Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice
Talking Combatting Anti Asian Racism and More w/ Activist & Organizer Grace Pai

Talking Combatting Anti Asian Racism and More w/ Activist & Organizer Grace Pai

October 13, 2020

In this episode organizer and activist Grace Pai and I discuss the divisions between Blacks and Asian Americans, how Coronavirus is impacting the Asian American community, and the potential that lives in cross racial collaborations. 

Grace is the Director of Organizing at Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago. Her years of community organizing have given Grace a perspective that is especially important in this fraught time.

This conversation opened my eyes to elements of the struggle for freedom for all of us that I hadn't been aware of. I think you'll find it as important, engaging, and informative as I did.

Talking Tomboys, Racism, and Busting Gender Norms with Lisa Selin Davis

Talking Tomboys, Racism, and Busting Gender Norms with Lisa Selin Davis

September 29, 2020

One of the joys of childhood for a lot of girls, me included, was being a tomboy when I was a child. I ran around with a pack of boys and girls and we played with abandon.

Does this sound familiar? Was that you or a friend of yours? In this episode I speak with author Lisa Selin Davis. Selin Davis has written a book that not only looks at the general idea of being a tomboy but also at the deep racism that lies at the heart of the 19th century practice of encouraging girls to be tomboys.

Tomboy-ism isn't just a way of being in the world, it has implications that underpin our society as a whole and the dynamics that define our understanding of gender roles. If you have were a tomboy, have one in your life, or are curious about how racism and tomboy-ism are connected, have a listen. It's fascinating...

Talking Elevating the Voices of Girls and Young Women w/ Writer & Actress Kim Sykes

Talking Elevating the Voices of Girls and Young Women w/ Writer & Actress Kim Sykes

September 15, 2020

In this episode I speak with actress and writer Kim Sykes who is the artistic director for Girl Be Heard an organization dedicated to elevating the voices of girls, young women, transfeminine, and gender nonconforming, and gender fluid individuals . 

These  are the future and Girl Be Heard is dedicated to building the activists and changemakers who will be running the world in years to come.

Kim and I talk about the impact it has on them to write and perform their stories, to use the arts to explore their experiences, to find their voice, to be heard. 

In a world that still has rules for how we behave based on gender taking back the power of telling their own stories and envisioning their own futures is powerful medicine. 

This conversation gave me so much hope for the generation coming up now. It also made me think about what my responsibility as an ancestor is. I hope it does the same for you.

Talking Fighting & Winning a “Qualified Immunity” Defense w/ Attorney Christopher Brown

Talking Fighting & Winning a “Qualified Immunity” Defense w/ Attorney Christopher Brown

September 1, 2020

Before Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McLain, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Michael Brown there was Wayne Jones. Mr. Jones was a schizophrenic, unhoused Black man living in West Virginia when a random encounter with the police resulted in Mr. Jones being shot 22 times.

In this conversation I speak with Christopher Brown, the attorney who took the Jones family's case, where the police had successfully argued qualified immunity, all the way to the Fourth Circuit court of Appeals. There he did something almost never accomplished, he won. 

In this moment of heightened attention on interactions between police and the Black community this conversation could not be more important.

In addition to talking about this specific case Christopher has some really excellent, concrete suggestions for how we change this system. Listen, and please, pass this episode along to everyone you know. 

Talking Shifting Rape Culture & Bringing Agency to Survivors with Nikki Patin

Talking Shifting Rape Culture & Bringing Agency to Survivors with Nikki Patin

August 18, 2020

In a conversation that predates the pandemic Nikki Patin and I talked about what it takes to change both public perception and policy as it comes to rape culture.

Using her experience as a rape crisis counselor and in her current position as Community Engagement Director at Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) she helps bring healing to individuals and changes to laws that impact survivors of sexual assault.

With writing workshops and Share the Mic nights that give survivors a forum for telling their stories Nikki lets survivors guide the direction of their healing. 

This conversation inspired me to look at some of the assumptions that I had around the subject and also to look at how I engage in my advocacy around this subject.

Nikki is amazing and I think that you're going to love this episode.

Talking Using Art to Build Bridges Across Racial Lines with Monique Davis

Talking Using Art to Build Bridges Across Racial Lines with Monique Davis

August 4, 2020

In this conversation Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Center for Art  and Public Exchange at the Mississippi Museum of Art Monique Davis and I discuss how art can be used to build bridges in our communities as well as be used as a tool to dismantle White Supremacy.

 

When Whiteness is the yardstick by which all is measured it takes a reckoning to establish a new way of measuring what is good, fair, considered to be success, and beauty. Monique and I talk about looking at art through a new lens, a lens that doesn't immediately center European art.

We also talk about how to engage the local community in events that are designed to bring awareness to the inequities that exist in our world while encouraging conversations that begin to bridge the divides between us.

Mississippi may seem like an unlikely place for this to be happening but listen to Monique and you may decide that it's the perfect place and a great model for conversations in other venues, maybe even one in your city or town. 

For a written transcript of this episode click here.

Talking about Dismantling White Supremacy and Cross Stitching (yeah they’re connected) w/ Shannon Downey

Talking about Dismantling White Supremacy and Cross Stitching (yeah they’re connected) w/ Shannon Downey

July 21, 2020

In this fun conversation Badass Cross Stitch founder, Shannon Downey, and I talk about how to bring a lovely, subversive twist to the art of cross stitching. Really, it (and lots of other creative pursuits) can be a venue for taking down white supremacy. 

Shannon tells me how she came up with this idea, about the impact it's had, and the how she's now taking this on the road. Yep, even during a pandemic this project can travel.

Shannon's favorite quote is from Mariame Kaba, "Weird times call for weird solutions" and this solution meets our weird time perfectly.

Have a listen and if you take up cross stitching afterwards, definitely let me know.

For a written transcript of this episode click here.

Talking Public Health and Systemic Racism with Public Health Professional & Educator Nicole Vick

Talking Public Health and Systemic Racism with Public Health Professional & Educator Nicole Vick

July 7, 2020

 Welcome to Season 3! I'm so excited for the season to come. I've got some brilliant guests coming up this season and to start I've got someone whose work is in public health. We may as well start in the realm of one of the two crises facing the world right now.

In this episode public health professional Nicole Vick and I talk about how our public health system is failing us and what needs to happen to make it work for all Americans. We also discuss Black maternal and infant mortality and the implicit bias that leads to disastrous outcomes. 

I share my own experience of bias by medical professionals and Nicole tells us what she thinks needs to happen. 

For a written transcript of this episode click here.

 

Conversations During a Pandemic: Talking with Futurist Chet W. Sisk about, well, the future

Conversations During a Pandemic: Talking with Futurist Chet W. Sisk about, well, the future

May 12, 2020

In this episode futurist Chet Sisk and I discuss what this pandemic is revealing about our societies. We talk about black swans, the African philosophy of Ubuntu, and some of the changes this event will likely bring about. This was a fascinating conversation and a perfect end to Season 2 of the podcast.

For a written transcript of this episode click here.

Conversations During a Pandemic: Talking with Craftivism author Betsy Greer

Conversations During a Pandemic: Talking with Craftivism author Betsy Greer

April 23, 2020

In this Conversation During a Pandemic author Betsy Greer and I discuss the ways in which our crafts can be tools of activism. How craft can be a source connection and solace, especially in a difficult time, and why all activism doesn't, and shouldn't, look the same.

For a written transcript of this episode click here.

 

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