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The Unpacked Project

The Unpacked Project

By The Unpacked Project
Join us in crucial conversations that will challenge barriers to equity and inspire action towards a more compassionate and inclusive future.

Through the gift of storytelling and our love of learning, we invite you to share on this journey of personal growth - Uncovering truths, challenging complacency, and building bridges.
Come join us.
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Creating Impactful Change

The Unpacked Project

Identity Development
Code switching, masking, and the psychological affects of racism all have one thing in common - they’re the response to what we’ve been told about how we should be. There’s often a focus on building resilience in communities of color but the emphasis should stress teaching people in dominant groups (white, heterosexual, cisgender, male, etc) to be anti-racist, more gender expansive, address their biases, become more self aware and so on. Join us as we recap our most recent series of episodes on identity development, share key takeaways, explore code switching one more time, and how our own identity development has played a part in how we engage in anti-racism/anti-bias work.
June 01, 2022
The Inside Story of Transracial Adoption
Today we're joined by Isaac Etter - an activist, social entrepreneur and a transracial adoptee from the age of two. He is the founder of Identity, a startup focused on providing accessible, diverse, and ethical adoption and foster care education. And he formerly worked in adoption through his consulting firm Etter Consulting where he lead trainings for families and adoption agencies on transracial adoption.  In this episode, we discuss the personal adoption perspectives of Isaac and our own co-host Miranda, the affects adoption plays on racial identity development, and the need for parent preparation when adopting a child of a differing race - Because adoption is traumatic in and of itself, but the intersectional experience of a transracial adoption add an entire new layer. This is why Isaac has used his story of being adopted and growing up in a white world to curate deep conversations about race in America.  With his unique insight on racial tensions between white and black communities, he’s been able to curate impactful conversations for families where everyone learns to value each other and their experience, while learning about systemic racism, privilege and their role in it. Stay to learn what is most important for parents to consider when raising children who look different from them and how transracial adoptees can begin to explore and redevelop their identity as a transracial adoptee.
May 18, 2022
The “Acting White Accusation”: Racial Code Switching and Cultural Invalidation
Today we examine the dynamics of cultural invalidation, racial discrimination, and racial code-switching with Dr. Myles Durkee - Assistant Professor with the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan.   His work has looked at the above to determine how these experiences influence important psychosocial outcomes like mental health, identity development, & academic achievement.  Broadly, his research examines how people of color navigate racial contexts, change their racial behavior to fit in certain contexts, and internalize messages about their cultural authenticity from people both inside and outside of their racial group. You don't want to miss it!
May 04, 2022
Racial and Ethnic Identity Development Part II
Join us as we discuss the Black American woman's racial identity development.  From intersectionality and the experience of double consciousness to the impacts of racial stress on psychological well-being, these all inform who Black women THINK they should be.  Dr. Amina Simmons shares her research and advocates for interventions such as therapy and sister circles that recognize and address trauma and resilience.  Because Black women are tired of being superheroes; its time for unlearning internalized racism and oppression.
April 21, 2022
Racial and Ethnic Identity Development Part I
David Wellman defines racism as a "system of advantage based on race" and Judith Katz states that prejudice is a "preconceived judgment or opinion, often based on limited information" Here in the US, the system of advantage continues to operate to benefit whites as a group. Essentially it's why racism was created in the first place - to benefit white people. It's more than challenging to grow up as a POC in a world of whiteness. One begins to wonder - do I belong here? Why am I different?  Today we discuss the 5 stages of racial identity development, subordinate and dominant groups, and the importance of dismantling our own internalized racism and oppression, but especially POC.
April 06, 2022
Black Women Radicals
Today we’re joined by Dr. Jaimee Swift, Founder, Creator and Executive Director of Black Women Radicals, an organization working to dedicated to uplifting and centering Black women and gender expansive people's radical activism in Africa and in the African Diaspora. Listen in as we discuss her work, the meaning of the word radical and identities such as ‘disruptor’, the School for Black Feminist Politics and how we can begin to break these revisionist histories. We end with the need for safe Black spaces and the importance of cross cultural conversations, sharing ways you can continue to listen and learn. We’re here for it, we think you should be too.
March 23, 2022
The Hidden Genius Project
Today we're joined by Akeem Brown, Programs Director for The Hidden Genius Project, a non profit based out of Oakland, California, that aims to empower young Black males through innovation and holistic care. "We just saw the need to empower our young folks to know and have the confidence and the skill set to build solutions. We want them to be producers, we want them not to be consumers." -Akeem Brown Listen in as we discuss the importance of collective support (ubuntu), asset based programming, and how you can support!
