I'm curious. Aren't you? A podcast that brings the unfamiliar closer. Telling stories that remind us love demands we move toward justice and that we're all connected. Hosted by Ashley Asti (@ashleyasti on Instagram).
Follow I'm Curious podcast on Instagram and Twitter @imcuriouspod
“If it’s a human rights issue, then there’s no both sides.” Photojournalist Natalie Keyssar believes journalists have an obligation to be honest, not necessarily neutral. For about a year during the pandemic, Natalie focused her lens on the lives and deaths of the elderly who were behind bars in New York during Covid, sharing their stories and the toll it took on their families. “It’s so easy for society…to dismiss people in prison as people who deserve what they get or who don’t deserve humane treatment,” she said, but Natalie wants to use her camera to make sure the most vulnerable in prison are seen.
You can see Natalie’s photos and reporting in the Rolling Stone article, Prisoners and the Pandemic: https://www.rollingstone.com/covids-most-vulnerable-population-elderly-prisoners/
Natalie’s website: http://nataliekeyssar.com/splash
Natalie on Instagram: @nataliekeyssar
When I used to think about men in prison, I didn’t picture Mannie Thomas. I didn’t picture guys in their prison blues gathering to talk about the f word—feminism. I didn’t imagine their shared vulnerability, honestly looking at their trauma and their fears and their truths together. I didn’t expect this much love and brotherly support.
But that’s what our conversation today is about.
My guest is Mannie Thomas III. Mannie served 15 years of a 32 years-to-life sentence, during which time he joined a transformational feminist program for people who have caused harm. Today, Mannie is the Co-Executive Director of the organization that led that program, Success Stories.
Connect with Success Stories:
The Feminist on Cellblock Y (Documentary): https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2018/04/18/the-feminist-on-cellblock-y-doc-orig.cnn
“If I could describe prison, it’s like you’re in the middle of the ocean and the only thing you’re trying to do is tread water and keep your head above [it].” This conversation with London Croudy is unapologetically about the women in the midst of that ocean, women who are directly impacted survivors of mass incarceration and other systemic trauma. London possesses a spirit, knowing, and purposefulness that is hard to capture in words but is undeniable. She’s currently a Program Manager at The Ahimsa Collective and has dedicated her life’s work to advocating for social and restorative justice for survivors of oppressed communities.
Learn more about The Ahimsa Collective here: https://www.ahimsacollective.net
When we think about those who have committed sexual offenses, we often conjure up images of evil, vile people. People who deserve to be thrown in cages and listed on public registries to protect our safety. Sex crimes expert Alissa Ackerman (who is also a survivor) is on a mission to ensure sexual harm never happens again—but not by dealing only with survivors. She’s getting to the source: those who have sexually offended. Leaning into connection, meaningful accountability, and even compassion, Alissa is changing the way we approach justice, community, and prevention.
Alissa Ackerman, PhD, is an Associate Professor at California State University, Fullerton. She is a co-founder of Ampersands Restorative Justice, and the co-host of the popular podcast Beyond Fear: The Sex Crimes Podcast.
Connect with Alissa:
Ampersands Restorative Justice: https://ampersandsrj.org
Alissa's website: https://www.alissaackerman.com
Beyond Fear: The Sex Crimes Podcast: https://beyondfearpodcast.com
“We have a country that, at its core, is rooted in racism and slavery.” We can’t untangle mass incarceration from this country’s deep and ongoing history of oppression if we truly want to transform our notion of justice and prevent harm. After serving nearly 2 decades in prison, Troy Williams is on a mission to abolish what he considers a modern day form of slavery—prison—and to use his voice and his camera to help people like himself tell their stories.
Troy is (among many things) the Executive Director of Restorative Media and a 2018 Soros Justice Fellow. While incarcerated, he founded, hosted, and produced the San Quentin Prison Report.
Connect with Troy:
This is I’m Curious: Friends Edition. I’ve known my guest, Zach Minuto, since high school. This episode is called Unchurched, and we’re getting into all of it: Catholic sexual repression, did Jesus have a wife?, false gods, climate change, reimagining Eve, and more.
