141 episodes

What’s Your Why?
I know, I know. You’ve heard this before. It’s not a NEW question, but the answer IS always evolving… So. We. Can’t. Stop. Asking!
This show explores the human experience by way of our natural and diverse DNA through storytelling.
We bring to life the many pillars of our humanity: Culture, community, history, literature, and art.
Our purpose is to expand your vision of the world, educate, inspire, and give you critical thinking skills needed to apply to your own journey and create more connectivity and significance within the human experience.
With nationally and internationally renowned humanists - authors, journalists, philosophers, artists and scientists - we adventure into conversations about where they’ve been, how they are wired, what makes them tick, and how their history relates to the greater world and you. Get inspired, gain perspective and reflect on What’s Your Why?

What's Your Why‪?‬ Wyoming Humanities | ThinkWY

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 21 Ratings

What’s Your Why?
I know, I know. You’ve heard this before. It’s not a NEW question, but the answer IS always evolving… So. We. Can’t. Stop. Asking!
This show explores the human experience by way of our natural and diverse DNA through storytelling.
We bring to life the many pillars of our humanity: Culture, community, history, literature, and art.
Our purpose is to expand your vision of the world, educate, inspire, and give you critical thinking skills needed to apply to your own journey and create more connectivity and significance within the human experience.
With nationally and internationally renowned humanists - authors, journalists, philosophers, artists and scientists - we adventure into conversations about where they’ve been, how they are wired, what makes them tick, and how their history relates to the greater world and you. Get inspired, gain perspective and reflect on What’s Your Why?

    The High Price of Free Land: Reckoning with the Impact of Homesteading

    The High Price of Free Land: Reckoning with the Impact of Homesteading

    "How do we move forward? How do we hold the past in all its complexity and move forward?" - Rebecca Clarren
    "I think we're all here to be a good ancestor. How do we not create mess for our children and grandchildren to inherit?" - Judge Abby Abenanti (Yurok Tribal member)
    Emy Digrappa interviews the interesting and sometimes surprising journey of Rebecca Clarren, a journalist investigating the hidden history of her Jewish ancestors' land in South Dakota and its impact on the Lakota people. Uncover the unexpected connection between homesteading, cultural reparation, and the untold narrative of Native American sovereignty. Join us in exploring the complexities of history, empathy, and the quest for meaningful reconciliation. 
    My special guest is Rebecca Clarren
    Rebecca Clarren has been delving into the stories of the American West for over 25 years, earning numerous journalism awards along the way. Her latest work, "The Cost of Free: Jews, Lakota, and an American Inheritance," delves into the entwined history of her Jewish ancestors' land in South Dakota and the displacement of the Lakota people by the United States government. Her captivating storytelling and dedication to shedding light on the impact of historical events on real lives make her a captivating guest with a wealth of knowledge on cultural reparation, native sovereignty, and the far-reaching consequences of the Homestead Act on Native lands. Her deep connection to the American West and her ability to bring to life the impact of federal laws on real families make her an engaging and insightful guest for anyone eager to understand indigenous history and culture.
    In this episode, you will be able to:
     Explore the Impact of Homestead Act on Native Lands to gain a deeper understanding of historical injustices and their lasting effects on Native American communities. 
     Discover Jewish Immigration History to uncover the rich tapestry of cultural diversity in the United States and the contributions of Jewish immigrants to the nation. 
     Delve into Writing Investigative Journalism to learn how to uncover hidden truths and bring important stories to light through the power of investigative reporting. 
     Understand the Role of Federal Laws in American West to grasp the complexities of legal frameworks and their impact on the development of the American West. 
     Embrace Cultural Reparation and Native Sovereignty to honor the resilience of Native American cultures. 
    The resources mentioned in this episode are:
     The book The Cost of Free Land: Jews, Lakota, and an American Inheritance by Rebecca Clarren is available on Amazon, in independent bookstores, and in many library systems. It is also available in audio and ebook formats. 
     For further information about the book and upcoming events, visit Rebecca Clarren's website at rebecca-clarren.com. She can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. 
     Teachers interested in using the book as an educational resource can download a free PDF resource guide from Rebecca Clarren's website. This guide includes links to resources for teaching about native nations, treaties, and the history of land takings. 
     Wyoming Humanities produces the What’s Your Why podcast 
     For those interested in learning more about the Wind River Reservation and native cultures, Wyoming Humanities provides educational resources available on their website called Native Narratives.
    Follow Us On These Channels:
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/emydigrappa/
    www.ThinkWY.org
    https://www.facebook.com/storiesaboutwhy
    https://www.instagram.com/storiesaboutwhy
    Listen on all your favorite platforms and subscribe! As always leave a review if you enjoyed these stories and follow us on Instagram or visit the webpage of the Wyoming Humanities!

