FREEDOM HOUSE 2.0 – #6: CHANTIA

 

Freedom House 2.0 is a six-part history podcast for modern activists. Each episode, we feature a new interview and words of wisdom from an activist from the Milwaukee Fair Housing Movement of the 1960’s.

Chantia Lewis is the alderwoman for Milwaukee’s 9th District. Turns out, activism runs in the family.

If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or SoundCloud.

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This series is produced by Robyn Di Giacinto for Barb Volbrecht’s audio storytelling class at Marquette University. Theme music is “Electric Car” by Podington Bear. Archival audio and logo images are from the Archives Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.

FREEDOM HOUSE 2.0 – #5: PEGGY

 

Freedom House 2.0 is a six-part history podcast for modern activists. Each episode, we feature a new interview and words of wisdom from an activist from the Milwaukee Fair Housing Movement of the 1960’s.

Peggy Rozga is a former educator and NAACP Youth Councilmember. She says she’s never managed to make a living out of activism—yet in many ways, activism has played a defining role in her life.

If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or SoundCloud.

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This series is produced by Robyn Di Giacinto for Barb Volbrecht’s audio storytelling class at Marquette University. Theme music is “Electric Car” by Podington Bear. Archival audio and logo images are from the Archives Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.

FREEDOM HOUSE 2.0 – #4: Mary

 

Freedom House 2.0 is a six-part history podcast for modern activists. Each episode features a new interview and words of wisdom from an activist from the Milwaukee Fair Housing Movement of the 1960’s.

Mary Arms comes from a long line of activists. She shares her memories of voting drives in Mississippi and marches in Milwaukee, and her growing anxiety about the limits of protests today.

If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or SoundCloud.

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This series is produced by Robyn Di Giacinto for Barb Volbrecht’s audio storytelling class at Marquette University. Theme music is “Electric Car” by Podington Bear. Archival audio and logo images are from the Archives Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.

FREEDOM HOUSE 2.0 – #3: EARL

 

Freedom House 2.0 is a six-part history podcast for modern activists. Each episode features a new interview and words of wisdom from an activist from the Milwaukee Fair Housing Movement of the 1960’s.

Earl Bracy never expected to become an activist when he moved north to live with his uncle. Now a doctor and army vet, he shares his memories from Milwaukee’s NAACP Youth Council.

If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or SoundCloud.

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This series is produced by Robyn Di Giacinto for Barb Volbrecht’s audio storytelling class at Marquette University. Theme music is “Electric Car” by Podington Bear. Archival audio and logo images are from the Archives Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.

Freedom House 2.0 – #2: Liddie

 

Freedom House 2.0 is a six-part history podcast for modern activists. Each episode features a new interview and words of wisdom from an activist from the Milwaukee Fair Housing Movement of the 1960’s.

Liddle Collins participated in the Fair Housing Marches in middle school. This week, she talks about how the movement shaped her perspective and ultimately lead her to pursue a career in public television.

If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or SoundCloud.

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This series is produced by Robyn Di Giacinto for Barb Volbrecht’s audio storytelling class at Marquette University. Theme music is “Electric Car” by Podington Bear. Archival audio and logo images are from the Archives Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.

Freedom House 2.0 – #1: Pat

 

Freedom House 2.0 is a six-part history podcast for modern activists. Each episode features a new interview and words of wisdom from an activist from the Milwaukee Fair Housing Movement of the 1960’s.

This week, Pat Bridges shares her childhood memories of participating in the Fair Housing Marches.

If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or SoundCloud.

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This series is produced by Robyn Di Giacinto for Barb Volbrecht’s audio storytelling class at Marquette University. Theme music is “Electric Car” by Podington Bear. Archival audio and logo images are from the Archives Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.

“Pride’s Not Enough”

Fade in ambiance of chanting: “Love Wins!”

ROBYN: Jenn Cameron will never forget the gay pride parade in Traverse City last year.

JENN: I was on the, the start car, my friend Gary’s 1972 Chevy pick-up.

ROBYN: Standing on top of that pick-up, all Jenn could see was people. People everywhere. Six blocks, sidewalk to sidewalk, of marchers with rainbow flags. All Jenn could think was—

JENN: Oh my gosh! This thing has a life of its own!