Zach Minuto is, among many other things, a writer, musician, and instrument-maker who resides in New Haven, Connecticut. He completed his MA in Religion at Yale Divinity School and began a Ph.D in History of Religion before dropping out to pursue other projects independently. As a musician, his work foregrounds homemade instruments, and his debut album, /our father has left us but our mother is all around/, will be out digitally this fall. His writing combines musical and cultural criticism with a postmodern theological outlook as he seeks to understand the things that bring us together. His book about noise is in its infancy, but he promises it’ll be out eventually…
The first time Rodolfo Buenrostro had a gun pointed at his head, it was by police. He was 8 years old. In this episode, Rodolfo talks about gang life, how having brown skin shapes the way the world treats him, the unifying power of music, and more. I think my favorite part of our conversation is when we talked honestly about coming from two different worlds, and what it takes to understand each other without judgment.
Rodolfo is a California Justice Leader, which is a collaboration between Impact Justice and Americorps. He’s a Reentry Life Coach placed at Breaking Through Barriers to Success in Northeast LA. He’s a Hip Hop MC and Performing Artist, and a Mixing Engineer-Producer.
Connect with Rodolfo:
Kimya Motley knows what it means to survive. After her ex-husband shot her and her daughter multiples times with a .38 at point-blank range—and they both lived through it—she says she "woke up" to her calling. Kimya knew she never wanted another family to experience what she did. So she used her personal tragedies as fuel for purpose, advocating for women experiencing domestic violence. But after doing this work for years, she realized there was more: to end the cycle, she also needed to talk to the boys and men, shifting a culture of unhealthy manhood.
Kimya is now the Director of Communications at A Call to Men as well as the host of their new community, A Call to Boy Moms, a community for moms, aunts, and grandmas to stick together, be vulnerable, and promote authenticity, gender equity, and inclusion with their boys.
In this episode, Kimya bravely shares her story and we talk about the “Man Box,” fear, the power of mothers gathering, and even about George Floyd’s murder and how she feels as the mother of a Black son.
Links & Resources:
A Call to Men: https://www.acalltomen.org
A Call to Boy Moms: https://www.acalltomen.org/introducing-our-new-community-for-boy-moms/
The Book of Dares: https://www.acalltomen.org/book-of-dares/
Kimya’s Website: https://kimyamotley.com
My guest today is Darren Calhoun and I just fell in love with his spirit during this conversation.
We spend time in this episode talking about what it was like for him to grow up gay when he couldn’t be open about who he was. Darren spent years in churches that didn’t welcome him in his fullness as a gay man. We talk about grief, shame, confusion around desire—and also God’s immense love. We talk about enduring despite obstacles and the expansive universe where everyone belongs. And, of course, we explore racial justice, particularly Darren’s experience during the pandemic when so many of us watched or lived or felt in our bodies one story of police violence after another.
Darren is a justice advocate, worship leader, and photographer based out of Chicago. He works to bridge connections between people of differing perspectives through story and relationship. He facilities dialogue and education about justice and inclusion for people marginalized based on race, gender, and/or sexuality, and sings in a heart-full band called The Many.
Follow Darren on social media @heydarren.
Darren’s website: darrencalhoun.com
The Many (Band): https://www.themanyarehere.com
*Darren mentions the song “Peace / Afio Mai” during the episode. It’s as gorgeous as he describes. You can listen to it here: https://youtu.be/uxti7euyKLU
Brooks Scott is a motorcycle-riding, classical music-listening, poet-admiring Executive Coach. He percolates connections and works with organizations to facilitate uncomfortable conversations around unconscious bias.
Brooks was an English teacher turned NJ State Trooper who led Chris Christie’s protection team. He then left the East coast to head up the Executive Protection team at Facebook for Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. At Facebook, he travelled the world and had a literal backseat to everything happening there. But it was upon stumbling into some executive coaching courses that he knew he had found his calling.
