In this episode, I am thrilled to talk about leadership with one of my closest friends and former Executive Director of Headwaters Foundation for Justice, David Nicholson.
With the context of impeachment and the 2020 election as backdrop to our conversation, we deconstruct what passes for “leadership” in current political arena versus what we believe our movements need to create a transformed future. We consider questions about power, values, accountability, and integrity. We also discuss how our multiple identities inform and impact how we think about leadership, how we show up as leaders, and some unique challenges POC and LGBTQ leaders face in exercising different leadership styles.
In this episode, I sit down with my longtime friend and colleague, Dave Mann for a chat about the emerging and evolving individual and collective narratives of the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election. First, we reground in why value based narratives are so essential for this political moment. We then reflect on what narratives we hear emerging and gaining traction as some of the candidates potentially pull away from the pack by framing their issue positions in values based narratives. We also examine why leading with an anti-Trump narrative is a problematic not only as an election strategy, but also in the larger scope of movement building. Finally, we suggest some resources to learn more about framing and the construction of political narratives.
With immense gratitude to my podcast partner and producer, Ryan Garza, I am thrilled to be able to share this podcast with you. For this episode, Ryan interviewed some of the guests at our 195 Years of Collective Activism Birthday Bash that was held at the beginning of the summer. The voices you will hear in this podcast are some of my beloved friends, comrades in movement building, and are among the most brilliant activists I know. As we head into Fall and an even more heated political environment, I hope these voices of vision, experience, and resiliency provide you strategy and inspiration.
Buckle up for an all-star edition of the podcast as I am joined by community icon Barbara Satin and welcome back Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel. Together, we reflect on our collective 195 years of service and activism as we approach our triple birthday bash and fundraiser for the National LGBTQ Task Force on May 30th, 2019.
During the episode, we talk about what brought each of us to activism so many years ago, some of our earliest activist experiences, how those early experiences shaped who we are now, and our thoughts on the future of the Progressive movement. We also discuss the importance of recognizing the shoulders upon which each of us stand, carrying the mantle and memory of those we met along the way, and the process of realizing and learning to accept our eventual status as “role models” to the next generations of activists. We also dig into our tendency to sometimes “silo” ourselves into issues, ideologies, and generations, and about the power and importance in breaking through these barriers. We wrap up with thoughts on the legacies that we each wish to leave, along with an assurance that none of us are anywhere near finished yet.
In this episode, I sit down with longtime friend and comrade Rox Anderson, Director of the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition and Rare Productions. We touch briefly on a few of the complexities surrounding the recent events involving Minnesota State Representative Ilhan Omar and talk about how moments like these can be leveraged by outside forces to create polarization and division between and within various marginalized communities.
We then discuss Rox’s recently awarded Bush Fellowship, their vision for an LGBTQ Center in Minneapolis, their work addressing inequities within LGBTQ POC communities, a brand new comic book in the works featuring real-life Transgender-identified superheros and much more.
Finally, we end the episode with some information about my next workshop Facilitating Cultural Change (co-facilitated with Phyllis Braxton) and reveal some big news about my upcoming birthday bash/fundraiser! It’s scheduled for May 30th with a long-term friends Rebecca Voelkel and Barbara Satin who will also be celebrating milestone birthdays.
In this episode, we sit down with my longtime beloved friend and colleague, Susan Raffo to talk about Healing Justice. This conversation with Susan about the concept, history, legacy and integration of healing justice into our social justice movements has been on my podcast bucket list for a long time. I am grateful to Susan for her work to expand the presence of healing justice in our movements and her willingness to sit down to have this conversation with me and all of you.
Specifically, we talk about how healing justice is rooted in the ancient wisdom of cultures around the world, how healing has traditionally been understood in Western and American society, and the visibility Southern Queer Black women brought to healing justice as a intervention to combat the lasting effects of the legacy of slavery. Susan offers some perspectives regarding collective and individual healing and suggests a few ways that practitioners of all kinds can integrate Healing Justice concepts into their work and how anyone can implement healing justice into their daily lives.
Ryan and I sat down to record this episode on September 11th, in the midst of the Jewish High Holidays. With this as our backdrop, we talk about the state of our democracy, our world, the challenges our communities are facing (from inside and out) and what we as individuals, who might be feeling lost in the middle of it all, can do about it. We also talk about how the lessons and traditions from the Jewish High Holidays (and really, most religious traditions) can help us crack our hearts open to find peace, community, forgiveness, and when we “miss our mark,” our way back to ourselves and those we might have alienated.
In this episode, I am joined by my friend and colleague, Eleonore Wesserle, to discuss how to construct powerful values focused movement building narratives. Eleonore is a communications consultant and founder of the new narrative strategy consulting practice Dreams to Power.
We talk about Eleonore’s “Now Wow How” narrative framing strategy and how it can be practically utilized to shift from issues-based to values-based organizing to build towards transformational change. We also apply some basic narrative strategy concepts to our discussion of some current events and suggest a few alternatives to some of the current progressive narratives about these events employing the “Now Wow How” narrative tool.
In this episode, we talk about my reaction to, and analysis of, a number for current political dynamics including the assault on immigrants, asylum seekers and their children, Trump’s performance in North Korea, the trend of celebrities reinforcing polarization by responding to hate with hate, the ongoing assault on the ACA, progressive media’s obsession with the Mueller investigation at the expense of more comprehensive coverage, and more.
We also cover the Kaleo Center’s annual “Night of a New Day” and my most recent book recommendation, The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity by my colleague, Sally Kohn.
For this 7th episode, we celebrate two historic markers for the Twin Cities LGBT community… Ryan’s 100th episode of the Twin Cities Pride Podcast and the retirement of Lisa Vecoli, Curator of The Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies at the University of Minnesota. In this episode, we venture deep into the caverns below the University of Minnesota Anderson Library to tell the story of the vision, acts of love, and organizing that brought this archive, that documents and preserves LGBT culture and movement building, into being. Lisa and I also talk about the importance of archiving and other forms of cultural work as vital to decolonizing our imaginations and to supporting long-term social change.
We close the episode setting the stage for the next 6 episodes of this podcast by talking a bit about where we’ve been so far and where all of the deep intersectional movement energy in our country right now might be leading us.