This season our Diverse storytellers focus on HEALING from Incarceration in conversation with our hosts Yehuda (Pryce) and Susan “Susie” Hess.Our Stories Matter promotes a support system and healing process through community care.Visit the Our Stories Matter homepage to learn more about the podcast.
HARRIET ROSSETTO AND RABBI MARK BOROVITZ: HEALING THROUGH LOVE
“I think that’s the healing agent that Beit T’Shuvah gives. We give people spirit, we tell them we have faith in them, and we give ‘em love.” Harriet and Rabbi Mark tag-team to share their collective aspirations for elevating healing of mind, body, spirit, and justice through their marriage and community addiction treatment center, Beit T’Shuvah. Listen to this episode to hear their story of love and advocacy.
JAMES “JC” CAVITT: HEALING THROUGH SPOKEN WORD
“…Imagine a world where healed people helped hurt people heal and become whole.” When JC Cavitt found himself facing a prison sentence at age 17, he found refuge and self-expression in poetry and spoken word. His use of words set the stage for him to model, encourage, and champion vulnerability and healing in others. Join this episode’s storyteller as he shares how his gift has become an avenue for personal and communal liberation.
MARTIN LEYVA: HEALING THROUGH EDUCATION
Martín Leyva is leveraging his position in academia to change the face of education in higher education. Martín highlights how having a trauma and healing-informed approach to teaching challenges students to think more critically about traditional academic material in order to promote a tradition and legacy of holistic, communal, and transgenerational healing. Tune in to this episode of Our Stories Matter to learn more about Martín’s advocacy through education.
ANTHONY ROBINSON, JR.: HEALING THROUGH COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Episode 16 showcases the story and advocacy of Anthony Robinson, a writer and artist who is using his experience in the prison system to empower those who have had negative experiences with criminal injustices. From writing articles that have inspired people internationally, to creating platforms for creatives in California, Anthony has established himself as a force of change.
SYDNEY ROGERS: HEALING THROUGH INCLUSION
In Episode Seventeen, storyteller Sydney Rogers, shares how learning to receive love from others and themselves emboldened them to embrace their intersectionality. Sydney explains how their healing journey has positioned them to utilize performing arts as a tool of empowerment and advocacy to increase the visibility of the Trans Non Binary community. This episode is in memory of Ms. Carpenter, a social worker who inspired Sydney through the care and love she showed to a younger Sydney and their family. Tune in to hear more about Sydney’s journey and their plans to expand their advocacy through social work.
KEYON: HEALING THROUGH FINANCIAL LITERACY
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” Fearlessly from the Inside, Keyon shares how music and his promotion of literacy have been his tools for advocating for social justice in Black and Brown communities. Tune in to this week’s episode to hear Keyon’s story of personal reform as he overcomes systemic and physical barriers.
RIANNE: HEALING THROUGH TRUTH
Countless women’s voices are smothered under the brutal reality of incarceration in America. Yet, Rianne has mustered the courage to speak truth to power. Incarcerated going on 12 years, Rianne clings to honesty, hope and resilience in her healing journey. Listen to her bare her soul live from the belly of the beast.
NORMA CUMPIAN: HEALING THROUGH WOMEN’S RE-ENTRY ACTIVISM
“We are the ones that can best support each other coming home. Because we know what that feels like. We know how much we want to give back and how sorry we are for what happened in our lives.” Instead of systems of oppression being erected to stifle our reconnection to the community, women survivors of the American criminal punishment system can be empowered to be the healers our communities need.
ALY WANE: HEALING THROUGH IMMIGRANT JUSTICE ACTIVISM
“We’re just human beings trying to live our lives in a system that is oppressing us.” This episode’s storyteller speaks on the challenges that come with not only being an undocumented immigrant in the United States, but also being a Black man in America. Tune in to this week’s episode to learn how Aly Wane is using his experiences to advocate for the humanization of Black and immigrant communities in the political and justice systems.
CLAUDIA PENA AND BRYONN BAIN: HEALING THROUGH COLLABORATION
Claudia Peña and Bryonn Bain are trailblazers in their work with UCLA’s Prison education Program. The two are using their background in everything from the arts and literature to working in the legal system to invest in the education and healing of those who are incarcerated. In this episode, Claudia and Bryonn share their efforts to promote transformative justice and healing through collaboration and trauma-informed practices.
ROMARILYN RALSTON: HEALING THROUGH LIBERATON
Romarilyn is a Black feminist prison abolitionist scholar working to interrupt criminalization at the intersections of race, gender, and education.
Her fierce advocacy as the Program Director of Project Rebound at Cal State Fullerton has helped establish the John Irwin Memorial House, the first collegiate housing initiative in the nation that provides a residence, holistic support and academic care for formerly incarcerated and system impacted students.
SUMMER LACEY: HEALING THROUGH CRIMINAL JUSTICE
While law in the US has a history of perpetuating systematic racism, Summer Lacey has utilized it to advocate for the most marginalized amongst us. Summer’s life embodies the transformational mission of using the law to resist and dismantle systems of oppression.
NAIMA RAMOS-CHAPMAN: HEALING THROUGH FILM
Naima Ramos-Chapman is an activist and filmmaker. Her powerful story highlights ways she has used filmmaking to promote her own healing and the healing of others from complex and systemic trauma. She discusses how she leveraged film to give light to perspectives and experiences that are often dismissed and overlooked.
BRENDON WOODS: HEALING THROUGH ABOLITION
Public defenders have often gotten a less-than-honorable wrap when it comes to providing services for those who need it the most. In this week’s episode, Brendon Woods, Alameda County’s first Black Chief Public Defender, challenges that bad reputation as he shares his passion and advocacy for the liberation of victims of mass incarceration. Brendon talks about how he is leveraging his position to fight against systemic injustice in the legal system. Tune in to hear the changes he is making in the community.
- Alameda County Public
- Defender’s Office
- Language Matters
- Urban Peace Movement