Our conversation spans the gamut from how to make peace with risks in your life and career, to the power of asking the right questions, to vulnerability, to the current state of race relations in this country—and whether you should be talking about it at work.
Connect with Brooks:
Merging Path Coaching: https://www.mergingpath.com/
Emily O’Brien never planned to become a drug mule. As she says, “It started with a romantic connection, and it happened fast.” In the midst of running her own social media company in Toronto and struggling with addiction, Emily found herself, at the urging of the guy she was dating, on a plane from St. Lucia back to Canada with 2 kilograms of cocaine strapped to her body. When she got caught, she never imagined prison. But it was in prison that she envisioned her comeback: without internet access or the ability to market test, she started a popcorn company. Today, that company, Comeback Snacks, provides opportunities to others to overcome obstacles and find employment after prison or addiction.
Connect with Emily:
Emily’s Website: iamemilyobrien.com
Comeback Snacks: comebacksnacks.com
Katie Jameson talks about hard things: grief, loss, motherhood. In the span of 4 years, Katie lost her first son, Lochlan; received a Down syndrome diagnosis for her daughter, Kenzie; and lost her father. In this conversation, we explore it all while crying and laughing. It is heartbreaking and heart-opening. A must-listen!
Katie, who’s based in Vancouver, is a family photographer as well as the creator of grief gifts, gifts like prints, cards, and grief pins designed to nurture a broken heart.
Connect with Katie:
I’m calling this conversation with Danique Gimbrère (aka Danica Gim) “Coming Home” not only because it’s an exploration of what home is—how her home has crossed continents from the Netherlands, where she was born and grew up, and expanded when she married her Colombian-American husband—but because it’s a story of coming home to herself. We talk about breaking expectations, leaving Christianity and relationships. About intuition, our bodies, sexuality, meeting her husband—oh, I love that story!—and about creating art.
Danique, who’s well-known as Danica Gim on Instagram, shares her poetry and art online, art which is a celebration of women’s bodies and beings and journeys. She says the positive response—she now has an Instagram following of 250 thousand—“has been overwhelming.” She also has an online shop where you can purchase her prints.
Danica Gim Website + Print Shop
In this episode, Austin Galy talks about what it means to be a man, but it goes even deeper. This conversation is an exploration of pain and trauma, presence and joy. It’s an open and honest exploration of sexual identity and of our undeniable interconnectedness.
Austin Galy is a former United States Air Force member turned educator at the University of San Diego. He works extensively at the grassroots level in education and with incarcerated minors and adults, California state law enforcement agencies, military and veteran groups, as well as gangs. More broadly, he is a bridge builder working towards a more just, equitable, and peaceful world.
Vanessa Cuccia is captivating and curious. She believes we deserve to feel good in our bodies. And that pleasure is sacred. In this rich, deep-diving conversation, we talk about body and spirit, what it means to be sexy, co-creating with the universe, the dream world, and love.
Vanessa Cuccia is the founder of Chakrubs and Freque Magazine. She is the author of Crystal Healing and Sacred Pleasure and her debut album, This is a Spell, drops April 22nd.
Kayra Martinez isn’t an artist. But while volunteering in refugee camps in northern Greece, she started bringing in art supplies to the children. She realized this was their way to communicate—to express the trauma they’d been through and to communicate with each other. This launched her into a journey she never expected, founding a nonprofit called Love Without Borders for Refugees in Need. “I have no background in art therapy,” she said. “I don’t claim that this is art therapy, but to just give [the children] those tools was the most powerful thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
This is a deep one! Writer (and my friend!) b. john gully and I recorded this on a Friday afternoon, our Happy Hour podcast. He had a White Russian cocktail in hand. And we went all in on writing and what it means to tell stories as if over a fire. We talked about vulnerability in storytelling, the feeling of inspiration rushing through you, the finality of endings, transcendence, the void, and finding ourselves united in all that is.
