Education Activism

The session in which we meet Samuel Reed III, aka Reed, and Ismael Jimenez to talk about education activism and teacherpreneurship. Reed and Ismael are two passionate and dedicated educators who are core members of the Teacher Action Group (tagphilly.org). Ismael recently spearheaded the founding of the Philly Hub for Liberatory Academics (phlaed.org) while Reed currently focuses most on being a teacherpreneur and helping to promote economic and financial empowerment. Both believe in education as a tool of social change and liberation.

Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom

The session in which we spoke with Marion Hamermesh about her participation in the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, an organization working to build relationships between Muslim and Jewish women. We focused our discussion on a ‘Building Bridges’ trip some of the Sisterhood went on in January 2020. A group of 48 Muslim and Jewish women from all across the United States traveled to the U.S./Mexican border in Arizona.

The bonding and learning was deep and heartfelt for all of the participants. In addition to each woman’s personal moral compass, they were following respective Islamic and Jewish text (from their website):

“You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the soul of the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus, 23:9)

“The Messenger of Allah said:  ‘Beware of oppression, for oppression will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection.’” (Muslim 2578)

Learn more at sosspeace.org

 

Viral Inequities

An After Hours session with Allison Gibbs, LCSW (Therapy Concierge, LLC) focusing on the Coronavirus health disparities highlighted in the news. We first debunk a very offensive and baseless idea that this is because of some biological predisposition to the novel coronavirus among Black people, and talked more sanely about why these inequities truly exist and why we’re seeing them right now. Not the most lighthearted of our After Hours conversations, but it’s always a positive experience to open up in heartfelt dialog with Allison.

@BlackGirlsEatDC

The session in which we chat with Cornelia Poku, Communications professional by day – foodie/food blogger the rest of the time. We talked about food blogging, relationships, and race.

We spoke with Cornelia in DC on the first weekend in March 2020, right before things totally shut down. The day we met, elbow bumps were the recommended greeting and after the interview we thought maybe we shouldn’t, but we hugged each other anyway. Cornelia is the last person, outside of immediate family members that we hugged. 

Once things shut down, we asked Cornelia for an update. Her update: (on audio) Hey everyone, the time we’re in is insane and we all feel helpless. But I’m always looking for things I can do to make some difference. I’m blessed to still be working and definitely trying to give whenever I can. I have also been patronizing small businesses and working with local restaurants to share their special offers to my audience. Hope you’re safe, enjoy the episode. 

Grant Blvd

The session in which we speak with Kimberly McGlonn, Ph.D. about her brand, Grant Blvd and the ways she works to challenge  economic injustice and marginalization. Dr. McGlonn launched Grant Blvd – named for the Milwaukee street where she grew up – as a sustainable design brand creating pathways to employment for people with a history of incarceration. All of their original and stylish garments are made from reclaimed fabrics, and through her brand, Kimberly works to advance the collective good of both people and the planet.

You can learn more on her website; you can also shop there!            Fyi – they’re also making and selling masks right now.

 www.grantblvd.com 

 

In Her Defense

The session in which we spoke with Selena Alonzo, J.D. a public defender in Maryland. Selena is a Mexican-American and was strongly influenced by her family experience of having several of the most important men in her life (grandfather, uncles, cousin) incarcerated for various reasons. Selena holds deep knowledge of the effects of incarceration on people and their families. Knowing that the truest solution will be systemic change in our criminal justice system, Selena uses her law degree to work within the system to help change a potentially negatively spiraling life course for people as best she can. 

We spoke with Selena just as the pandemic began to shut down the nation and asked for an update – this update also needs an update as we received it on March 25, 2020 but is interesting nonetheless:

It’s incredible how much everything has changed. I never realized how much I took for granted before… 
 
I’ve been working remotely since 3/13. All of the cases I had set have been postponed until May. As of right now, the only thing we are able to do is file bond review motions to get our clients who are detained pre-trial out of jail. The majority of Assistant State Attorneys are opposing our bond review motions and are trying to keep people in jail. They are willing to release clients if they plead guilty to something but that is incredibly coercive given that we have no way of conveying any plea offers to our clients. We still have to go into the jails to interview clients which is a risk to both us and a bigger risk for our incarcerated clients because we could be silent carriers. I’m really hoping they figure out a way for us to interview clients over the phone soon… A small bright spot has been that police are arresting far less people. On an average bonds docket, I would have 15-20 people. Yesterday, I only had 4. Maybe after this cops will realize they don’t need to arrest every single person for “crimes” like disorderly or obstructing and hindering.  SA

Taking Care

The After Hours session in which we chat with Allison Gibbs of Therapy Concierge, LLC about taking care of self during the days of COVID-19. It’s both the same and different from typical self-care. 

We recorded this episode together when we were still adjusting to being in COVID quarantine. We previously recorded a self-care episode but decided to do another one, since trying to adjust to self-care in isolation seemed to add a new dimension to previous levels of self-care.  

So much has happened since then! Self-care is crucial right now. And if you have the emotional, physical, or financial resources to take care of others, then do that too!

Poor People’s Economic Human Rights

The session in which we talk with Cheri Honkala, co-founder of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC).  Cheri was removed from her Mother’s home as a girl and raised in foster care. She later attended college and had a child of her own. After experiencing homelessness as a single mom due to unfortunate circumstances, Honkala realized her Mother was not ‘bad’ after all; She was struggling in a society that offered no resources.  Cheri has been organizing poor and homeless people for over 30 years and is now a General in the Poor People’s Army.

economichumanrights.org

poorpeoplesarmy.com

North Philly Peace Park

The session in which we chat with 3 passionate team members from the North Philadelphia Peace Park. The NPPP is a charitable eco-campus providing free education, health & wellness, and produce programs to the Philadelphia Community.  We chatted with Nyasha Felder, Li Sumpter, and Bird – each bringing different knowledge, skill, and perspective to their volunteer work at the NPPP. 

phillypeacepark.org

The Peace Park has recently launched a project campaign to get their planned Peace Pavilion completed. To learn about it and donate please visit:  https://ioby.org/project/north-philly-peace-park-peace-pavillion-project

Commitment to Racial Justice

In this session, we devote our podcast to things we can do to promote racial justice. We also made the following commitment based upon a campaign crafted by Tangia Al-Awaji Estrada of the WOC Podcasters Community which is led by Danielle Desir:

“We are podcasters united to condemn the tragic murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and many many others at the hands of police. This is a continuation of the systemic racism pervasive in our country since its inception and we are committed to standing against racism in all its forms. 

We believe that to be silent is to be complicit. 

We believe that Black lives matter. 

We believe that Black lives are more important than property. 

We believe that we have a responsibility to use our platforms to speak out against this injustice whenever and wherever we are witness to it. 

In creating digital media we have built audiences that return week after week to hear our voices and we will use our voices to speak against anti-blackness and police brutality, and we encourage our audiences to be educated, engaged, and to take action.”

Thank you Tangia and WOC Podcasters. We stand with you.