and president of StoryAction, LLC
  • Founder and former director of the Global Media Center for Social Impact at UCLA, and
  • Former director of Hollywood, Health & Society at USC

My signature “Story Tour” series immerses TV creators and filmmakers in new cultures in India, South Africa, and local communities in the United States to inspire social impact entertainment. I also work with UNFPA and the Cairo International Film Festival to create and present the Conscious Media Award in recognition of exemplary social impact cinema in the Arab World, Middle East, and Africa. 

The masterclasses and panels I designed on stories of awakening and change, gender-based violence on the screen, and social impact entertainment were met with critical acclaim in the US, India, Egypt, Japan, Australia, Europe, and beyond.

Are You Inspired?

How does it show up in your life, work, and the stories you tell? Or do you need help?

Honors & Awards

In one three-year period, my groundbreaking work resulted in 565 storylines on 91 shows across 35 networks. For this work, I was named one of the “Nation’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics” by PODER Hispanic magazine in 2012, “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” by the World Film Institute in 2014, and “Honorary Maverick” by the Female Eye Film Festival in 2015.

Nominated member of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle, a project of the Source of Synergy Foundation, founded by Deepak Chopra.

Evolutionary Leaders Circle

Society for Public Health Education, 2016 Presidential Citation. For contributions to SOPHE’s Textbook, Introduction to Global Health Promotion.

Presidential Citation

Female Eye Film Festival, Toronto, Canada. Honorary Maverick Award. For groundbreaking work with the entertainment industry to inspire storytelling for social change.

Honorary Maverick Award

Honorary Maverick Award

Honorary Maverick Award

World Film Institute, American Riviera Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award (ARWEY). Celebrating women entrepreneurs as agents of change.

Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award (ARWEY)

Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award (ARWEY)

PODER Hispanic magazine named one of the Nation’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics.

Nation's 100 Most Influential Hispanics

Nation's 100 Most Influential Hispanics

USAID Superior Performance Award for outstanding effort and exemplary leadership in guiding the Office of Population’s Management and Leadership Framework design process.

USAID Global Bureau Group Award for Excellence in Performance over a very challenging period.

USAID Maximizing Access and Quality (MAQ) Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of exemplary leadership of the Policy, Advocacy, Communication, and Education (PACE) Subcommittee.

Award from the Bahia State Brazil Secretariat of Health in recognition of leadership and skill in developing and improving the quality of Bahia State’s Reproductive Health program.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding contributions to the taping of the “Promises to Keep” video encouraging people with disabilities to return to the workforce and motivating managers who employ them.

With Denison Advertising, Brazil. For the production of an animated television spot on “Acts of Love” promoting vasectomy. Awarded:

  • Bronze Lion: Cannes Film Festival, International Advertising Award, France, 1990
  • Gold Medal: London International Advertising Awards, Retail Sales Division, England, 1989
  • Bronze Medal: Television and Cinema Advertising Competition of the International Film and Television Industry, New York, 1989
  • Silver Medal: Anuario do Clube de Criacao de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1990
  • Silver Medal: Colunistas de Propaganda de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1990
  • Award of Popular Vote: Diarios Associados, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1990
  • Nomination for Professionals of the Year Award: TV Globo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1990

A Few More Details

As a young adult, I lived among indigenous people in remote parts of Latin American and Canada. It inspired my career of giving back through social impact storytelling and transformative programs toward empowerment and justice for all.


I am Brazilian-American and have 2 grown children that I adore.


I speak 4 languages. I'm fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. Conversant in French.

Sandra de Castro Buffington

50+ Countries

I have worked in and traveled to more than 50 countries.

Vegan Yogini

I'm a long time practitioner of Kriya Yoga Meditation and have been vegan for 6+ years.

Sandra de Castro Buffington
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