This podcast features alums of the Fulbright Program who talk about their work and research, about regional and local ramifications of global diversity-related issues, and the impact their Fulbright experience has had on their personal and professional growth. Episodes will also feature advocates and professionals from diverse communities working towards greater inclusion in higher education/educational exchange. Please note: The views expressed in this interview series are entirely those of participants, and do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State, or any of its partner organizations.
Exploring the Facets of LGBTQ+ Legal History in Chile and the U.S. with Sam Apostolopoulos
“Every place has a queer history.” Those are some of the impactful words shared by our guest today, Fulbright 2022-2023 U.S. Student Researcher to Chile, Sam Apostolopoulos. Sam’s Fulbright project focuses on understanding the legal history of LGBTQ+ rights in Chile and comparing that with the history of LGBTQ+ legal frameworks in the United States. Through this conversation, Sam shares a great deal of insights about how LGBTQ+ legal rights evolved in Chile, the discourse used to protect and advocate for these rights, the challenges that the queer community faced during eras such as the Pinochet dictatorship, and where things stand now in the country. Sam also touches a bit on this legal history in the U.S. including a court case involving a nonbinary person that occurred 400 years ago! In this way, his message is clear. There is queer history everywhere, and we can all play a part in remembering, reviving, and sustaining it!
Another important aspect of this conversation is the way that Sam’s project also works to interrupt existing narratives of the United States’s relationship to LGBTQ+ rights. The U.S. has often attempted to portray itself as a beacon of queer and trans rights that other countries should follow, despite the U.S.’s own record of lack of protections and attacks on its own LGBTQ+ community, and the fact that nations it tries to advise sometimes have stronger systems. In the case of Sam, he shows that Chile often has legalized protections for queer and trans people before the United States, and to this day offers greater federal legal support for the LGBTQ+ community. Furthermore, Sam also articulates how the embrace of LGBTQ+ protections in Chile as human rights and the U.S.’s resistance towards that framework have helped exacerbate some of these differences. So the question remains: what is it that the United States can learn from other countries such as Chile? We hope you enjoy this episode!
Organizing for DEI advocacy in Taiwan with Fulbright ETAs
In this episode of Fulbright Forward, Kelli Swazey, D&I Liaison for Fulbright Programs in East Asia and the Pacific, talks story with grantees who are shaping the future of Fulbright by pushing the program to expand its engagement with issues of representation, inclusion, equity and justice as a core part of the Fulbright experience.
The guests on this episode are members of the Taiwan DEI Committees, a self-organized group of English Teaching Assistants, or “ETAs” at the Taiwan Fulbright Program. In the first half of this episode, Lily Tang & Samantha Tran from the Empowerment Committee, and Jaime Ragos from the Education Committee discuss what drew to them to the Fulbright program, and how their personal stories connect to the issues they have engaged with through their work with the DEI Committees during their Fulbright grants in Taiwan. The second half of the episode features Carlo Juntilla and Ayana Harscoet from the Empowerment Committee, and Jocelyn Chi from the Education Committee, who share their paths to Fulbright, and their reflections on why the activism and advocacy work they've undertaken with the DEI committees has been essential not only to their experiences as educators, but also has allowed them to reflect on their own identities and expand the relationships they made in their communities and cohorts during their grant periods.
Episode Links and Resources
Taiwan DEI Committees Linktree
Taiwan DEI Committees Instagram
Lily Tang (she/her) is a 2021-2022 Fulbright Taiwan English Teaching Assistant in Yilan County, which is on the traditional land of the Taiya people. Currently, Lily is embarking on a year of Chinese language study through the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship. Lily can be reached on Instagram or TikTok @lilytvng.
Samantha Tran (she/her) Samantha Tran (she/her) is a first-generation Vietnamese-American. She completed her 2021-2022 Fulbright Taiwan ETA grant year in Taitung, Taiwan, and is currently fulfilling her Foundation of Scholarly Exchange ETF grant in New Taipei City.
Jaime Ragos (she/her) was a 2021-2022 ETA to Kaohsiung, Taiwan in the Dashu District. She was a co-chair of the education committee. Jaime can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carlo Juntilla (he/him) is an education policy fellow for the U.S. Senate and a former teacher. Prior to teaching in public schools in Taiwan with the Fulbright program, he was a Teach for America corps member in the Bay Area where he taught high school history and government. Currently, Carlo works on the education policy portfolio for Senator Elizabeth Warren, and lives in Washington, D.C., with his partner and their rescue dog Carlo.Juntilla1@gmail.com.
Jocelyn Chi (she/her) was a 2021-2022 Fulbright Taiwan ETA in Chiayi and the education co-chair. Currently, she is completing her second year in Chiayi under the English Teaching Flagship award. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Project Multatuli's Public Journalism for the Underreported with Evi Mariani
This episode features Fulbright Alumna Evi Mariani. Evi was a 2011 Hubert Humphrey Fellow from Indonesia at Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Her critical work has been widely recognized, and she is the recipient of several prestigious journalism awards including a Society of Publishers in Asia award for excellence in public journalism, the Tasrif Award, the Indonesia Print Media Awards Golden Award for investigative journalism, and the Influential Media Figure award from MAW Talk Awards. She was also a reporter and later Managing Editor at the Jakarta Post, one of Indonesia’s most respected and long-running English-language daily newspapers.