Audio of the song “Dancing Queen” playing through speakers fades up underneath chanting.

ROBYN: When Jenn co-founded Up North Pride in 2014, only 300 people came out for the parade. The next year, 1200. And the day Jenn stood on that pick-up truck, over 3000 people showed up in support of LGBT rights.

JENN: Oh my god! We’re all in this together! All of these people! This is our community!

Narration pauses, and chanting and music fades up for a few seconds, then fades to silence.

ROBYN: Now, it’s less than a month to the fourth parade and there’s one thought Jenn just can’t shake–

JENN: Pride’s not enough.

ROBYN: Even though Jenn co-founded the largest pride festival in Northern Michigan, it’s only a start.

JENN: We need direct services for this population. It’s so—it’s densely rural, right? And so, what I know from being a kid out in the country is, the closer you get to the city, maybe the better the resources are and the likelihood of acceptance.

ROBYN: Let’s rewind a bit. Jenn grew up in a small town in Texas.

JENN: I really had no idea why I felt so different.

ROBYN: Turns out, Jenn wasn’t the only one who felt that way.

JENN: My best friend, he came out to me. And I said, “Hey, that’s a great idea. Can I come with you?”

ROBYN: After college, Jenn got married and settled down in Northern Michigan. Discrimination wasn’t really a problem, but there wasn’t a hub for LGBT folks, either. The idea for Up North Pride came from Jenn’s friend, Krista, who called Jenn one day to ask if Traverse City had a gay Pride parade.

JENN: And so I asked my friend, my friends Gary and Allison. I said, “Hey Gary, do you think we could throw a pride event at your bar?” And he said “sure— every month!” And I said, “No Gary, let’s just start with one event.”

ROBYN: But like Jenn was saying earlier, the festival has a life of its own. It’s no longer just a parade. This year, there’s a block party… and a picnic and a pride bike ride. Pride yoga. A candlelight vigil to mark the Orlando Shootings… the list goes on. And even though Jenn gets help from volunteers, some days, it’s just too much.

JENN: I’m gonna take a nap. I think I’m actually gonna take a nap today, because I’m feeling a little worn. Umm… no, I’m probably not, actually.

ROBYN: And even working to the point of exhaustion—

JENN: Pride’s not enough.

ROBYN: So let’s be clear– Jenn’s not saying that Pride festivals aren’t important. They build community and show LGBT folks that they’re not alone… but that community needs more than just a week of celebration, Jenn says. They need direct services that Up North Pride can’t provide.

JENN: We’ve got so many young people out in the woods, so to speak, that are struggling. Who are being bullied at school and in their homes so much that they, you know, are either kicked out or, you know, leave. The question is, what can we do now, today, because that— the need doesn’t change.

ROBYN: So Jenn keeps going. This year’s festival will be the biggest yet. And Jenn will be at the head of the parade, riding in the back of Gary’s pick-up truck… And the day after?

JENN: I will be on my little deck, looking out at the bay, sipping, lemonade, hanging out with my wife… and taking a nap.

ROBYN: For Interlochen Public Radio, I’m Robyn Di Giacinto.

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This story was originally produced at the June 2017 Transom Traveling Workshop at Interlochen Center for the Arts. It was aired by Interlochen Public Radio on June 23, 2017.

PODCAST CORNER: Sidedoor

ROBYN (live intro): Welcome, all, to Podcast Corner, our weekly segment where we talk about awesome podcasts that you should be listening to! But sadly, this will be our last episode of Podcast Corner, and my last broadcast for WRGW. So I’m closing it out with a podcast by one of the District’s most iconic institutions: the one and only Smithsonian. Robert, cue the tape—

TONY COHN: So “Sidedoor” is a podcast from the Smithsonian that looks at how seemingly unrelated topics unexpectedly overlap. With the title “Sidedoor,” we wanted to signal to our listeners that this wasn’t your typical entrance to one of our physical museums—which is how we’re traditionally perceived—but rather, it was gonna be an unexpected entryway, the side door, into all the cool things, the cool, wacky, unexpected collection pieces, stories, animals, research topics that are going on at the Smithsonian.

