Stepping Into Truth: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Social Justice
Leslie Kern

Leslie Kern

March 2, 2021

When I first saw the title of Leslie Kern's book, Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Made World, I was intrigued. Then I started reading it and I was fascinated. In this book Kern talks about things that are so much a part of the norm that we often don't notice them, until we do. For instance, have you ever thought about the way that public transit is perfectly designed for the way most men work but not at all for the way a lot of women work? 

What about the ways that women engage with the issue of safety, particularly in cities? The words we say to our female friends as we go our separate ways at night, "Text me when you get home", come to mind. Or how about the ways in which suburban living reinforces and perpetuates stereotypical gender roles?

Honestly, this book and talking with Leslie made me look at so many things differently than I had before. Eye-opening doesn't begin to cover it. I loved talking with her so much. Have a listen, read her book, and spread the word.

For a written transcript of this episode click here.

Hari Ziyad

Hari Ziyad

February 16, 2021

In this episode I got to speak with the author of the upcoming memoir Black Boy Out of Time, Hari Ziyad. Hari uses his experience of growing up queer with a Hare Krishna mother and Muslim father to illuminate the experience of being outside. As an outsider, both as a consequence of being queer but also as a Black boy in a world that has little space outside of set roles for Black children Hari dissects some of the impacts that our carceral system has on children of color.

Talking with Hari made me braver about sharing more of my own story. Hari brings rigor to the discussion of our systems with a grace and sensitivity that creates space for all of us to more fully own our stories.

I'm really glad that I got to speak with them and think you're going to find what they had to say fascinating.

For a written transcript of this conversation go here.

Learn more about Hari at www.hariziyad.com

Tharaka Sriram

Tharaka Sriram

February 2, 2021

In this episode I talk with Tharaka Sriram who has merged her values of the preservation of the oceans with women's justice issues and more. Tharaka and I discuss the overlap between the damage we're doing to our oceans and domestic violence. 

She discusses the necessity for more women, particularly women of color, to be part of the conversation around ocean preservation and the preservation of a way of life for many Indigenous peoples. 

She also challenges some assumptions that many of us have about the relationship that those who live by, and depend on, the ocean have with it. As well as the impact of plastic pollution on women especially.

Whether you're an ocean lover or not, this is an important conversation about the health of our planet. Speaking with Tharaka has given me a lot to think about and will change some of the ways in which I engage with the ocean and the creatures that call it home.

For a written transcript of this conversation click here.

Tharaka mentions a number of things you might want to follow up on. Here are some links.

International Collective for the Support of Fishworkers  (ICSF)

Yemaya is the ICSF newsletter on gender and fisheries

To read more about Tharaka's work as a Marine Ambassador go here.

 

Talking with author and editor Krishan Trotman

Talking with author and editor Krishan Trotman

January 19, 2021

In this conversation editor and author Krishan Trotman and I talk about her book Queens of the Resistance (co-authored with Brenda Jones) in which she profiles Nancy Pelosi, AOC, Maxine Waters, and Elizabeth Warren. We also discuss how important it is for us to have representation in publishing if we're going to have a deeper understanding of our varied experiences. Also, if writing a book is on your bucket list have a listen, Krishan has some great suggestions.

This conversation, talking about badass women and the possibilities before us, gave me hope for the future and inspiration to keep going. I hope it does the same for you.

For a written transcript of this conversation click here.

Talking with Philanthropist & Activist Xander Schultz

Talking with Philanthropist & Activist Xander Schultz

January 12, 2021

How best can we support the work of those on the front lines of social justice? That’s a question that I’ve heard a lot. Xander Schultz, and those he works with, have come up with multiple effective and, often, clever ways to advance the causes that are most important to them.

In this inspiring, engaging, and impactful conversation Xander and I explore some of the ways to address the critical issues of our time. From Defeat By Tweet to creating spaces where refugees can find some moments of joy, Xander guides us to actions that we might not have thought of. Especially take note of what Xander says at the 23:49 mark. It’s really important.

I’m pretty sure that this conversation will get your mental gears turning and inspire you to come up with some creative ways of making the impact you want to make. 

For a written transcript of this conversation click here.

Talking with Iranian Born Activist Ari Honarvar

Talking with Iranian Born Activist Ari Honarvar

December 22, 2020

She grew up in repressive and war torn Iran, then writer and activist Ari Honarvar came to the United States. In this timely conversation Ari and I talk about intersectionality and bringing joy to those stranded at the US border. Ari and I also talk about what it's like to be from a war torn country and some of the disturbing parallels to where we are in the United States right now.

What I loved about this conversation is that Ari not only shows us that finding joy is possible in the worst of circumstances, she reminds us that spreading joy is the best way to experience it for ourselves.

Some organizations that Ari is involved with that you should check out are

Gente Unida (full disclosure, I'm on the board), Floyd Rights, and Musical Ambassadors of Peace

Talking with Author & Activist Joel Edward Goza

Talking with Author & Activist Joel Edward Goza

December 8, 2020

I have never said, “You have to listen to this episode!”. I am telling you, you have to listen to this episode.

In this remarkable conversation Joel Goza, author of America's Unholy Ghosts: The Racist Roots of Our Faith and Politics, and I talk about the deep roots of the structural and systemic racism that plagues the United States. Drawing lines between people and events that predate the founding of the U.S. and taking a deep look at the complexity of Dr. King, Joel brings clarity to the discussion of where we are, how we got here, and what we need to do going forward.

I’ve had a lot of conversations about this subject and this is, without doubt, one of the most impactful discussions I’ve ever had. To say that I loved this conversation is such an understatement. Joel is wise and, most importantly, walks his talk.

Ruby Smith Diaz on Anti-Oppression, Body Positivity & More

Ruby Smith Diaz on Anti-Oppression, Body Positivity & More

November 24, 2020

As we work towards the goals of freedom and social justice one of the things that is most important is that we listen to and center the voices of young people. They are the ones who will have to live with the consequences of our actions, and our inactions.

Ruby Smith-Diaz and I discuss how she uses art to engage, empower, and inspire young people to use their voices and their creativity in service of their needs, dreams, and rights.

Beyond that Ruby and I discuss body image from the perspective of racial equity.

It was a fascinating and expanding conversation and I think you’re going to love it.

Talking with Author and Activist Anjali Enjeti

Talking with Author and Activist Anjali Enjeti

November 10, 2020

Anjali Enjeti and I had this great conversation all the way back in June. We talked about the election, about Black Lives Matter, about the role of race in American Literature and more.

Given that the election is over it might seem odd to even think about it now but this conversation will expand how you see the way that voting plays into sustaining systemic racism which matters so much because there are more elections to come and the efforts to make voting harder are constantly being ramped up.

But my favorite part of the conversation is talking with Anjali about shifts that we’re seeing in our engagement with the whole subject of race and how we can make our stand for anti racism broader and deeper in our lives. Also, we discuss the problems with To Kill a Mockingbird and other American classics.

Have a listen without the tension of wondering who is going to win the Presidential race and find a deeper understanding of where we are and what needs to be done.

Talking with The Politics of Trauma author Staci K. Haines

Talking with The Politics of Trauma author Staci K. Haines

October 27, 2020

It's 2020 and that means that there is almost no way to be living in the United States and not have experienced some sort of trauma. Lives and jobs upended and lost, our politics are out of control, systemic racism front and center, it's been a brutal year. 

Somatic practician and activist Staci K. Haines takes on this critical subject in her remarkable book, The Politics of Trauma. In our conversation Staci and I talk about the implications of power both for those without it and with it, the systemic trauma of racism and so much more.

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