Complicating the Narrative is a podcast series produced by Authors and staff at ConTextos with the goal of adding context beyond misconceptions commonly associated with people living in communities facing poverty and barriers to economic development due to racism, violence, and trauma.
In this episode Charles elaborates on his Chicago-Sun Times op-ed, in which he tells his story, describes the need for healing in his community, and proposes steps that can lead to solving the problems he identifies.
In this episode student, educator, and Chicago native Kashif Johnson has a conversation with Dimitri about America's tumultuous soul-searching regarding race. Several recent events have brought the perpetually unresolved issue of racism in America to the forefront. In this episode we simply wanted to share our current thoughts on some of the issues that have bubbled to the surface for some, and remained a fact of everyday life for others.
In this episode, Johnny Page, Charles, Darrius, and Dimitri discuss social distancing and its comparisons to lockdown in a jail or prison. In this conversation, they also share which aspects of this "new normal" they hope will continue after the period of social distancing ends. This episode opens with Blurs and Erases, a blog post written and read by Johnny. Find the full text of Johnny's blog post at contextos.org/chicago/blurs-and-erases/
In this episode, Zay, Dr. Moore, Charles, and Dimitri discuss their experiences with Black History month as students and beyond. In addition to discussing the history of the yearly celebration of the culture and contributions of African Americans, they talk about why it is important that all students receive an honest and complete presentation of our history.
In this episode Zay and Duke, two of our published ConTextos Authors, have a conversation with Johnny and Dimitri about gang affiliation. In this conversation we talk about what a gang is, how it is that young people may become involved in gangs, what it means to be a member of a gang, and whether or not it is possible to be affiliated with a gang without participating in all of the activities of that group.
Two of our Author/Producers from Season 1 stopped by to catch up and share what they've been up to since going away to college. In this bonus episode hosted by Dimitri, Tatiana and Mariah discuss their first semester in college, advice for high school students, and their experiences in Authors Circle.
On this premiere episode of Complicating the Narrative: Season 2, we bring you two discussions centering on the idea of coming home from incarceration. After reading an excerpt from his memoir about the day he came home, ConTextos Author Douglas shares his experiences in a conversation with Dimitri. Later in the episode, Complicating the Narrative host Charles sits down with Johnny Page to discuss their experiences upon coming home from incarceration. Our hope is that this episode provides valuable insight for those who love someone behind walls, people who have shared the experience of returning home from incarceration, and those whose lives have not been touched by incarceration. Join us in complicating the narrative around coming home.
In this bonus episode of the Complicating the Narrative podcast, Johnny (ConTextos Chicago), Jennifer (ConTextos El Salvador), and Dimitri (ConTextos Chicago) have a conversation about the power and potential of podcasting as a platform and as an extension of the work that Contextos does in El Salvador and Chicago. Be sure to subscribe and check out the other episodes in this season as well as upcoming episodes in Season 2.
Tak and Tat talk about the battles of wanting success and being looked at as an enemy by your own peers because of it. They explore their own experiences, those of another friend, and those of entrepreneur Marty Nesbitt. They discuss solutions for succeeding despite the cynicism.
In this episode, Mariah and Jerry discuss Jerry’s experience adjusting to society after spending 20 years behind bars. They explore stigmas placed on formerly incarcerated individuals that exist as barriers to successful re-entry, and provide helpful tips for successful re-adjustment to society.
Mariah and Jerry discuss trust issues within families and how they can complicate the family dynamic. In this episode they interview an African American Literature professor, a clinical psychologist, and a 27 year old Contextos author who bring forward solutions that promote healing.
In this episode of Complicating the Narrative, Tak and Tat cover Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in their own way. They interview an army veteran, a school teacher, and a psychologist to understand aspects of PTSD from different viewpoints. Tako and Tatiana hope to raise awareness of PTSD in violent communities and encourage listeners to seek professional help if they think they might be experiencing symptoms of PTSD.
In this episode, Charlez and Duke explore factors that may lead to incarceration of youth, reasons it can be hard to break the cycle of incarceration, and some possible solutions. "The Goldfish Syndrome" is a term they coined to refer to the geographical confinement of young people living in poverty, the limiting factors associated with life inside the "fish bowl," and the cyclic nature of recidivism. Charlez and Duke talk to IMAN's outreach director Billy Moore, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart, Amplify Investments founder Douglas Hood, and Co-Director of Programs and Partnerships at Contextos Lisa Kenner. They spoke with their guests about identifying the root of the problem and solutions to breaking the cycle.
This episode is about training your pet - your inner self.
Charles has a one on one conversation with Duke about his experience with meditation and how it has transformed his life by helping him by giving him a better way to overcome trauma and disengage from potentially violent situations in his neighborhood. Ra Frye, founder of the community organization Pride Roc joins with insights about the healing power of meditation.