Molly AntopolMolly Antopol is a recent Wallace Stegner Fellow and current Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. She’s a recipient of the 5 Under 35 award from the National Book Foundation. Her debut story collection, The UnAmericans, was published W.W. Norton this February, and in six other countries. The book is a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and an Indies Introduce Debut Authors and Indie Next pick. Antopol received her M.F.A. from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming on NPR’s This American Life, online at The New Yorker, and in One StoryEcotone, Glimmer Train, The Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Mississippi Review Prize Stories, The Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, The Rumpus, Southern Humanities Review and elsewhere. She is also a writer-in-residence at the Summer Literary Seminars in Lithuania. She lives in San Francisco, and is at work on a novel, The After Party, which will also be published by Norton.

The stories in this collection have been described by reviewers as novelistic; each with a depth and breadth beyond what one would normally find in a short story.  They are told from numerous perspectives (young, old; American, European and Israeli), span continents (North America, Europe and the Middle East) and traverse time (from World War II to now).Unamericans_Cover

The stories took ten years to write, compile and finally publish.  Molly Antopol says of her writing, “This is going to sound corny, but it’s true: writing’s the way I make sense of the world.”

To learn more about Molly Antopol and The UnAmericans go to her website www.mollyantopol.com   .

 

To listen to and/or download Kathleen’s conversation with Molly Antopol click the following link:     Kathleen With Molly Antopol

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A native of Kentucky, CD Collins follows the storytelling traditioblueland-cover-140wns of the South.  Her fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals including  The Drum, StoryQuarterly, Salamander, Phoebe and The Pennsylvania Review.   She has produced 3 award winning compact discs of spoken word with music. Her collection of short stories Blue Land was released in 2010. Each story is a portrait of place and person.  Her second book of poetry Self Portrait With Severed Head was published in the 2009.

CD believes that art can transform and inform. With her band Rockabetty,  CD has completed her fourth album Clean Coal/Big Lie.  The title piece of this CD chronicles the environmentally devastating practice the-issue-a4of mountain top removal to retrieve coal in Appalachia, destroying some of the most ancient mountains in the continental United States.  This practice is also known as “strip mining on steroids” and the havoc and destruction it causes is almost beyond comprehension. You will tap your feet to the rhyme and rhythms of this piece while CD dramatizes her powerful message with her band Rockabetty.

Anybody says to you ‘”clean coal”

Anybody says to you “cheap coal”

You only have to say “big lie.”

10154952_10152344868552790_1571591012_nFor more information about CD Collins go to her website http://www.cdcollins.com.

http://www.plunderingappalachia.org documents the devastation and desecration of Appalachia by the coal mining industry.

To listen to and/or download Corinne’s conversation with CD Collins click the following link:     4-7-2014 Corinne CD Collins

 

leahandtravis

 

Grainy, black-and-white photos and films of the civil rights movement can give Americans the impression that our race issues were addressed and resolved long go. But many of the people in those comfortably old-timey looking documents are still very much alive and active, and so are our problems.

Those of us who consider ourselves educated and evolved, those of us who do not “feel” racist, may be surprised to learn that we are still guilty of words and behavior that are hurting our friends’ feelings and creating distance between us. Think you got a handle on this when you started referring to black people as African American? Not so fast.

Leah Crenshaw-Pepke, a Humboldtian transplant from Georgia, is here to help us sort it out. She’s one of the 1.3% of Humboldt County residents who identifies as black and she’s stepping up as unofficial community spokesperson to help us well-intentioned types understand some things. Where is the subtle difference between appreciating and appropriating a culture? What does blackface mean and why is it still happening in the twentyfirst century? How come being “colorblind” isn’t helping? And what’s it like being married to a white guy?

With a little communication and empathy, we may yet achieve some real progress. For those interested in exploring the topic further, here are some articles recommended by Leah:

The writings of Ta-nehisi Coates: http://m.theatlantic.com/ta-nehisi-coates/

A primer on “dog whistle” language: http://www.salon.com/2014/01/20/the_rights_dog_whistle_trick_how_it_exploits_racism_to_rip_apart_the_social_safety_net/

And more on the history of blackface: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1919122 

To listen to Emma’s conversation with Leah Crenshaw-Pepke, click the following link:     3-31-2014 Emma Leah Crenshaw Pepke

The United States Navy has proposed consolidating three testing and training areas in the Pacific Northwest into one.  In order to do so, and to continue its established program, the Navy needs to renew its permits granted by the National Marine Fisheries Service.  Those permits need to be renewed by 2015.