March 09, 2022
Racialized Masculinity
Today we are joined by Martin Henson, community organizer and activist, speaker, and executive director of BMEN, an inclusive organization bringing Black men together to talk about and work through issues that often aren’t discussed openly. From the narratives that are continuously portrayed, the ability to be vulnerable within the context of Black masculinity is nearly impossible within a world that values whiteness.  "I think Black men exist a lot of times as objects in relation to. [...] When we're seen as being vulnerable - you can be vulnerable in relation to your child, to your family, or to your partner...and those are accepted, but being vulnerable as a object into yourself may make you seem threatening or useless if you're not able to control yourself." -Martin Listen in as we discuss Black masculinity, Martin's own experiences and personal evolution living within this society, and the importance of awareness and dismantling our own thoughts.
February 23, 2022
Coming Together To Create Impact
"If [you] value a society where it's multicultural and rich in diversity, then this is the work we need to do so that people can feel safe and thrive." Noelle While 'this work' refers to the multitude of things we need to be doing to move towards an anti-racist world, Noelle is specifically noting the need for race based caucus groups, i.e. doing anti-racism work in separate race based groups because each group's needs are different.  With an ultimate goal of returning back to the larger group for forward collective action, caucus work supports safe Black spaces and the need for white identities to discuss and ask questions in a space that will not cause harm to POC.  Especially when we consider the roots of trauma within racism.  Join us to learn what collective action looks like, how we all move forward together, suggested next steps in your learning process and more. Link to transcription here.
February 09, 2022
Anti Racist Identity
If you value anti racism work, self reflection and growth then this is the podcast for you! Join us as we explore Tema Okun's Ladder of Empowerment - a chart that outlines the 9 stages white people experience throughout their anti racism practice.  Beginning with "I'm normal, and ending with "Community of love and resistance", white people will continuously move up and down the ladder regardless of how long they have been committed to antiracism work. And that's ok, in fact, it's expected. Similar to understanding stages of grief, it's important to understand that uncomfortable feelings of guilt and shame are to be expected along the way.  We've coined the term "worth it work", when the work is hard but worth it. Additionally, we discuss the need for values based alignment to this work and share personal stories of significant moments we realized we belonged to a specific ethnic groups.
January 26, 2022
Decentering Whiteness and the Need for Safe Black Spaces
"What has been your experience when you talk about racism with people from your same background?"  That answer is going to vary if you're Black or white.  Join us as we share our personal experiences from the lens of a Black and white friendship, discuss the need for safe Black spaces, race based caucus work within companies, and the need to decenter whiteness.
January 12, 2022
Cancel Culture
Is cancel culture punishment or accountability?  "When you think of cancel culture, it's a very individual thing, right? It takes something that one person said or one person did and it cancels that person, and it doesn't do anything to change the system of what's happening." -Noelle DeLaCruz While it works in some cases, in others it leaves no room for learning, growth or repair. And sometimes it's just an approach used when someone doesn't like what you have to's happened to us! Listen in as we discuss various views on this (somewhat) newly held tactic as we cover freedom of speech vs. hate speech, the responsibility of social media outlets, and the affects of shaming and blaming compared to using restorative practices to learn and move forward.
December 15, 2021
Our Fair Share
Join us as Brian C. Johnson, author of Our Fair Share, stops in to discuss solutions around moving towards and more economically just country.  Our wealth gap in America between the richest and poorest families more than doubled from 1989 to 2016, which isn't surprising when you learn that the highest earning 20% of US households have continuously brought in a larger share of the countries TOTAL income over the past 50 years.  "We are living in a period of economic inequality that we haven't seen in a century. This isn't our parents level of inequality, it's not our grandparents level of inequality, this is almost unprecedented inequality if we look back over the past 100 years." -Brian C. Johnson The Black to white income gap isn't new news either, the difference in median houeshold income between these groups has grown from $23,819 in 1970 to roughly $33,000 in 2018. And in 2019, Fortune 500 CEO's who earned approximately $14.8 million on average, included just 5 Black and 17 Latinx people - less than 5% of the total. The rich just keep getting richer here in America. A simple solution is "The Citizen's Dividend", the belief that every business should take a share of their yearly profits and pay it out to Americans, so that everyone gets a check. Now wouldn't that be amazing.
November 24, 2021
Hospicing Modernity
"If we continue on the path we're on today, we might be accelerating our own extinction." -Vanessa Machado Oliveira  In this episode we discuss the overarching story of power and privilege here in the global US North how we are outgrowing modernity and our world, and overall approach for change rooted in Indigenous values and practices.  Vanessa, a Latinx Professor at the University of British Columbia and founding member of Gesturing Towards the Colonial Futures Collective, which is an international network of indigenous communities, also shares the 5 E's:   Exceptionalism  Exaltation  Expansion of entitlements  Emancipation (now Externalization)  Enmeshment Essentially making up a framework to utilize when looking at our most oppressed or marginalized populations in regard to modernity, the use of this framework can literally save lives she says.  And while everything Vanessa shares may not be THEE answer in moving forward, it's a hell of a lot better than what we've got now.  Listen and join in the conversation.  Transcription For more between episode content, follow us on Instagram @the_unpackedproject or TikTok @theunpackedproject 
November 10, 2021
Listen First
As toxic polarization continues to grow and divide us, it is more important than ever to work towards becoming bridgers. Listen First Project is an organization that transforms division and contempt into connection and understanding, despite our many differences, in turn-bridging the divide. Dr. Graham Bodie, Chief Listening Officer, discusses the research around effective listening and communication, how we can come together, effective strategies to use, and the importance of building an authentic connection. It turns out, throwing data and statistics out during a heated debate rarely yield the results we'd like them to. Who would have thought! Join us, listen, and learn. Transcriptions can be found here.
