Each episode of Hearth2Heart features a conversation between host Gayathri Shukla and an everyday role model, who explores their story and wisdom from overcoming personal challenges. We share tips and insights on leading a life of purpose and belonging. You'll get to learn from diverse perspectives while connecting with our shared humanity. Listen on your preferred podcast platform, and please rate and review the podcast if you enjoy it!
Hearth2Heart - Episode June 26, 2023
The Magic of Kindness with Elena Esina
In this final episode of Season 1, host Gayathri and Elena share some lessons they have learned from working together on the Landed project, and their hopes for the future.
Elena Esina is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary where she manages an initiative called Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence. Elena holds a master’s in social work and a bachelor’s in financial management. For the last 10 years, Elena has been managing multiple large-scale research projects while conducting research on the prevention of domestic violence. She also leads Immigrant Women Work-Integrated Learning Hub that provides work experience placements for internationally trained women from all over the world in the academic setting.
In addition, Elena is a co-founder of Shift to Learn, an online learning platform that aims to stop violence before it starts. She is a recent recipient of the 2022 Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medal in recognition of her leadership in supporting immigrant communities.
Hearth2Heart - Episode May 22, 2023
Distances and Destinations: Healing in Hong Kong, with Jesiebelle Salcedo
"I feel a sense of belonging when communities show care and compassion."
Children of immigrants often find themselves living in two worlds. In this episode, Landed co-author and second-generation Filipina-Canadian Jesiebelle Salcedo shares how giving voice to her mom's immigration story has helped her heal her relationship with her mom while honouring her family's roots.
Jesie is a teacher, reader, and writer based in Calgary, Alberta. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Canadian studies and elementary English as an additional language from the University of Calgary. To date, she has worked with many first-generation and immigrant youth in local non-profit settings and within the school system, fueling her passion for anti-racism education. In her spare time, Jesie enjoys baking up a storm, exploring new foods, creating pottery pieces, and spending time with her friends and family. Find her on Instagram: @jbreadsandwrites; @jbs_fooddiaries
Hearth2Heart - Episode April 24, 2023
A "Better" Version with Swati Dhingra
"When I became an independent, single, immigrant woman homeowner in Calgary...that was like a proud, proud moment...a fantastic feeling of belonging in Canada, and calling it a home."
In this episode, Landed co-author Dr. Swati Dhingra joins us to share her immigration journey from India to Canada. She offers tips about the hurdles she faced along the way, including overcoming criticism.
Dr. Dhingra is a research coordinator at the University of Calgary. With her unique background in dentistry and oral medicine from India, she brings an exceptional blend of knowledge and expertise in academic, clinical and community research. She has contributed to several multi-disciplinary research projects at U of C and has been a part of community research projects with Alberta Health Services. Dr. Dhingra is passionate about social work and always looks for meaningful ways to give back to the community. She is also a trained classical Indian dancer and has an extraordinary love for music and travel. Find her at: https://profiles.ucalgary.ca/swati-dhingra
Hearth2Heart - Episode March 27, 2023
The Poetry of the Life of an Immigrant Woman with Kelly Kaur
"I feel a sense of belonging when my heart feels at peace no matter where I am, and that is in beautiful Calgary with my family and friends, and I am at peace."
Our latest episode on Hearth 2 Heart is with Kelly Kaur who grew up in Singapore and lives in Calgary. Kelly teaches at Mount Royal University and Athabasca University. She has been published in Qatar, Italy, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Canada, Berlin, Prague, Australia, India, and the United States. Some works have appeared in New Asian Short Stories 2015, The Best Asian Stories 2020, and The Best Asian Poetry 2021. Her poems have been published in the International Human Rights Art Festival in New York. She has been published on UNESCO’s Cities of Literature website. Her novel, Letters to Singapore, released on May 1, 2022, by Stonehouse Publishing.
Hearth2Heart - Episode February 27, 2023
The Seemingly Impossible Quest and Longing for Change with Anusha Kassan
"Until true systemic change takes place, and racist, discriminatory and unjust structures are dismantled in our society, I know I will not be able to rest."
Born in Montreal to a French-Canadian mother and a South Asian father, Anusha Kassan shares her experience of her writing her story in Landed.
Anusha is currently an associate professor with a high-impact position in the School and Applied Child Psychology Program at the University of British Columbia. Her scholarly interests are informed by her own bi-cultural identities and an overarching social justice framework. Anusha’s program of research presently includes two major foci: immigration experiences across different groups (i.e., newcomer youth, women, 2SLGBTQIA+ peoples), and cultural and social justice responsiveness in professional psychology. Connect with Anusha at anushakassan.com
Hearth2Heart - Episode January 23, 2023
Be You...You Can with Benazir Rahman
Change is never easy but it is possible when you set your mind to it and add a (not-so-secret) ingredient...
"I feel a sense of belonging when people believe in my strengths and skills and opportunity, and the other way when I give back to the community...when I help a new immigrant."
After having to move countries during a pandemic with a toddler in tow, Benazir Rahman joins us on this episode to share her tips for a successful transition, including the message from her story in Landed - "Be You, You Can". Born and raised in Bangladesh, and a researcher by profession, she now works at the University of Calgary as a Global Development Specialist. Her areas of interest include international trade, social work, and post-secondary education.
Having experienced generosity and kindness as a new immigrant in Calgary, Benazir believes in the power of giving back and is currently helping Afghan refugees find meaningful employment.
In addition, Benazir and Gayathri discuss the Landed book publication journey, and Gayathri peels back the curtains on her learnings in this episode.
Love it! From a guest and listener experience
Hearth 2 Heart provides an incredible space for storytelling and learning more about purpose and belonging, two essential human being needs. Gayathri was a wonderful host and throughout our conversation I appreciated her honest curiosity and the way she provided space for me to go deeper into my story and what I was comfortable sharing. This approach makes it easier for her audience to connect with the conversation and her guests to a level that's not commonly found in other podcasts.