You can follow b. john gully on Instagram and Twitter @3Gully. Or checkout his website: bjohngully.com.
I haven’t stopped thinking about this conversation. Artie Gonz is the creative who almost never was. A juvenile-tried-as-an-adult at the age of 16, he spent 21-years of a Life sentence in the California prison system, eight of which included housing within Pelican Bay’s notorious super-max Solitary Confinement unit. After choosing to commit himself to deep inner work, Artie transcended the brutality of his surroundings and discovered the universal truth within himself and all of us: love.
This conversation is all about love.
Today, Artie has fulfilled his dream of working in the television world. He’s the Creator and
Executive Producer of the developing series, “Lessons From A Lifer” (it’s so good!), which seeks to bridge the culture between those who are system-impacted and society by highlighting universal wisdoms and commonality. He’s writing a book of the same name, a collection of lessons in essay form.
You can follow Artie on: Instagram (@artiegonz) and Twitter (@ArtieGonz_)
*You can find a full transcript of this episode here.*
Dorie Hagler believes that listening to someone for 10 minutes can change the world. Dorie is a visual storyteller and advocate who creates platforms for communities, for women, and even for those incarcerated to be seen and heard. She believes it is this act of witnessing that has the power to transform us.
Dorie is a storyteller, photographer, and advocate based in New York City. In her work, she’s as interested in photographing news-breaking events as she is in patiently covering long form documentary projects. In 2016 on International Women’s Day, she launched me&EVE, a storytelling platform that holds space for women to be witnessed and to tell their stories. She is also currently working on a documentary about solitary confinement.
Dorie Hagler Photography Website
Instagram: @meandeve @doriehaglerphotography
This is a fun one! My guest is one of my best friends, Brittany Schiavone. Brittany is the founder of Brittany’s Baskets of Hope, a nonprofit on a mission to spread resources, hope, and love to families with new babies with Down syndrome across the United States. Brittany is creative, playful, sassy, and she happens to have Down syndrome.
Brittany and I have been guests on a bunch of podcasts together, but today we’re dishing on some never been told before inside stories! We talk about our friendship and play a game of how-well-do-we-know-each-other trivia. We talk about our celebrity crushes, a scandalous 30th birthday party, one epic week spent together in New York City, and of course Brittany’s Baskets of Hope.
I’m blessed to serve as a Board Member and the Social Media Director of Brittany’s Baskets of Hope. I featured my friendship with Brittany in my book, Up: A Love Letter to the Down Syndrome Community.
Brittany’s Baskets of Hope:
Request a basket of hope here.
“I will leave this body having danced for Madonna,” Nilaya Sabnis says in this episode. But even on tour with one of the biggest stars in the world, Nilaya doubted whether she was an artist. Having studied economics and pre-med in college, she teased that while she was dancing across the world, she still told herself she was an investment banker “on sabbatical,” a practical adult just taking a short break from the responsible adult world.
She shares her journey to becoming a dancer and unapologetically embracing herself as an artist. If you’ve ever had a dream or a calling or struggled with your own sense of belonging, Nilaya’s message will speak to you.
Nilaya Sabnis is a dancer, portraiture + documentary photographer, and storyteller based in LA, telling stories of the work of humanitarian and disaster relief organizations such as World Central Kitchen and CORE, as well as uplifting the voices and stories of her fellow BIPOC humans and women.
Without Bard Prison Initiative, Stacy Burnett says she would have “rotted in a prison cell.”
My guest today is Stacy Burnett, who got her college degree in her forties while she was in prison. Stacy was part of the groundbreaking program BPI, or Bard Prison Initiative, which was featured in the acclaimed documentary, College Behind Bars. The program enrolls hundreds of incarcerated students full-time in college programs. When these students graduate, they cross that stage with a real degree from Bard College in their hands.
Stacy has worked for years as a writer and now works for College & Community Fellowship in New York, where she helps criminal justice-impacted women get into college.
In the episode, she shares the life-altering impact of a higher education—and who’s worthy of it, the criminalization of mental health issues especially for women, and the grief of being a mother behind bars.