October 27, 2021
The Stories We Tell
In Rinku Sen's recent blog post “Systems Language for Narrative Change”, she shares, “People and their stories about the world shape the systems we build and use...Distancing people from systems also distances people from their power. We accept dominant narratives if the stories they tell and challenges they present seem insurmountable.”  Rinku is Executive Director of Narrative Initiative, and writer and social justice strategist. She is formerly the Executive Director of Race Forward and was Publisher of their award-winning news site Colorlines, and was also the architect of the Shattered Families report, which identified the number of kids in foster care whose parents had been deported. She continues to explore the necessity of using an intersectional lens when engaging in political and narrative change work. Her books Stir it Up and The Accidental American theorize a model of community organizing that integrates a political analysis of race, gender, class, poverty, sexuality, and other systems.  Under Rinku's leadership, organizations such as Race Forward have engaged in some really powerful campaigns such as Drop the i-Word. She discusses that work and the successes and challenges of running these campaigns.  Join the conversation to hear Rinku elaborate on the importance in helping people realize their cultural power to effect change on societal systems. ***Hey Listeners!! We have an exciting announcement before today's episode. In recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are partnering with The House of Ester, a local nonprofit, to fundraise for Hope Family Services, a domestic violence shelter in Bradenton, FL. We are asking for new or gently used purses, feminine products, and personal items that women need when they are unhoused. The purses will be filled with the supplies that we collect and will be donated on Christmas Eve. Please head over to our website to view the Amazon Wishlist or make a monetary donation. Thank you!!!***
October 13, 2021
Finding Falsehoods
Between social media algorithms and confirmation bias, our world becomes very small and insulated. This may feel comfortable, but it can be dangerous.  As we have discussed, harmful rhetoric and false narratives have a damaging effect particularly for oppressed communities. The stories that are told involve messaging tactics from all sides. When we internalize these messages, we feed our biases. Ultimately, this impacts how we interact and understand one another.   So how can we break this cycle?  Join us today to learn simple techniques that will allow you to meaningfully decipher media content rather than being a passive consumer of information.   Let's challenge ourselves and have a little fun! Join Noelle and Miranda as they play Two Truths and Lie to test if they can identify fake headlines. You don't want to miss this!
September 28, 2021
Catch Them if You Can: Biases in Everyday Media
From celebrating 1K followers on Instagram to introducing a new "Game Time" segment, Miranda and Noelle (yea that's us) are back!  In our last episode, we learned so much about misinformation and disinformation and ways that in-group and out-group identifications are formed and maintained.  This week, we're discussing the impact of media on our personal lives and the various types of media bias that infiltrate our information systems-from he news, social media, and even our own self talk. Think you can catch bias?  And join us for a game of LCR (Left Center Right - Unpacked style) and see if you can identify how various news outlets slant similar information!   And as always, Come Unpack With Us!
September 15, 2021
Dangerous Narratives
Samantha Owens, Regional Director at Over Zero with the U.S branch joins us to unpack the differences between hate speech, dangerous speech, mis and disinformation, and how certain messages have played a major role in the hate crimes and identity-based violence we continue to see within our society.  Sam expands on specific narrative patterns that not only target out-groups or 'others', but also build and maintain an in-group identity, and the impact such hateful rhetoric has had on marginalized communities.  Listen in to learn what we can and should be doing as responsible media consumers once we become aware of the messaging tactics we are consuming. You don't want to miss it!
September 01, 2021
Our Many Identities
Join us as we discuss the impact of discrimination and victimization on the LGBTQ+ community, how intersectionality plays a role in acceptance, and the effects of family rejection. Ian Siljestrom, Safe Schools Associate Director for Equality Florida helps us unpack the disproportionate outcomes which impact the LGBTQ+ community and how societal systems and families can become more intentional about affirming LGBTQ+ youth.   In today's episode, you will learn some facts that call attention to the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.  Research tells us that:   - LGB youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth.  - LGB youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth.  - In a national study, 40% of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt.  -92% of these individuals reported having attempted suicide before the age of 25.  - LGB youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to have attempted suicide as LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection.  - Each episode of LGBT victimization, such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times on average.   Listen in and learn where we go from here.   In honor of Pride, we will also be raising money for The Trevor Project, a leading national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ individuals under the age of 25. We hope that you’ll join us in support by clicking the link in our bio and donating to help save young lives in honor of Pride month.