I was on the metro one day coming to work—I live in DC and work down here on the [National] Mall. And I was listening to “Freakonomics,” a podcast. And I realized what… the reason that I loved that show was because it had really great storytellers, it was really good storytelling and it had an ‘aha’ moment of, “I learned something new,” and I felt really smart. And I realized that those are feelings that I have every day on my job at Smithsonian. You know, as a museum, we’ve been in the storytelling business forever. But we just weren’t talking about ourselves on this platform. So I created a proof of concept with my co-worker Gabe. And we literally were in a closet with some curator-friends that we knew. And then from that proof of concept, we were able to get greenlit to get some funding to do a more fleshed-out, eight episode little mini-season.

The amount of content that we have is definitely our biggest blessing and our biggest challenge. We have over a hundred and fifty-seven million collection items, so there’s tons of stories to choose from. So it was a really great challenge for us. We spent a lot of time with a big whiteboard just rattling off different stories and talking to really interesting people—from, you know, the cheetah keeper to an ancient Chinese sculpture conservator to a folk music collector—just really trying to figure out what were the, not the best stories from the Smithsonian, but the best stories to be told on a podcast and in audio narrative form.

I think our podcast is unique because we’re the Smithsonian. I mean, the Smithsonian is an incredibly unique organization. As I said earlier, we’re the world’s largest museum, research and education complex and with that comes the world’s leading experts in arts, science, history and culture. It’s one thing to read a book about research; it’s another thing to actually talk to the person who wrote the book and hear it from the horse’s mouth, a story which—it was definitely something we were trying to accomplish with “Sidedoor,” was bringing—that we are trying to accomplish with “Sidedoor,” is allowing the Smithsonian researchers, artists, zoologists, whatever they are, to talk about what they’re doing themselves directly to audiences.

The short answer is ‘yes.’ We’re coming back with a second season. We’re moving very quickly to make that happen. People should be expecting more content in the summer. We’ll be coming back stronger than ever and I’m really excited about that.

ROBYN (live outro): Be sure to subscribe to Sidedoor on your favorite podcasting app and learn more on their website: www.si.edu/sidedoor.

This interview was originally broadcast on WRGW District Radio on Apr. 25, 2017.

PODCAST CORNER: “Alice Isn’t Dead” with Joseph Fink

ROBYN (live intro): Welcome, all, to Podcast Corner, our weekly segment where we talk about awesome podcasts that you should be listening to. This week, we had an exclusive interview with Joseph Fink, co-creator and writer of the hit podcast “Welcome to Night Vale.” But this time, we’re talking about a different show: season two of the serial fiction podcast “Alice Isn’t Dead,” which debuted last week.

JOSEPH FINK: Sure, it’s a scripted fiction podcast, it’s a serial thriller about a woman, Keisha, who is a truck driver driving around the country searching for her wife, Alice, who she thought was dead for a long time, but as it turns out is not dead. And this leads her to kind of a much larger story involving serial killers who may not be human and a lot of other weird things out on the highways of our country.

As some people hearing this might know, I write another show called Welcome to Night Vale. We tour that as a live show, we’re actually touring that right now. Because of that, I’ve spent a lot of time sitting in a van, driving around this country. So I just started taking notes as we drove. I just had eventually a lot of notes about things that I’d seen across the country and I started turning that into this fiction show.

Oh, everywhere she goes is real. Every route she drives is a real route that you could actually drive in the time she drives it. Obviously there’s not actually a time-changing factory on the beach in Florida, but everything else she saw in Florida in episode, I think it was four of our first season, everything else she saw in Florida were actually things I saw while going through there… You know, this first episode [of season two], I actually just took—I was running out of tourist stories, so I just rented a car and drove around down near Palm Springs and the Salton Sea and collected a few days’ worth of trip to just kind of turn into an episode.

When I started writing, I was writing for Jasika Nicole—she’s just a really amazing performer. She has a way of really making text come alive. Making her a woman and making her black made a lot of sense. There’s so many sci-fi thriller type things that are almost entirely populated by white men, without comment. And so I just made the decision that every character in Alice would be a woman unless there was a specific reason for them not to be. I don’t know, it wasn’t the—the main goal of the story, obviously, was to create this interesting thriller that was also a travelogue, but it also seemed like it wasn’t ultimately that difficult to also just make the characters the kind of people that don’t often star in stories like this.