NWTT_Study_Area_sm

The Navy’s proposal is very complex and it has completed the required Draft Environmental Impact Statement.  That EIS  has been presented in communities affected by the proposal, from Fort Bragg, California to Ketchikan, Alaska.

The Northcoast Environmental Center is located in Arcata, California, one of the affected communities.  Coastal Program Director, Jennifer SavageJennifer Savage talks about the environmental community’s responses and concerns.

Jennifer says that as Coastal Program Director she understands the need for the Navy to test its technology, but feels that the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Navy need to respect particularly sensitive marine mammal habitat.  The NEC and other environmental watch dog groups are asking the NMFS to establish testing and training exclusionary zones in those sensitive habitats and to improve its marine mammal detection techniques in the open ocean.

She emphasizes that Tuesday March 25, 2014 is the final day for public comment on the Navy’s plan.

For more information and to comment on the Navy’s Proposal visit their website www.nwtteis.com.

For more information about environmental concerns visit www.yournec.org.

 

To listen to and/or download Kathleen’s conversation with NEC Coastal Program Director Jennifer Savage click the following link:     3-24-2014 Kathleen Jennifer Savage

PURE GRIT book cover with Army Nurse Frankie Lewey

PURE GRIT book cover with Army Nurse Frankie Lewey

Author Mary Cronk Farrell has once again given her readers a long, historic and passion filled chronology of a distinct American event. In her new Book, Pure Grit:How American World War II Nurses Survived Battle & Prison Camp in the Pacific, Mary tells the story of over 80 women who served in the Army and Navy Nurse Corps and were prisoners of war once Pearl Harbor was bombed. Their capture, survival and ultimately recognition from a grateful country defy imagination. Pure Grit honors these courageous women with compelling tales of their strength, compassion, kindness and unbelievable spirit.

Author Mary Cronk Farrell

Author Mary Cronk Farrell

Mary Cronk Farrell talks about how she found photos and stories of these Army and Navy Corps Nurses who were held at Luzon Island, Bataan and the Los Banos Internment Camp in the Philippine Islands – as well as the Nurses experiences with battle, hunger, survival, taking care of patients and most of all hope.

For more info on the author or to view a clip visit:

http://www.marycronkfarrell.net/videos.html           http://www.MaryCronkFarrell.com

“In times of despair, remain who you are” said First Lieutenant Mildred “Millie” Dalton, Jefferson, Georgia, the last living POW nurse, who died March 8, 2013, at age ninety- eight. Reminders of her wartime experiences remained constant up until her death. “I cut clothes off so many soldiers that, to this day, if I use scissors, I get a blister.”

Hospital in Santo Tomas Prison Camp, P.I.

Hospital in Santo Tomas Prison Camp, P.I.

 

To listen to and/or download Brenda’s conversation with Mary Cronk Farrell click the following link:     3-17-2014 Brenda Mary Cronk Farrell

Dr. Monique W. Morris 2Dr. Monique W. Morris was raised in San Francisco, California’s predominantly Black/African-American neighborhoods known as the Filmore and Ingleside Districts.  Raised by her single mother she grew up with a strong sense of social justice and, in her majority white high school, she put that sense to practical use.  That’s where her social justice advocacy work began.

Dr. Morris, Ed.D. is an author, scholar and social justice advocate with more than 20 years of professional and volunteer experience in the areas of education, civil rights, juvenile and social justice. She is the author of the recently released book, Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century.  Dr. Morris is a 2012-2013 Soros Justice Fellow; Co-Founder/President of The National Black Women’s Justice Institute; and a Lecturer for St. Mary’s College of California. She is the former Vice President for Economic Programs, Advocacy and Research at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the former Director of Research for the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the UC Berkeley Law School.

Currently Dr. Morris owns her own social advocacy consulting firm, MWM Consulting Group, and serves on the Girls and Gangs Advisory Council for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and as a member of the California Committee on Reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact. Her professional affiliations include the National Association of Professional Women and the National Women’s Studies Association.National Black Women't Justice Institute

She has recently co-founded the National Black Women’s Justice Institute and written a new book, Black Stats: African-Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century.