You can follow Stacy on Twitter @stacylynburnet2
You can find a full transcript of this interview here.
She talks to dead people. At least, that’s part of it.
My guest today is my dear friend Denise Correll, a psychic medium who calls herself the Grateful Messenger. As I tease about Denise, she brings the normal to the paranormal: she’s fun and grounded and dead on (pun intended!) in her psychic messages and timely insights.
In this episode, we explore belonging + fear, dreamland, and this present moment of crisis and shift.
You can find Denise at thegratefulmessenger.com. Still curious? Check out her podcast Enlightened Empaths, which she hosts along with Samantha Fey.
When Morgan Godvin gave her friend Justin some heroin, she didn’t imagine he’d end up dead. Not, at least, until a SWAT team showed up at her house, pointing guns at her, and arresting her for his overdose.
In this powerful episode, Morgan shares her story and the devastating drug policies that are failing us and continuing to leave, as Morgan says, “too many of my friends dead.”
Morgan is now a student at Portland State University studying public health. She’s a prolific decarceration and drug policy reform advocate, researcher, and speaker with hopes for law school.
Full episode transcript available here.
In this episode, I speak with Native American reporter and filmmaker Tsanavi Spoonhunter about her documentary Crow Country: Our Right to Food Sovereignty. On the Crow Reservation where food sources are already scarce, the one affordable grocery store has burned down and tribal members are restricted from their traditional hunting grounds. Crow Country: Our Right to Food Sovereignty follows several tribal members who are fighting for better food and a better future for their community.
As Tsanavi makes it clear, this is a deeper crisis than simply not having access to healthy food: this is food apartheid. “It’s food racism,” she says. Systematic oppression.
Catherine Ward is a photojournalist and humanitarian aid worker in Syria. She has not entered the country just to capture its war with her camera: this is her home. She grew up in Aleppo.
In this episode, Catherine talks about her war photos, grappling with the past decade of her life that has been surrounded by conflict. This is not an episode about the politics of the war, but one artist’s reckoning with her country’s past and future, as well as her own.
Catherine and I discuss two of her photos in the episode:
Video (Post Traumatic Diaries 2)
Connect with Catherine
Instagram: @catherineward22 and @streetarchivesy
For two years while Lisa was incarcerated, she and I hand-wrote letters to each other, sent between New York and California. Lisa Strawn, a trans rights activist, is a transgender woman who served time in San Quentin’s men’s prison until her release in July 2020. In this episode, Lisa shares her story from childhood to the present, talking about her early gender confusion, life in prison, activism, getting COVID while incarcerated, and what the freedom she never expected to experience feels like.
Today, we’re talking about libraries, but in a way you’ve probably never imagined them before.
To me, libraries have always been magical spaces, where whole new worlds exist within the pages of books, where you can stumble on anything, where anyone can find space to learn or find safety or community. Where everyone belongs. But as Adam Echelman, the Executive Director of the U.S. office of Libraries Without Borders, shows us in this episode, libraries aren’t only magical; they are fundamental to equality and justice.
As of this recording, the U.S.—and the globe—has been facing a pandemic for nearly a year. So Adam and I dive into not only literacy and access to information through books, but digital literacy and the way, in this age of virtual school and Zoom meetings and Zoom court and telehealth appointments, digital literacy and access to a computer and Internet are not only luxuries; they’re necessities.
Let's talk about food. Food is part of our daily lives, our celebrations; it connects us. But our access to food is not equal.
This episode explores food justice, asking us to consider not only what we eat, but where it comes from, who has the resources for healthy food, and the workers that produce it. My guest, Eloísa Trinidad, an organizer focusing on animal rights and human rights, talks about the power of providing plant-based foods to communities in need, about labor trafficking within the animals-as-food industry, and about self-care as resistance.
As she and I talk, we find many parallels between the food justice and criminal justice movements, a reminder that none of these systems operate alone. We are all linked.
