Interact. Interconnect. You're connected to the Beth Zemsky Podcast.
Interact. Interconnect. You're connected to the Beth Zemsky Podcast.
Revolutionary Love with Valarie Kaur (BZP019)
For this episode, via Zoom from California, Beth welcomes her old friend and colleague, civil rights attorney, writer, filmmaker, activist, and current world-changer, Valarie Kaur.
With her new book, See No Stranger (www.SeeNoStranger.com), hot off the press, and the Revolutionary Love Project (www.RevolutionaryLoveProject.com) she founded going viral online, we catch up with Valarie for a unique, intimate chat between friends about her work, her new book, and how it all came to be. Valerie shares with us, in a candid and effortlessly authentic way, about what first called her to activism, how her Sikh faith has shaped and influenced her work, and how the concept of Revolutionary Love has seen her through some of the darkest and most transitional moments of her life.
This episode will challenge you in ways that are perfectly timed for the movement moment we are currently working though. With Beth providing us the context as someone who has seen many movement cycles like the one we’re in now, whether you’re new to movement work, a lifelong activist, or transitioning from one form of movement work to another, Valarie offers us up her deepest wisdom, in a way that will speak directly to yours, no matter where you are in your journey.
Valarie’s book is available online now at www.SeeNoStranger.com. Get a copy for yourself and buy a copy for that special highly-experienced or aspiring activist in your life. Or… as a special gift from Beth, share your thoughts about this episode or Valerie’s work on Facebook (be sure to use the hashtags #BethZemskyPodcast and #SeeNoStranger), and email a copy of your post and your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re one of the first ten folks to do so, you’ll get a FREE copy of the book signed by Valarie, courtesy of the Beth Zemsky Podcast!
Intentionality in Crisis (BZP018)
In our first ever Zoom episode of the Beth Zemsky Podcast (and our second one featuring Beth’s dog, Bert), we focus in on how opportunities for introspection and systemic change are often brought about by crisis. We talk about how crisis can often reveal things about ourselves and our organizations that we’d maybe rather not see, and about the temptation to leverage whatever privilege we might have to simply look the other way. We talk about how crisis can disrupt entrenched power structures and about how taking inventory of our ideas about diversity and inclusion can be even more important during crisis than when we think things are going smoothly. We also talk briefly about Beth’s experience working in the early days of HIV, and about the impact it had on the work she does today. We talk about the importance of being intentional in identifying the opportunities presented to us by this or any other crisis, and how the movement work we’re called to in times of crisis can be some of the most important work there is.
For more on this topic from Beth, check out this recent blog she wrote for the Dodge Foundation at: https://blog.grdodge.org/2020/05/08/dodge-ta-implementing-diversity-inclusion-and-equity-during-a-pandemic
Restorative Justice with Cynthia Zwicky (BZP017)
In this episode of the podcast, we talk with Beth’s longtime friend and colleague Cynthia Zwicky about the ancient tradition and emerging movement work field of Restorative Justice. While we talk about Cynthia’s experience primarily within the context of the education system, we also reflect on how the practice of restorative justice can provide a vital foundation for much of the social justice work we do. We also discussed how institutionalized power and privilege in the pursuit of justice often results in prioritizing the peace and comfort of those in power rather then well being of the community as a whole. Finally, Cynthia shares her experience first bringing restorative methodologies to her North Minneapolis school, the challenges she faced in doing so, and the ultimate successes her school achieved as a result.
Beth also catches us up on what she’s been up to so far this decade, what she’s got coming up, how to get in on her upcoming “Facilitating Cultural Change” workshop, and gives us a sneak preview of our next few episodes.
For more on the topic of Restorative Justice, check out the links Cynthia provided us with below:
Minnesota Department of Education: Restorative Practices
Living Justice Press
Cynthia wrote a chapter in this book (Chapter 4) that talks about the journey of implementing restorative practices in two school districts.
This book has great stories of implementing the circle process in schools.
And here’s a link to register for Beth’s workshop, Facilitating Cultural Change:
Leadership with David Nicholson (BZP016)
On today’s episode, we tackle the huge topic of leadership with Beth’s longtime friend and colleague, former Executive Director of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice, David Nicholson. We take a bit of a “thinking-out-loud” approach to the topic and frame it within the scope of the many kinds of leadership currently on display in this country in different arenas, and about the impact they’re having on the movement moment we’re in.
We talk about how various parts of our identities can impact our individual styles of leadership, how leadership doesn’t always look like or need to look like we might be accustomed to seeing it, and about the role of followers in effective community leadership. We talk about accountability, responsibility, leadership as a relationship with the people we’re leading, accepting feedback and criticism with grace and gratitude, how basing leadership on listening, empathy, and identifying and creating shared values is usually not a terrible place for any leader to start… and we only just scratched the surface!
We also talk briefly about Beth’s just announced Facilitating Cultural Change workshop this coming April. Be sure to check out Beth’s website for more information!
The Emerging Narratives of the 2020 Presidential Election with Dave Mann (BZP015)
In this episode, Beth sits down with her longtime friend and colleague, Dave Mann for a chat about the emerging and evolving individual and collective narratives of the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election. We talk about what messaging is gaining traction, what isn’t, and what’s maybe just starting to. We talk about how this election already echos elections past in some ways and about the opportunities that some candidates might have to potentially pull away from the fray by framing their messaging in the values behind their positions on the issues. We talk about why leading with an anti-Trump narrative is a problem, we touch briefly on a few of the candidates who are doing a few things right, and talk about why and how all of this matters in the larger scope of movement building beyond just the upcoming election.
Resources referenced in this episode:
Grassroots Policy Project: https://grassrootspolicy.org/
Building Organizations in a Movement Moment (the article Dave & Beth wrote): https://bethzemsky.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Building-organizations-in-a-movement-moment.pdf
Social Movement Organizational Strategic Planning: https://bethzemsky.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Social-Movement-Organization-Strategic-Planning.pdf
Stewardship, Justice, & Democracy – An example of values based framing from the Land Stewardship Project: https://landstewardshipproject.org/posts/1220
New Social Contract – Organizing by values: https://bethzemsky.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/New-Social-Contract-Organizing-by-values-.pdf
LSP Narrative case study – https://grassrootspolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/ANarrativeOfRuralAbundance.pdf
195 Years of Activism Celebration and LGBTQ Task Force Fundraiser (BZP014)
A special bonus on location edition of The Beth Zemsky Podcast featuring Barbara Satin and Rebecca Voelkel. Together, they and Beth celebrate 195 years of collective activism along with a room full of their closest friends while raising funds to support the important work of the National LGBTQ Task Force.