Well, we’re going—obviously, for those of you who have heard the first episode, it’s, I think a different focus than the first season in that we’ve introduced sort of a new antagonist and the search is no longer for Alice, but for a different thing. But in a lot of ways, it’s going to be, I think a similar format. You know, we had another voice come in on this first episode, but that voice is only going to come in on a few of the episodes this season. Mostly it’s going to be us listening to Keisha, the main character, talk.

I don’t think there’s any other show that’s doing exactly what we are, which is a horror thriller that is based around real places in the country. Night Vale Presents is something we started in order to try and, you know, create the kinds of shows that we weren’t hearing out there and wanted to hear. So keep an eye out if you like podcasts that are a little different than the big NPR or other kind of non-fiction podcasts.

ROBYN (live outro): Check out nightvalepresents.com to learn more about “Alice Isn’t Dead” and all its lovely counterparts. And be sure to grab tickets for the live show at the Lincoln Theater this Thursday night!

This interview was originally broadcast on WRGW District Radio on Apr. 11, 2017.

PODCAST CORNER: “Choice/Less” with Jenn Stanley

ROBYN (live intro): Welcome to Podcast Corner, our weekly segment where we talk about awesome podcasts that you should be listening to! This week, we talked with Jenn Stanley, host and producer of the storytelling podcast Choice/less, distributed by ReWire Radio—about storytelling, being a female producer in a male-dominated industry and, as always, an insider’s look on the making of the show.

JENN STANLEY: Choice/less is a narrative podcast. People come in and they tell their personal stories about the reproductive injustices they’ve faced and then I put it in a large context of what’s happening legislatively.

I kind of discovered radio late, in my twenties, but I did feel like it was a tough world to become a part of and it was very male-dominated. The only people I knew who did any recording were men and every time I tried to ask questions, they kind of dismissed me and never really taught me. And then I just thought, “well, this isn’t for me.” I hadn’t put two and two together that it was a gender thing and once I realized that I was like, “I’m just gonna get a field recorder and start recording people.” And so I just started doing that.

I knew I wanted to be doing audio stories and I knew I was really interested in personal stories. I’m adopted and I always felt growing up that I was fed a narrative. I felt like my birth mother was always really invisible in the equation. And I became really curious about the way we talk about reproduction and how women are so absent in the conversation about reproductive healthcare.

I think that there can be a politically convenient abortion story—and that is not something that I’m interested in. We can’t forget that at the heart of it, these are real people’s lives and that how they experience their story, how they experience their lives, that’s what’s most important. What’s most important is… them.

Our sexual relationships and our decision whether or not to parent and when to parent—these are all complicated and very personal things. So the fact that I can sit in a room with somebody and they talk to me about that and they trust me… I’m so grateful. And I take that really seriously. I really… I want to make their story fair, I want to make their story sound great and I wanna put it into context. And I really want these stories to make a difference and I believe that they do.

When I’m thinking about making the show and who I’m making it for—it’s kind of mostly for people who are kinda on the fence. They believe that abortion shouldn’t be illegal, “but—,” you know? And I will say one thing that’s been really positive for me is there’ve been some people in my life who maybe don’t share my pro-choice view. They’ve given me feedback that they just never really thought about the abortion debate in this personal way and that it’s really opened their eyes. So if the show can do more of that, that would be my goal.

We’ll be back in May for about a month—we’re about to do a short series on the dark history of reproductive health advancements. One of the stories we’re covering is about contraceptive coercion in Puerto Rico and the early [birth control] pill trials there. We talk about the Tuskegee syphilis study. We’re gonna be talking about kind of a wide range but maybe more—a bigger breadth, kind of, and we’re gonna reel it in and give it a personal touch. But it’ll be a little different than a typical Choice/Less story. And then we’re gonna take another break and then we’ll be back with a full season three some time in mid to late summer.

This interview was originally broadcast on WRGW District Radio on Apr. 4, 2017.