*A special shoutout to Chilis on Wheels, which we mention throughout the episode. They're a nonprofit committed to nourishing communities in need with plant-based foods.
Eloísa Trinidad is a total liberation activist and organizer focusing on animal rights and human rights. She is Co-founder of the animal liberation group Vegan Activist Alliance and serves on the board of directors at Plant Powered Metro New York. Eloísa is also lead organizer at Chilis on Wheels, where she focuses on making veganism accessible to communities in need.
You can connect with Eloísa on Instagram: @elogata
Rasheed Lockheart is a formerly incarcerated firefighter and, now, the Re-Entry Coordinator at Planting Justice. In this episode, we dive into his earliest interactions with police as a biracial boy in a system-impacted neighborhood, his experiences of bringing someone back to life as an incarcerated first responder, barriers to re-entry, and what the pandemic looks like inside San Quentin right now.
Follow Rasheed on Twitter: @RsheedLockheart
Root & Rebound
In this episode, I’m talking with Amber Vlangas. As a survivor of sexual violence, Amber’s an unlikely advocate for ending the sex offender registry. But after her husband was accused of a crime that landed him on the registry for life, she’s seen another side and can’t unsee it.
Not only does Amber share her family’s journey in this episode, but she amplifies this truth: public registries do not work. If we truly want prevention and healing, we must find a better way.
About Amber Vlangas:
Amber is the Executive Director of Restorative Action Alliance. She is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the current co-host of Amplified Voices, a podcast that explores the collateral consequences of criminal convictions and public registries.
Restorative Action Alliance
Amplified Voices podcast
Stop It Now
Follow Amber on Twitter @amberspeaksup
This episode is taking us on the road—to Tanzania. My guest is Hayley Balozi, who’s raising her two sons with her husband in East Africa. Hayley’s youngest son, River, is determined and adventurous and happens to have Down syndrome.
Our conversation will take us not only into the heart of raising a child with Down syndrome, but into the world of disability in a country that doesn’t even have a word for Down syndrome in Swahili, its official language. Hayley describes the challenges to get medical care, the painful stigmas that have kept some with Down syndrome hidden away for their entire lives, and the public school system. But, more than that, we’ll get a glimpse into a family and a place that has offered River the chance to live freely and enjoy life. And a country that is changing, with one family like River’s at a time showing that Down syndrome is nothing to be down about.
Hayley Balozi is an artist, entrepreneur, and mother. You can find her blog, her advice for new parents of babies with Down syndrome, and her photo gallery on her website. You can also follow along with the Balozi family’s journey on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Since 1980, the number of women incarcerated in this country has skyrocketed, increasing by more than 750%. My guest today, Barbara Rhode, is on a mission to offer a healing space for women inside jails. By working with women inside the Pinellas County Jail in Florida, Barbara’s organization, The Red Tent Women’s Initiative, supports these women in addressing unresolved trauma and addiction. Over 80% of the women in this program are mothers, which means the healing support they receive doesn’t just stay with them, it reaches their children and communities, too.
A fascinating look at women behind bars and what prevention and change truly look like.
Barbara Rhode is a licensed therapist in private practice as well as the Founder and Board President of The Red Tent Women’s Initiative. Barbara has recently been named one of ten L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth for 2020.
Vote for Barbara:
As one of ten Women of Worth honorees for L’Oreal Paris, Barbara has the chance to be named the National Honoree, awarding her organization with an additional $25,000. The honoree with the most votes wins. Cast your vote here. You can vote once per day until November 27, 2020.
As of today, nearly 28 million people have already cast their vote in the 2020 election. Have you? Today, United State of Women Ambassador for New York, Bethan Saunders, talks to us about the power of your vote and your voice and the best ways to create real, century-defining public change in your community and our nation.