In this, Part 2 of our two-part conversation, Dr. Morris talks about both the National Black Women’s Justice Institute and her new book, Black Stats.  She also talks about her work on behalf of young Black/African-American girls and women who suffer disproportionate discipline in our public schools, and how that can lead to criminalization of normal behavior.Black Stats

For more information about Dr. Morris and her new book, Black Stats: African-Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century visit her webpage www.moniquewmorris.com.

To learn more about the National Black Women’s Justice Institute see their Facebook page.

 

 

 

And to read more about Dr. Morris’ work on the issue of disproportionate discipline among school-age Black/African-American girls and young women visit www.yourblackworld.net/2013/09/black-news/dr-monique-morris-describes-disturbing-trends-of-school-to-confinement-for-black-girls/

To listen to and/or download Part 1 of Kathleen’s conversation with Dr. Monique W. Morris click the following link:     3-3-2014 Kathleen Dr. Monique W. Morris

To listen to and/or download Part 2 of Kathleen’s conversation with Dr. Monique W. Morris click the following link:     3-10-2014 Kathleen Dr. Monique W. Morris

Dr. Monique W. Morris

Dr. Monique W. Morris was raised in San Francisco, California’s predominantly Black/African-American neighborhoods known as the Filmore and Ingleside Districts.  Raised by her single mother she grew up with a strong sense of social justice and, in her majority white high school, she put that sense to practical use.  That’s where her social justice advocacy work began.

Dr. Morris, Ed.D. is an author, scholar and social justice advocate with more than 20 years of professional and volunteer experience in the areas of education, civil rights, juvenile and social justice. She is the author of the recently released book, Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century.  Dr. Morris is a 2012-2013 Soros Justice Fellow; Co-Founder/President of The National Black Women’s Justice Institute; and a Lecturer for St. Mary’s College of California. She is the former Vice President for Economic Programs, Advocacy and Research at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the former Director of Research for the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the UC Berkeley Law School.

Currently Dr. Morris owns her own social advocacy consulting firm, MWM Consulting Group, and serves on the Girls and Gangs Advisory Council for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and as a member of the California Committee on Reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact. Her professional affiliations include the National Association of Professional Women and the National Women’s Studies Association.

National Black Women't Justice Institute

She has recently co-founded the National Black Women’s Justice Institute and written a new book, Black Stats: African-Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century.   Black Stats

In this, Part 1 of our two-part conversation, Dr. Morris talks about her personal and professional background, her passion for social justice and introduces both the National Black Women’s Justice Institute and her new book, Black Stats.

On March 10, 2014 the conversation continues with an in-depth look into her book.  She also talks about her work on behalf of young Black/African-American girls and women who suffer disproportionate discipline in our public schools, and how that can lead to criminalization of normal behavior.

For more information about Dr. Morris and her new book, Black Stats: African-Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century visit her webpage www.moniquewmorris.com.

To learn more about the National Black Women’s Justice Institute see their Facebook page.

And to read more about Dr. Morris’ work on the issue of disproportionate discipline among school-age Black/African-American girls and young women visit http://www.yourblackworld.net/2013/09/black-news/dr-monique-morris-describes-disturbing-trends-of-school-to-confinement-for-black-girls/

To listen to and/or download Part 1 of Kathleen’s conversation with Dr. Monique W. Morris click the following link:     3-3-2014 Kathleen Dr. Monique W. Morris

Full audio of Part 2 of Kathleen’s conversation with Dr. Monique W. Morris will be available on this blog on Monday March 10, 2014.

015February is Black Heritage and Liberation Month.  I had the pleasure of interviewing two women who are organizing and participating in events to educate and celebrate the history of black people in the United States.

Charlene D. Edwards is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Vision Coach, Reiki Master, Philanthropist and Blogger. She is the founder of Blissnu, a private vision coaching practice that employs techniques that develop empathy, emotional responsibility, relationship enhancement and community investment.

Charlene is also founder and director of The Action Not Words Project, Inc., a 501c3 community-directed collaborative nonprofit organization that assists impoverished populations to access and maintain fundamental living resources.

Charlene currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Erin Harris is a student at Humboldt State University majoring in psychology with a minor in politics and ethnic studies.  She is the Black African/American co-coordinator at the Humboldt State University Multicultural Center.