    • 58 min
    Sleepless Nights, Epic Road Trips, and the Magic of Books: A Conversation with Mason Engel

    Sleepless Nights, Epic Road Trips, and the Magic of Books: A Conversation with Mason Engel

    I had become a writer. The habit had stuck, and I fell in love with books and reading and writing, and the rest of the path unfurled from there. - Mason Engel
    Discover the epic journey of Mason Engel, who embarked on a mind-blowing adventure to all 50 states in just 50 days, to read 50 books and interview 50 authors. Whoa! Imagine the day to day of meeting fascinating authors, navigating through time changes and road challenges, and learning the heartwarming stories of small-town America. Hear Mason’s perspective on storytelling and the human connection. This a super fun and captivating expedition that unfolded on the road. 
    My special guest is Mason Engel
    Mason Engel is an independent author and filmmaker. His sci-fi novel, 2084, has been downloaded over 35,000 times, and his short documentary about indie bookshops, The Bookstour, has played at the Miami, Brooklyn, Louisiana, and Portland Literary Festivals. His upcoming feature-length documentary, Books Across America, follows him as he travels to 50 states, reads 50 books, and interviews 50 authors, all in 50 days. A treatise on why we tell stories, the film includes interviews with James Patterson, Joyce Carol Oates, Ann Patchett, Walter Mosley, Brandon Sanderson, Ken Liu, and many more. Mason lives in Columbus, Indiana, where he spends his time editing Books Across America, writing a new novel based on his travels, and dreaming about a "Parts Unknown" for the book world.
    In this episode, you will be able to:
    Discover the journey of Mason Engel's 50-state book tour. 
    Understand the vital role of independent bookstores in communities and how they contribute to local culture and literary diversity. 
    Uncover the profound impact of reading and storytelling on personal development, empathy, and societal change. 
    Discover the enriching experience of exploring local cultures through literature and discover the power of storytelling in connecting communities.
    The resources mentioned in this episode are:
    Subscribe to the Winds of Change newsletter by visiting the website mentioned in the conversation ThinkWY.org. This will keep you updated on the latest episodes and news related to the podcast.
    Follow Books Across America on social media platforms for updates on the release of the documentary. You can find them on Instagram and Facebook with the handle books across America and on Twitter as books x America.
    Visit the website booksxamerica.com and subscribe for updates on the release of the documentary. This will ensure that you receive notifications about the film's availability and release date.
    Stay tuned for the release of the documentary and learn more here: 
    Explore the work of author CJ Box, who was interviewed in the podcast. Discover his books and delve into the captivating stories that represent the geography, people, and causes of Wyoming.
     
    Follow Us On These Channels:
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/emydigrappa/
    www.ThinkWY.org
    https://www.facebook.com/storiesaboutwhy
    https://www.instagram.com/storiesaboutwhy
    Listen on all your favorite platforms and subscribe!
    As always leave a review if you enjoyed these stories and follow us on Instagram or visit the webpage of the Wyoming Humanities!

    • 35 min
    The Self-Determination Of Prince And His Audio Engineer: The Susan Rogers Story