June 02, 2021
That’s a Wrap: Extremism, Hate, and Where We Go From Here
It's a wrap folks!  From extremism and the alt right, to white nationalism and white Christian identity, and the role social media has played in spreading false information, to peace building and how we combat hate at the community level; we’ve covered a lot in just 8 short weeks. And while vastly different from Season 1, we’ve continued to build upon the why’s and how’s of structural racism in America and the ways it continues to inform and influence lives differently.    This season taught us the importance of understanding the varied nuances between extremist groups - information that better tells us how to engage in counterterrorism work to dismantle these entities. We’ve discussed mainstream media and the need for a new Fairness Doctrine to end opinion based journalism and fake news. We further learned of the role Christianity has played within white nationalism, and yet, most importantly, we explored that within these narratives, there are communities coming together to fight against hate, systemic racism and bigotry. A hope that we hold for all communities one day. Join us with our wrap up episode where we share our insights, highlights and takeaways from season 2!  Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram  the_unpackedproject.
April 21, 2021
Not In Our Town
Today we sit down with Patrice O'Neil for an exploration of how local level approaches can combat hate. Patrice is the leader of Not In Our Town, a movement of people across the country working to build safe, inclusive communities for all. Her work in collaboration with hate crime victims, civic leaders and law enforcement has made her a nationally recognized leader in the anti-hate movement, and as a filmmaker, she has focused on stories about people in local communities working together for change. Her work seeks to embolden and honor unsung heroes whose everyday actions can lead to a larger impact. . . Patrice: I remember, there was a group that was forming in Southern California. And there was a woman who got up and said, 'you know what I did after I saw that movie', it's called Not In Our Town, Manhattan Beach, you might want to check it out, 'my husband and I went out on date night and we started talking about it. And we talked about racism in our town. And we realized that we never really had this conversation before. And then we went home and talked to our kids about it. And then we invited our neighbors over, and we started having this conversation.' And, and so it, it opened up this discussion, and it led to this other discussion that became equally powerful, 'then we invited our friends, a LatinX couple and they said, "I'm sorry, we're not moving to your town, we don't feel safe there"', which opened up this whole reason and need to-like, THIS is why we have to do this work. You open a discussion, you are brave with one person, and then another and another and you start talking, the need for change becomes more apparent, and then the force of change becomes more powerful. . . Listen in as we discover how communities can find courage and strength in the movement and continue to push out hate and pull in unity at a local level, and join us for the rest of season 2 as we explore extremism, the Alt-Right, hate crimes, and the blurred lines of religion underneath it all. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram  the_unpackedproject.
April 14, 2021
Christianity and White Nationalism
Our country was built on this idea of racial superiority. With America's long standing and deeply rooted history of white nationalism, Dr. Damon Berry, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at St. Lawrence University, joins us to discuss the role Christianity has played within the Alt right and American white nationalism. . . Noelle: Can you give our listeners a little bit of some historical background here with that? Dr. Damon: Sure. Sure. You know, the elements that become modern white nationalism had existed before. For example, Charles Lindbergh. The Charles Lindbergh wanted to avoid World War II when he was part of the America First movement. In part because he didn't want to see Europeans killing each other again. He felt that the actual threat was the rising tide of Color to call upon an earlier work of white nationalist idealism, so that the notions that inform pan-European white nationalism post-World War II didn't necessarily get invented after World War II but they come together in a particular way after the defeat of state-based fascisms in Germany and in Italy, and they come out of… a lot of the ideas come out of the work of an American named Francis Parker Yaki, who is then championed later by people like Willis Carto and a person I wrote a lot about, Revilo Oliver, in rethinking exactly what the right wing in America should look like. So, the things that primarily identify American white nationalism is of course pan-Europeanism, right? So, their allegiance is not to the American government, as a matter of fact, they by and large view the American government as the enemy and they view racial identity or white identity as the basic political motive and foundation of any state and that that's what they try to create. Now, how they understand that is different? So, and as that continues post-World War II, leading off of Yaki, Oliver and others, you get further developments of this and of course the latest mutation, if we can use that word, that people are probably most familiar with is in the context of the alt-right and especially articulated by people like Richard Spencer. Miranda: Yeah, definitely. Well, then over time, Damon, we see… well, at least we've… we perceive that there's been kind of two different camps that have emerged. You know, there's this one that rejects religion entirely and then one that incorporates it into white nationalism, you know, as you've been speaking. So, can you tell a little bit more about that evolution? . . Join us for season 2 as we explore extremism, the Alt-Right, hate crimes, and the blurred lines of religion underneath it all. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram  the_unpackedproject.