 

 

"Two-Spirit Acts" book cover

“Two-Spirit Acts” book cover

 

Jean O’Hara is a Theater Arts lecturer at HSU. In completion of her PhD she compiled and edited a collection of plays entitled ‘Two Spirit Acts: Queer Indigenous Performances’ . They are four plays about being queer that are written by 4 different indigenous playwrights.These plays touch on topics of desire, identity, and community as they humorously tackle the colonial misunderstandings of Indigenous people and create a space to explore what it means to be queer and Indigenous. Includes: Agokwe by Waawaate Fobister, Hot n Soft by Muriel Miguel, and Justice of the Piece, Seance, and Taxonomy of the European Male by Kent Monkman.

 

Red Woman

Red Woman

Red Woman” featured the celebrated Muriel Miguel, co-founder of Obie-award-winning Spiderwoman Theater. Founded in 1976, named for the Hopi goddess of creation, the troupe is the oldest continuously operating women’s theatre collective in North America. It has featured Muriel Miguel and her two sisters, Lisa Mayo and Gloria Miguel, through much of its existence. The “storyweaving” they developed blends poetry, personal memory, and traditional Native stories, often in a cyclical presentation, full of searing wit and boisterous humor.  

Muriel Miguel

Muriel Miguel

Muriel Miguel is from the Kuna (a people of Panama and Colombia) and Rappahannock (a people of Eastern Virginia) nations. Her play ‘Hot’n’Soft  features a trickster in the form of a female coyote and focuses on sexual pleasure. her play has been performed world-wide. Miguel trained in modern dance with Alwin Nikolais and Erick Hawkins. With Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theatre, she appeared in the groundbreaking plays “Terminal,” “The Serpent,” “Mere Ubu,” and “Viet Rock.” With Spiderwoman Theater, she has performed at the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Walker Art Center, Theater for the New City, Dance Theatre Workshop and WOW Cafe Theatre, among countless other venues. She has also actively mentored young Indigenous performers, mostly women, at New York University, The Centre for Indigenous Theatre in Toronto, and independently. She has pioneered the teaching of Indigenous Performance through “storyweaving” and through the use of the Laban method. She has been awarded an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Miami University, Ohio, and was profiled in American Women Directors of the Twentieth Century, published in 2008. She was chosen as the first Lipinsky resident (Feminist-in-Residence) at San Diego State University’s Women’s Studies Department. Along with her sisters, Gloria Miguel and Lisa Mayo, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award in February 2010 from the prestigious Women’s Caucus for Art. For more information about MURIEL MIGUEL and Spiderwoman Theater go to:  http://www.spiderwomantheater.org

Muriel Miguel On Stage
Muriel Miguel On Stage                                          

For more information about TWO-SPIRIT ACTS: QUEER INDIGENOUS PERFORMANCES , edited by JEAN O’HARA go to: http://www.playwrightscanada.com

 

To listen to or download Brenda’s conversation with Dr. Jean O’Hara and Muriel Miguel click the following link:     2-17-2014 Brenda Two-Spirit Acts

jj1

No big deal or anything, it’s just Josephine Johnson, you know, the one the readers of the North Coast Journal voted Humboldt County’s favorite solo musical act in 2011, though she’s quick to remind you that she shares that honor in a tie, and she likes to tell you how great she thinks fellow winner Chris Parreira is. That gracious attitude combined with thoughtful lyrics and soothing melodies is probably what endears folk music’s funky, rambunctious little sister to her fellow musicians and listeners.

What’s the soulful songbird been up to since then? Not much, just writing a bunch of new songs for a couple years, culling them into a sophomore album effort, rounding up some of her favorite local musicians to record with her, then launching a successful Kickstarter campaign to get the CDs printed. As you do.

Then with newly pressed copies of “Let It All Out” still warm and ready for sale, Johnson decided what the heck, moved to L.A., landed a sweet pad in Venice Beach and not one but two great jobs teaching music to kids. Easy peasy.

Zipping back north to Humboldt to play at her CD release party, Johnson found a moment to talk with Emma Breacain about her new album and new life. While she shows no signs of giving up her Humboldt Honey status anytime soon, Johnson is currently enjoying a music scene that she says supports multiple open mic events every night of the week, and of course she can still find healthy, wholesome organic foods, because that seems to be one of the few values shared by California’s extreme north and south.

Josephine invites interested parties to follow her on Facebook, search “Josephine sings.”

“Let It All Out” is available locally in Arcata at People’s Records and widely at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/josephinejohnson.

 

To listen to and/or download Emma’s conversation with singer-songwriter Josephine Johnson click the following link:     


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