    The Self-Determination Of Prince And His Audio Engineer: The Susan Rogers Story

    "You can move mountains when you're happy and you're motivated and you're getting rewarded for your actions." – Susan Rogers
    In this episode of "What's Your Why?" hosted by Emy Digrappa, you'll dive into the captivating journey of Susan Rogers, a former record producer renowned for her work with music icon Prince. Susan shares her transition from the music industry to pursuing a doctoral degree in behavioral neuroscience, emphasizing the transformative power of passion and continuous learning. She reflects on her experiences working closely with Prince, shedding light on his private nature and the challenges of superstardom. Susan's deep love for music and her profound connection to the process of making music are evident throughout the conversation, offering valuable insights into the intersection of science, art, and personal identity. By delving into themes of self-discovery, music appreciation, and the significance of personal resonance in relationships and art, Susan's story serves as a testament to the power of following one's true calling and embracing new opportunities. 
    She recounts her early days repairing equipment for Crosby, Stills & Nash, and how her love for music and technical expertise led her to the opportunity of a lifetime - working with her musical idol, Prince. Susan's story is a testament to the power of passion and the impact of seizing opportunities, even when they seem beyond reach. As she candidly discusses her experiences, listeners will be captivated by her unwavering dedication and the profound impact that this journey had on her life. Through Susan's narrative, listeners gain insight into the remarkable intersection of talent, dedication, and the transformative power of music. 
    My special guest is Susan Rogers
    Susan Rogers holds a doctoral degree in behavioral neuroscience from McGill University. Prior to her science career, Susan was a multi-platinum earning record producer, engineer, mixer, and audio technician. She is best known for her work with Prince (1983-1987) but production/engineering credits also include David Byrne, Barenaked Ladies, Geggy Tah, Nil Lara, Robben Ford, Tricky, Michael Penn, and Jeff Black. In 2021 she became the first female recipient of the Music Producer’s Guild Award for Outstanding Contributions to U.K. Music. She teaches psychoacoustics and neuroscience for Berklee College of Music, Boston. Her book on music listening for W. W. Norton is titled This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You.
    Key Takeaways
    Explore Susan Rogers' inspiring journey in the music industry and gain insights into her unique experiences working with Prince. Discover the transition from music to neuroscience and its impact on Susan's career, offering valuable lessons on self-determination and career evolution. Uncover the importance of self-determination in pursuing a career in the music industry and beyond and learn from Susan's experiences in navigating this path. Gain insights into the "Love at First Listen" concept, understanding its significance in the music industry and how it shapes the creative process. Resources
    This is What It Sounds Like - Susan Rogers' book, which delves into the neuroscience of music and the listener's experience. Available for purchase on major online book retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Berkeley Online - Susan Rogers is writing a course on music and neuroscience for Berkeley Online, a successful online education program for musicians.  Wyoming Humanities - The podcast What's Your Why? is brought to you by Wyoming Humanities. Visit their website to learn more about their initiatives and how you can support their work. The life and music of Prince. Follow Us On These Channels:
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/emydigrappa/   www.ThinkWY.org https://www.facebook.com/storiesaboutwhy https://www.instagram.com/storiesaboutwhy  Listen on all your favorite platforms and subscribe!
    As always leave a review if you

    • 37 min
    Ruth Rathblott: Embracing My Disability And The Power Of Inclusivity

    Ruth Rathblott: Embracing My Disability And The Power Of Inclusivity

    "I was given a gift with my hand, that it was a tool to start to get people talking about what they're hiding and to share my journey of unhiding, so that wherever people found themselves on this continuum of hiding and unhiding, they could say, wow, she did it." - Ruth Rathblott Uncover the unexpected truth about embracing differences and the power of unhiding. Join Ruth Rathblott as she shares her journey of self-acceptance and authenticity, challenging the norms of diversity and inclusion. Ruth unveils the surprising impact of embracing differences and fostering inclusive environments. Ruth was born with a limb difference and is passionate about expanding the definition of diversity to embrace visible and invisible differences.  She shares solutions to help you achieve this result. Get ready to uncover the power of authenticity and foster a sense of belonging for yourself and those around you. 
    My special guest is Ruth Rathblott
    Ruth Rathblott is a leader and expert in the field of diversity and inclusion, with over 25 years of experience. As someone born with a limb difference, Ruth is passionate about expanding the definition of diversity to embrace visible and invisible differences, fostering inclusive environments. She has a BA in Psychology from Goucher College and a Master of Social Work degree from Boston University. She was honored as the youngest alum ever awarded the Goucher College Excellence in Public Service Award. Her journey of self-acceptance and authenticity has equipped her with valuable insights into the challenges individuals face when embracing their differences. Ruth's story and expertise offer an inspiring perspective on navigating personal growth and embracing authenticity, making her a valuable and relatable voice for those seeking to foster inclusive environments.
    We often define invisible diversity as those differences that cannot be readily seen, such as religion, sexual orientation, military experience, socioeconomic background, and more. However, in the conversation on Diversity, there is rarely consistent guidance on inclusion for people with disabilities. Disabilities, such as a limb difference may be visible or invisible, such as mental health and neurodiversity. Ruth Rathblott
    In this episode, you will be able to:
     Embrace Ruth Rathblott's inspiring journey of self-acceptance and inclusivity, and discover the transformative role it can play in your own life. 
     Relate to the challenges of self-acceptance and societal pressure to conform, and learn to embrace your uniqueness with confidence. 
     Consider the conversation on Diversity, there is rarely consistent guidance on inclusion for people with disabilities.
     Learn the art of embracing differences and fostering inclusive environments to create authenticity and acceptance in your life and community. 
    Disabilities, such as a limb difference may be visible or invisible, such as mental health and neurodiversity.
    The resources mentioned in this episode are:
     Visit Ruth Rathblott's website to learn more about her speaking engagements, books, and journey of unhiding. 
     Check out Ruth Rathblott's first book Single Handedly to explore her personal journey of hiding and unhiding. 
     Stay tuned for Ruth Rathblott's upcoming second book focusing on connection, loneliness, belonging, and leadership. 
    Explore opportunities to connect with communities and groups that resonate with your own journey of hiding and unhiding.
     