April 07, 2021
That One Time We Started a Podcast
We're on vacation this at The Unpacked Project this week! You know - trying to maintain that work/life balance, so instead of skipping a week, we thought it would be fun to throw it back and reflect on all things Season 1!   We learned SO much during our first season. From faulty or difficult technology to eye opening interviews, we could have never predicted everything that went down. Despite wanting to throw the computer at times, we stuck with it, and we're here to tell it all!   We know we're biased, but all of our interviewees dropped some eye-opening, must-hear knowledge last season. From personal stories about our criminal justice system, to real-life accounts of providing mobile crisis support as a means of public safety, to the importance and value of restorative justice approaches, we covered it all.    Join us as we discuss those interviews that were close to our heart and hopefully encouraged our listeners to open their minds and challenge the status quo. . . Join us next week as we get back to exploring extremism, the Alt-Right, hate crimes, and the blurred lines of religion underneath it all. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram  the_unpackedproject.
March 31, 2021
When Extremism Becomes Mainstream
There continue to be moments when we realize just how far we still have to go in America, and just what little ways we’ve actually come… - In August, the Wall Street Journal reported that the first five months of the Covid-19 pandemic saw a 600% increase in membership in the ten largest QAnon Facebook groups. - According to a Reuters poll, 13% of the US population supported the siege at the capitol. - As of September 2020, nearly 60% of Republicans reportedly believed in QAnon, including newly elected members of Congress. The above statistics were pulled from an article, “QAnon and Mass Digital Radicalisation: Peacebuilding and the American Insurgency”, written by Dr. Lisa Schirch, who joins us to unpack the context of these alarming statistics as we explore the impact of social media on amplifying issues of systemic racism and white supremacist ideology which has shaped the culture of the United States. Lisa discusses how easily hate speech and conspiracies spread on social media and highlights the need for a new fairness doctrine, the importance of media literacy education for the public, and regulation of social media companies to reduce the impact of misinformation.   Lisa is currently a Senior Research Fellow for the Toda Peace Institute, where she directs the Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding program.  Lisa:  I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, which is a city that I moved to when I was 12 from Ohio and what I learned in public school in Richmond, Virginia is that the civil war is not over for many people. And I lived in a mostly white community and an African-American family moved in across the street from us and the hostility of our white neighbors to that family was so intense. All the other white kids started walking to a different bus stop and I was there with the African-American child who was my new neighbor and, you know, I had been taught racial justice, civil rights movement growing up in Ohio and I couldn't believe what I was seeing, I think and I didn't really realize how divided this country was and how much the civil war continued to live on. You know, that was back in the early 1980s when I was… when that was happening in Richmond, as in my childhood. And I think it shaped how I saw the world, that there were sort of historical injustices that had been suppressed and that people were divided and in conflict in my own country. As I went through college, I ended up living in Chicago, downtown urban Chicago, where I was often the only white person on the metro or the subway, the elves, say what they call in Chicago. And, you know, I became race conscious, I became really aware of the very different experiences that people with different skin colors have in this country. And out of that, you know, I wanted to devote my life to trying to figure out what do you do with historical legacies like we have in the US, and it took me to working in many other countries actually. I worked in Afghanistan and Iraq and Pakistan, Jordan, all over the Middle East as well as East and West Africa. And a lot of my international work in peacebuilding, which is… I ended up majoring this in college, peace studies and then doing a PhD in conflict analysis and resolution, trying to figure out how do you heal societies, how do you transform and become a more just and peaceful place for people to live of all skin colors or all religions. And, you know, that question, it's a question that I still ask today, how do we do this? Join us for season 2 as we explore extremism, the Alt-Right, hate crimes, and the blurred lines of religion underneath it all. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram  the_unpackedproject.
March 24, 2021
Hiding in Plain Sight
This week we're joined by Dr. Mark Pitcavage, a leading experts on domestic terrorism and right-wing extremism in the United States. Mark has been employed by the Anti-Defamation League since 2000, where he currently serves as a Senior Research Fellow for their Center on Extremism.  Join us as we explore the differences between various theories such as the far right/far left linear political continuum, horseshoe theory, and 4 quadrant political spectrum which all attempt to explain the different variables that characterize groups such as authoritarians, anarchists, violent extremists, and conservatives. The new "cult of personality" which describes extreme Trump followers is also considered and the concept of the lone-wolf terrorist is discussed. Show notes and links found HERE. . Mark: For most white supremacist movements, the core belief of white supremacists today is that the white race itself is in danger of extinction, that it is in danger of essentially being overwhelmed by a rising tide of non-white peoples who are being controlled and manipulated by Jews to hurt the white race and that if they do not do something about it, the white race will go extinct. That is the core belief for white supremacists. The core belief for anti-government extremists which differs depending upon the movement but the one thing they all share is a core belief that all or part of our government was some time ago infiltrated by a conspiracy which has essentially either replaced the government or rendered it illegitimate. And so, the government that you and I think of as a legitimate government, that we owe allegiance to, that we give allegiance to, is for them, not actually a legitimate government. And many of them want to restore government as they thought it used to be before the conspiracy got to it. So, you notice, the focus for those movements is all about the government. The focus for white supremacists is all about the white race. . Noelle: So, when we think of the Capitol attack, I am just curious of what your opinion or if there has been research on this? I feel like in the media, a lot of it gets portrayed as these were anti-government or like, white nationalists, I mean they were there protesting that Trump had the election stolen but then there were so many images of white supremacy [...] what is your opinion about what happened at the Capitol? Mark: There was a… sort of a convergence of a number of different fringe or other sort of other type of extreme groups and among those were a small number of white supremacists, a number of anti-government extremists primarily from the militia movement. So, other right-wing extremist groups like ‘the proud boys’ who played a prominent role in the storming of the Capitol. A variety of conspiracy theorists, especially QAnon conspiracy theorists. And then probably the majority of the people did not have ties to what you might call traditional extremist groups at all, had probably previously had no associations with them but were part of a relatively new phenomenon that you could essentially call ‘extreme Trump supporter’. . From white supremacists, antigovernment and all the others in between, understanding the nuances between groups helps to better classify current agendas.  Because not all far right right extremist groups are created equal. Join us for season 2 as we explore extremism, the Alt-Right, hate crimes, and the blurred lines of religion underneath it all. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram  the_unpackedproject.