Bethan Saunders is a United State of Women Ambassador for New York CIty. The United State of Women is a national organization dedicated to convening, connecting, and amplifying voices in the fight for full gender equity. The USOW Ambassador Program is an opportunity for current and future leaders passionate about improving gender equity, no matter their background or previous experience. You can find and contact your local USOW Ambassador here: https://www.theunitedstateofwomen.org/ambassadors/
Bethan on Twitter: @saundersbethan
Voting & Civic Engagement Resources:
When We All Vote’s Voter Resources Hub: This is a one-stop-shop for registering to vote, requesting a vote by mail ballot, and more.
Vote.org: Check our Vote.org’s state election center links for more state specific info.
Ballotready.org: Compare candidates based on their stances on issues, biography, and endorsements and save your choices as you go.
When Nicole's son Jack was 7 years old, he escaped from school, leaving a trail of injured staff in his wake. After being caught by a stranger, he was suspended from school—indefinitely.
In that moment, Jack hadn’t yet been diagnosed with autism. So all of his behaviors at school weren’t understood—“they didn’t get him, they didn’t know him,” his mom, Nicole, told me.
But this episode isn’t about autism. It’s about a mother learning to find her voice. Learning to become a fierce and empowered advocate for her son and for herself. About shame and fear and loneliness, and about being seen as exactly who you are. It’s about the joys. The love. About Nicole returning to the essence of who she is.
If you have a child with autism, this will touch you. If you’re like me and you don’t, this will grow your awareness and surprise you and, yes, still touch your heart.
Nicole Donovan is an author, storyteller, and spiritual seeker. She is also the mother of four boys. She recently published her first book, A Life Suspended: a Mother and Son’s Story of Autism, Extinction Bursts and Living a Resilient Life.
You can find A Life Suspended on Amazon.
Nicole’s Website: http://nhdwrites.com
On today's show, we’re talking about "border girls." That's girls often 11, 12, and 13 years old who have journeyed alone to the U.S. from Central & South America to find safety. Many of them are pregnant, and they’re often brought here without parents by coyotes, seeking a life that is unknown but, they pray, more secure.
And we’re going to tell this story through an unexpected lens: yoga.
My guest today is Rosa Dluginsky. Rosa is a middle school special education teacher in New York who also teaches yoga. Last year, through the nonprofit United We Om, Rosa taught trauma-informed yoga classes in Spanish to unaccompanied minor girls from South America.
This episode is a unique look at immigration and human connection. Stay tuned all the way to the end for the most arresting moment, when Rosa speaks directly to those in charge of this country’s immigration policy.
You can follow Rosa on Instagram: @yogawithrosa.
A special thank you to United We Om for making this conversation and Rosa’s work possible. They’re on a mission to share the transformative practices of Yoga and Meditation with under-resourced, vulnerable, and trauma-impacted communities.
Visit their website: https://www.unitedweom.org
She’s out of prison after 17 ½ years. What does freedom feel like?
Anitria, who was incarcerated in Bedford Hills until 10 months before this conversation, talks about how freedom is complicated—from sleeping in a room without bars to learning to use the microwave to getting a driver’s license.
Passionate, articulate, and a great self-advocate, Anitria describes her mental health struggles and how she worked to advocate for mental health supports from inside prison.
Tune into the second episode of I’m Curious podcast.
A special thank you to New Hour for Women & Children for introducing me to Anitria.
Learn more about their work providing meaningful support to women who are currently or formerly incarcerated and to their families by clicking here.
(Trigger Warning) When David Garlock was 11 years old, he started getting sexually and physically abused by an older man. The abuse lasted years, leaving David feeling purposeless and constantly afraid. By the time he was 19, he made a choice: he and his brother were going to kill their abuser. And they did.
This episode stems from that choice David made at age 19. But this episode and who David is is far more than that one moment or his 13 years spent in an Alabama state prison. David is a speaker, a criminal justice reform advocate, a husband, and a soon-to-be father and author.
In this inaugural episode of I’m Curious, David shares his story, lessons in mercy, the life-changing aid he received from Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative, and even his moment of movie stardom when he appeared in the 2020 film Just Mercy.
You can follow David on Twitter @DavidLeeGarlock