    Follow Us On These Channels:
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/emydigrappa/  
    www.ThinkWY.org
    https://www.facebook.com/storiesaboutwhy
    https://www.instagram.com/storiesaboutwhy 
    Listen on all your favorite platforms and subscribe!
    As always leave a review if you enjoyed these stories and follow us on Instagram or visit the webpage of the Wyoming Humanities!
    Sign up for the podcast newsletter using the QR code of follow this link: http://eepurl.com/igy4fH

    • 48 min
    The Evolution of an Environmentalist: From Counterinsurgency to Anti-Poaching: Damien Mander

    The Evolution of an Environmentalist: From Counterinsurgency to Anti-Poaching: Damien Mander

    The Evolution of an Environmentalist: From Counterinsurgency to Anti-Poaching: Damien Mander "If we don't protect it, there's going to be nothing left. This is our backyard. There's a responsibility upon all of us to look after nature in whatever way we can." - Damien Mander
    Discover the remarkable journey of a former special operations sniper who transitioned from a life of combat to becoming the founder and CEO of the International Antipoaching Foundation. From the intensity of military operations in Iraq to the African wilderness, Damien Mander's transformation will leave you inspired. But that's not the end of the story. Join us as we learn more about his efforts in leading a team of female rangers, the Ashakinga, in protecting Zimbabwe's wildlife from the devastating impact of poaching. His story tale of unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation and the inspiring people he has met on his journey.
    About Damien:
    Damien Mander, a former Australian Navy clearance diver and special operations military sniper, is widely recognized as the founder and CEO of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF). After a pivotal encounter in Africa, he committed his life savings to establish the IAPF, focusing on training and supporting rangers across African wilderness. Notably, Mander's innovative approach led to the formation of the first all-female Ashakinga rangers in Zimbabwe, marking a significant advancement in wildlife conservation. With a steadfast goal to employ 1000 women by 2025, Damien Mander's strategic leadership has positioned the IAPF as a prominent force in wildlife conservation and anti-poaching initiatives, contributing significantly to the protection of endangered species and their habitats. With insights from influential figures like Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Ian Player, the conversation underscores the importance of protecting nature for future generations. Damien's journey and dedication serve as a compelling reminder of the vital role each individual plays in preserving wildlife.
    Learn More:
    • Discover effective wildlife conservation efforts to make a positive impact. 
    • Learn about the International Antipoaching Foundation's critical role in protecting endangered species. 
    • Uncover strategies for safeguarding high target species from poaching threats. 
    • Understand the importance of addressing root causes of poaching for long-term conservation success. 
    • Find inspiration from role models in conservation and their impactful contributions. 
    • Understand the importance of addressing root causes of poaching in conservation efforts. 
    • Learn about Akashinga — originally named the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) — was founded in 2009 by Australian-born and Zimbabwean-based environmentalist Damien Mander. https://films.nationalgeographic.com/akashinga
    https://www.akashinga.org/about-us/our-story
     