March 17, 2021
From Microaggressions to Extremist Hate
From racial (battle) fatigue and stereotype threat to dealing with microaggressions, navigating racial hierarchies, or being the victim of overt discrimination, one thing reigns true...people of Color are tired! Join us this week as we explore the dynamics of living in a white world. Episode transcription and links can be found here Engaging in our own personal exploration of intersectionality, we also dive into discussing Stereotype Threat and The Weathering Hypothesis (cited from the book Black Fatigue) to further explore the negative effects of racism on performance, psychological functioning, and the physical well-being in people of Color. . . Miranda: Alright. So, tell me Noelle. Noelle: So, for me, the identities that I think about most often, one being my age. So…you know I had a lot of difficulty turning 35, Miranda. It was not easy for me. My age is something I think about a lot. [...] I always felt judged by being like, young in my field in that way. My experience as a woman in the world, you know, when I’m out in public, when I’m at work. Basically, wherever I am, whether I’m thinking about it from a safety perspective of if I’m safe in a parking lot or I’m thinking about it from, you know, at work being around men who are making the decisions or, you know, whatever I am. Even though I’m in a field really that's predominantly women, a lot of times the administration is male or the, you know, people higher up are male, so that is often one that I think about. Miranda: Yeah. So, for me, the things I think about most, gender, race, ethnicity. Religion actually was an interesting one because I think about that more since moving to the South. Yeah, and it's not ever something that I took into consideration but because I come across more people that are religious and attend church, [...] I feel like an anomaly in many ways. Sometimes when I’m talking to folks and they're talking about religion, I’m like, ‘is this something that I can share?’ I’m not… you know, will I be judged? Right on top of these other factors, being in the South where it's predominantly Black and White. . Audre Lorde states," There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single issue lives." This calls attention to the concept of intersectionality, a term coined by Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw, to conceptualize the fact that our identify markers do not exist independently of one another, but in fact overlap, to create unique experiences of discrimination and disadvantage for marginalized groups. . . Join us for season 2 as we explore extremism, the Alt-Right, hate crimes, and the blurred lines of religion underneath it all.  Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram  the_unpackedproject.
March 10, 2021
Whitelash and the Resurgence of White Supremacy
Join us this week as we explore the context of the capitol riots, the need for an honest discussion about white identity, and why it is important to challenge white supremacist values within society. Episode transcription and links can be found here. . . Miranda: We're baaaaack! Noelle and I are so excited to be here for season two with all of you. There's been so much that's occurred over the past couple months while we were away. There was an election like none of us have seen before. A new president, thank goodness. And then, there was the insurrection at the Capitol, which exposed what many of us already knew, that white supremacy is still very much alive and strong in this country. Noelle: Yeah. Originally, when we started this podcast, we had a vision of taking all things social justice into account and talking about all those different topics, and actually our plans for season two were to start moving into gender and sexuality-based equity and justice work, but when that capital riot occurred and we realized there's still so much more that needs to be unpacked in terms of violent extremism in America, we just figured we need to continue doing this work for now. You know, what we usually see as a nation is hype around these situations like this and then ultimately, silence. [...] And so, you know, there's this tendency, there's this comfort in just forgetting and not talking about it. And so, you know, we even had national leaders, right? Calling for us to just move on for the sake of unity and we just… we call bullshit on that. . . History is experienced personally, but it is also socially constructed. The idea of white washing history is nothing new. We talk about slavery, America’s original sin, as if we are accepting our past. However, what isn’t accurately discussed and remembered is how every failed attempt at controlling the racial divide leads to more savvy ways of accomplishing what slavery and black codes attempted to accomplish - white domination.   CNN commentator Van Jones came up with the term "whitelash" to describe why he felt Americans elected Donald Trump as president. This term should trigger us to remember our undeniable past: that anytime there is significant racial progress in America it’s inevitably followed by white backlash, or “whitelash” which stems from this need to maintain white political power and domination in this country.   And unfortunately, this need isn't letting up anytime soon. . . Tune in over the next few weeks as we explore radical beliefs, the ecology of extremism and the impacts of domestic terrorism in America.  And don't forget to like, subscribe and review our podcast, and to stay up to date, be sure to follow us on Instagram @the_unpackedproject.