Evi and her colleagues founded Project Multatuli in 2021. Project Multatuli is a public service journalism initiative dedicated to carrying out the ideals of giving a voice to the voiceless, spotlighting the marginalized, and reporting on the underreported. The organization produces data-based, deeply researched news stories. They collaborate with other news organizations, research bodies, and civil society groups that strive for democracy, human rights, social justice, environmental sustainability, and equal rights for all.
Evi shares with the story of how she came to create Project Multatuli and how the collective is using innovative approaches to produce journalism aligned with their mission to serve the underreported and hold power accountable. We discuss the Project’s strategies to disrupt dominant practices in Indonesia’s media industry, and the challenges of creating a work culture and societal structures that support truly inclusive media production.
Alumni & Voices: Evi Mariani Sofian
In CONVERSATION with Evi Mariani, Executive Director of Project Multatuli
Exploring Jewish Life in Uruguay and the Importance of Stories with Dr. Teresa Porzecanski
On today’s podcast we feature esteemed Jewish Uruguayan Anthropologist, teacher, fiction author, and Fulbright alumna, Dr. Teresa Porzecanski. During today’s episode, Dr. Porzecanski and Fulbright WHA D&I Liaison, Jeremy Gombin-Sperling talk about her history of anthropological work in Uruguay on the Uruguayan Jewish population. In tracing this genealogy, we learn about Dr. Porzecanski’s efforts to preserve and conserve the stories of many Uruguayan Jews through her qualitative research, and the impact it had. This discussion also led us into reflecting on the nation-state as a concept, how nations build narratives to advance certain goals often at the cost of those most marginalized by it. Finally, we talk about Dr. Porzecanski’s career as a writer of novels and how her work as a Jewish academic and a writer have informed each other.
What becomes clear in this conversation is that academic research can have a social consciousness. The stories we gather through research can do more than just preserve the diverse histories of communities and people; the sharing of stories are a mode to shift consciousness, to reevaluate much of what many of us thought to be true, to better realize the complexities of those around us and those who lived before us.
Books referenced by Dr. Porzecanski:
Historias de vida de inmigrantes judíos al Uruguay
Historias de vida: negros en el Uruguay
The Future of Storytelling: New Media Artist, Filmmaker, and Technologist Tamara Shogaolu of Ado Ato Pictures
In this episode of Fulbright Forward, we talk to Tamara Shogaolu, a Fulbright alumna whose work in filmmaking and immersive media disrupts the norm of uni-directional single narrative storytelling. Tamara’s many award-winning media projects integrate animation, VR, AR, and other immersive technologies in telling stories that are rarely given the space to be heard in today’s contemporary mediascapes. Her multi-part series Queer in A Time of Forced Migration was developed from interviews she conducted during her research on migration while she was a Fulbright scholar in Egypt, and she has continued to use immersive media installations to engage audiences to interact with underrepresented stories and narratives.
Tamara's groundbreaking approach to storytelling has led to sources like The Guardian and Vogue Magazine naming her a leader in the field of new and immersive media. She is a 2018 Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab Programs Fellow and a 2019 Gouden Kalf Nominee. She was a Burton Lewis Endowed Scholar for Directing at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, a Luce Scholar in Indonesia, and an Academy Nicholls Fellowship Semifinalist.
In 2014, Tamara launched Ado Ato Pictures, a Los Angeles and Amsterdam-based film and XR studio, expanding her work that shares intersectional stories across mediums, platforms, and virtual and physical spaces in order to promote cross-cultural understanding and challenge preconceptions. Her most recent work, Un(re)solved is a multi-platform installation and investigation that examines a federal effort to grapple with America’s legacy of racist killings through the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act. In the interactive experience, the stories of those murdered are brought to life in part through impressionistic animations rooted in archival source materials. The project makes available to the public for the first time a comprehensive interactive list of all those whose cases were re-examined by the Department of Justice.
In this episode, Tamara discusses her methodology and approach in creating immersive media experiences. The concerns of identity, voice, and the representation of stories of historically underrepresented and marginalized communities are centered in the media she creates. Her projects confront audiences to consider the roles of responsibilities of their role in encountering these stories. She also reflects on her experience as a first-generation American in applying for the Fulbright program, and shares suggestions on how we can make our work as Fulbright participants as collaborative and accessible as possible, endeavoring to institutionalize ideals of justice, inclusion, and access in Fulbright programs around the world.
Decolonizing Educational Practices through Culturally Conscious Pedagogy with Professor Candace Moore
On this episode of Fulbright Forward, we are shifting geographic location to Ghana in West Africa, and focusing on the work of current U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Ghana, Professor Candace Moore. Professor Moore is the Associate Clinical Professor in the Higher Education, Student Affairs, International Education Policy (HESI) program within the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education at the University of Maryland (UMD), College Park.
During this episode, we discuss Professor Moore’s Fulbright project, “Culturally Conscious Pedagogy and Practice: Collaborating to Inform Ghanaian Higher Education COVID-19 Response.” During this discussion , recorded only days before she departed for Ghana, we explore numerous topics including Professor Moore’s background and pathway to the Fulbright, an analysis of the field of student affairs, reimagining the function of international educational programming, understanding Blackness in a global context, and ultimately how she has conceptualized what decolonial practices mean for her work in Ghana.
Below are a list of resources either referenced in or related to the episode:
Institute for Educational Planning and Administration at University of Cape CoastArticle on Professor Moore's FulbrightArticle on Professor Moore's Co-led Study Abroad Program to Ghana Decolonizing Educational Research by Leigh Patel: Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education at University of Maryland-College Park