    Follow Us On These Channels:
    https://www.linkedin.com/emydigrappa  
    www.ThinkWY.org
    https://www.facebook.com/storiesaboutwhy
    https://www.instagram.com/storiesaboutwhy 
    Listen on all your favorite platforms and subscribe!
    As always leave a review if you enjoyed these stories and follow us on Instagram or visit the webpage of the Wyoming Humanities!
    Sign up for the podcast newsletter using the QR code of follow this link: http://eepurl.com/igy4fH

    • 15 min
    Embracing Awkward Conversations About Racism With Comedian W. Kamau Bell

    Embracing Awkward Conversations About Racism With Comedian W. Kamau Bell

    Renowned comedian W. Kamau Bell fearlessly challenges societal norms and amplifies underrepresented voices, sparking conversations on race and identity in America. W. Kamau Bell shared his journey of self-discovery and growth. From childhood dreams of becoming a superhero or entering show business to finding his voice as a comedian. Kamau's path reflects the universal quest for identity and purpose. His decision to use the initial "W" in his stage name was a tribute to the wide-eyed kid within him, aspiring to be in show business.
    As he delved into the world of comedy, his experiences and interactions with diverse communities expanded the scope of his storytelling. Kamau's commitment to addressing issues of race, identity, and social justice through his unique brand of "social political" comedy reflects his desire to spark meaningful conversations and bring about positive change. His journey from coffee shops and bars to hosting thought-provoking shows on CNN underscores the power of embracing uncomfortable dialogues and seeking understanding in a divided world. Through humor and introspection, Kamau invites us to ponder life's complexities and embrace the value of engaging in open, honest conversations.
     
    About W. Kamau Bell
    W. Kamau Bell, a renowned filmmaker, comedian, and the former host and executive producer of the Emmy award-winning CNN docuseries United Shades of America, brings a unique perspective on race and identity in America. With his recent HBO documentary 1000% Me: Growing Up Mixed, Bell delves into the complexities of growing up with a mixed-race identity, shedding light on the experiences and challenges faced by individuals and families in the San Francisco Bay area. His insights on underrepresented communities and productive conversations provide valuable and thought-provoking content that resonates with diverse audiences. Kamau's ability to tackle sensitive topics with humor and authenticity makes him an influential voice in the realm of race relations and social issues Explore Kamau Bell's inspiring journey into show business and how it shaped his perspective on race and identity. 
     
    Understand the importance of embracing awkward conversations about racism to foster meaningful change and understanding. 
     Discover the power of using humor as a tool to facilitate constructive and engaging conversations about race and social issues. 
     Learn about the significance of highlighting underrepresented communities in media and the positive impact it can have on society. 
     W. Kamau Bell's HBO Documentary 1000% Me: Growing Up Mixed - To watch Kamau Bell's documentary tackling the joys and challenges of growing up mixed race, including conversations with kids and families in the San Francisco Bay area, visit HBO's official website. 
     United Shades of America - To watch W. Kamau Bell's five-time Emmy award-winning CNN docuseries, United Shades of America, visit CNN's official website for streaming options. 
    #UnitedShades #unitedshadesofamerica #GrowingUpMixed #wkamaubell #kamaubell #mixed #mixedrace #mixedbabies #interracial #interracialcouple  
    Follow on these channels!
     www.ThinkWY.org 
     https://www.linkedin.com/in/emydigrappa/
    https://www.facebook.com/storiesaboutwhy
    https://www.instagram.com/storiesaboutwhy/
    Listen on all your favorite platforms
    Subscribe to our newsletter! 
    Listen on all your favorite platforms and subscribe!
    As always leave a review if you enjoyed these stories and follow us on Instagram or visit the webpage of the Wyoming Humanities!
    Sign up for the podcast newsletter using the QR code of follow this link: http://eepurl.com/igy4fH

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

wyode ,

Excellent. I enjoy the very generous warm interviews!!

Love it!!

DMGJr. ,

Keep’em Coming

Incredible series of interviews that really inspires you to go out and become the next big name from Wyoming.

FreedomPodcasting ,

Great podcast

This podcast makes me want to move to Wyoming.

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