March 03, 2021
Exonerated-Season Finale
Fernando Bermudez lost over 18 years in New York state maximum security prisons following his wrongful conviction of murder in 1991. Mr. Bermudez was proven innocent in late 2009 with help from pro bono attorneys in DC, Jersey and New York. Mr. Bermudez's exoneration makes him the first Latin American male in New York State legal history exonerated on actual innocence grounds. Transcription and links here. . . Noelle: So, you know, one of the main methods that led to your wrongful conviction was that eyewitness identification, or really rather misidentification, we should say, and according to the Innocence Project, eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions. And in fact, nationwide, about 75% of wrongful convictions that were overturned because of DNA testing involved erroneous identifications from victims or witnesses. And I can't even imagine experiencing that. All those emotions you must have, you know, having to go through that, knowing that you're innocent, still being a part of the system, people not wanting to hear you, give you a shot to present this evidence that would prove your innocence. So can you speak to some of the issues around witness identification and exactly how it impacted your case? Fernando: Absolutely. Well, eyewitness identification is certainly a leading cause of wrongful convictions. You know, we have a total today of over 2,600 documented cases since cases began getting documented in 1989. And that's just the ones that are documented. That's nearly 2,700 cases of men and women and over 24,000 lost years since then. But in my situation, that began my problem because a young lady upon the incident was allowed to be in this room with other teenage witnesses and she took my picture and says--hey, look at this guy! And then she started sharing my picture. That became a contaminating, psychological instant play in which the witnesses then reinforced by saying--oh, yes, and sharing the picture. It reinforced their idea that they may or may not have had the right person, allowing them to proceed to the next step, which grew worse through the contamination of that when I was placed in a lineup, I was told to sit down to hide my height and weight difference. So the identification procedure is being skewed already. Then I'm also placed in a mug shot book and I'm directed as being the subject of the investigation, meaning--tell us who you think is responsible because he's in there. They already had seen me in other photographic identifications. It was a foregone conclusion they were aiming at. So this caused my problem. It really began the problem that made the situation grow worse from that. I mean, it could begin simple enough and honest enough that way, but the corrupting factor grows deeper if then police and prosecutors have a way of exacerbating that potentially wrongful conviction. And that's what happened to me. Miranda: Thankfully, exonerations are increasing throughout the country. Still not at a pace that they need to, right? My guess is that 2,700 is a gross underestimate, you know, of people that are in prison for crimes they didn't commit. So according to the National Registry of Exonerations, there are a record number of 143 exonerations in 2019 alone. And the total since 1989, until end of 2019 was 2,556. So just like you said, so we know that wrongfully convicted persons they, like you, lose years of their life behind bars. And Research also shows that wrongfully convicted people are incarcerated for an average of 13.3 years before even being exonerated. And here you were sentenced to 23 years to life. Ultimately, you served 18 years, but still 18 years of your life, right? Just gone. . . Don't forget to like, subscribe and review our podcast, and to stay up to date, be sure to follow us on Instagram @the_unpackedproject.
December 30, 2020
Policy Reform in Action
In today's episode we're joined by Kara Gross, Legislative Director and Senior Policy Counsel with the ACLU, who gives valuable insight into their legislative efforts nationally and here in Florida. Listen in as we discuss laws that support the cradle to prison pipeline, the Tammy Jackson act, Rehabilitation credits, conviction integrity review units and so much more... Full transcription here. . . Miranda: Kara [...] advocates for statewide legislation and policies defending and advancing Civil Rights and liberties. Her work primarily focuses on three main campaigns: criminal justice reform, immigrants rights and voting rights, in addition to advocating for reproductive justice and LGBTQ rights. She is admitted to practice in Florida, New York, New Jersey, and my personal favorite, the US Supreme Court. Noelle: Kara, thank you so much for being here with us today. So the American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU, it's a national organization, we know they're state chapters as well. So can you explain some of the issues that the National ACLU campaigns for in general, and and just more about the work that you're doing right now? Kara Gross: [...]So the ACLU has a national office, and then we have affiliate offices in each of the states and also Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. And I'm with the ACLU of Florida, and I'm based in Florida's capital, Tallahassee. And throughout Florida, we have several different offices, our main office being Miami, we also have one in Tampa and in Jacksonville and in Pensacola. And we have the same sort of general issues as the National and all the affiliates, right? So our general issue is protecting the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws in the United States. And all of the affiliates and National work together in courts, and the legislature and communities, to protect civil rights and civil liberties and to defend against those attacks. And we do this nationally, and also statewide, and also locally. And it depends on your affiliates. Some affiliates are larger than others, and some of them are smaller than others, but we're all fighting for the same types of work. Our priority campaign areas are criminal justice reform, immigrants rights, voting rights, reproductive justice, LQBTQ rights and free speech and privacy. And our Florida affiliate has been most heavily engaged recently in three campaigns, which are criminal justice, immigrants rights and voting rights. . . Join us for season 1 as we explore bias,  systemic racism, the roots of oppression, and barriers found within education and the criminal system. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram  the_unpackedproject.
December 23, 2020
Freedom Isn't Free
Today we're joined by Asia Johnson from The Bail Project,  listen in as we discuss the oppressive realities of America's cash bail system. Transcription and references can be found here.  Noelle: American taxpayers pay $14 billion each year to incarcerate people pre trial. So, [...] before they've even ever been convicted of anything. And meanwhile, the $2 billion bail industry extracts money from precisely those communities that have the fewest resources.  . . Asia: [...] So with The Bail Project, I started two years ago, 2000...well it's almost coming up on two years. I started in January 2019. And prior to my work with The Bail Project, I myself was formerly incarcerated. And so I remember sitting in a cell with a girl whose bond was fairly low, or to the average American, you would think that $500 isn't a lot of money, but her family could not afford it. And she actually sat in jail for over a month until her case came to a close. And so her charges were eventually dismissed and I just remember having that sit with me--wow, somebody is sitting in jail simply because they don't have money. And I also remember the Kalief Browder story, and we all know how tragic that story was. And what the cash bail system is, is a humanitarian crisis in our jails, but also a constitutional crisis in our courts. The presumption of innocence has been stripped from people, and keeping them in these cages when they haven't been convicted of anything is a tragedy. [...] Historically, bail was designed to ensure that those accused of a crime would come back to court. It was never meant to be a punishment, it was never meant to have our jails filled to the max, [with] people who haven't been convicted of anything. But that is exactly what bail has become, it has become a punishment. It was supposed to be affordable, but you know, right now the average American can barely afford a $400 emergency expense and the average bill amount is over $400. And so what we see is that this industry has become about money and less about human lives. And it creates a two tiered system in the justice system, one that benefits those with money, and the repercussions of not having money, which will mean that you sit in a jail cell until your day in court. And that could be weeks, months, and sometimes even years. [...]And so the cash bail system really does wreak havoc on those that are affected by it.  Miranda: And you know, on any given day nearly half a million people really are in jail cells across America, just waiting for their criminal cases to move forward. And people in pre trial detention now make up more than two thirds of America's jail population, which is just--it's crazy to me. Like you said, even though they're presumed innocent until guilty, they still suffer the harms of incarceration unless they have enough money to pay bail and ultimately buy their freedom.  Asia: You know, we come from a standpoint that pretrial incarceration should ONLY be for extreme cases where that person poses an imminent threat to themselves or to the community--an imminent threat of violence. [...] Money should not be the determining factor on whether somebody is free or not. And we see with our work with The Bail Project that people return to court even when they don't have money on the line. 90% of our clients return to court and it's not because they have skin in the game, it's because their needs were met. And so the idea that money will bring people back, I think that is outdated.  . . Join us for season one as we explore bias, systemic racism, the roots of oppression and barriers found within education and the criminal "justice" system. 
December 16, 2020
Reimagining Modern Policing
Michelle Perin joins us from CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Street) to discuss their model in place for creating social safety nets within our communities.  Full transcription and references here Michelle: CAHOOTS is actually part of a larger organization, White Bird Clinic, which started out of the counterculture of the 1960s. So about 1969, in Eugene, Oregon. The founders were looking for more humanistic service model for social and medical issues that were occurring during the day. And they didn't really see anything that was matching what they wanted. So they started one. So they wanted to make sure that they were providing these services, which included crisis services, they had walk in and telephone crisis services at the time. Around 1989 they had a small crisis unit that was starting to go out into the field to meet people, and a conversation got started with the police. The name is kind of tongue in cheek, you know, the police were going to be in cahoots with a bunch of hippies and the hippies were going to be in cahoots with a bunch of police. So it kind of stuck [...] So that's kind of how we became a department of Whiteboard Clinic. They've continued to provide a lot of services that are really important to us doing our work in- homeless department, medical, dental, behavioral health and substance use counseling, day use centers, and still have a very robust walk in and telephone crisis services. . "In 2019, CAHOOTS went out on 20,746, public initiated calls for service--so just under 20,800 calls. Of these 13,854 were CAHOOTS only calls. So 13,854 times the police did not go and talk to somebody, we just went and talked to somebody. And often we don't need to have anything. We don't need to have another responder come out to handle whatever the situation is." Michelle . Noelle: When we think about this, you know, the type of approach that you guys are using, some people may think it's more expensive to provide stabilization, psychologic crisis management services. It seems like adding an extra layer. But the truth is that it actually could save police departments a lot of money, it's just more about diverting services to the correct places and having the correct people respond. So from a financial standpoint, can you share how much of taxpayer dollars were actually saved in Eugene, from having this type of a program? Michelle: It's really hard to quantify. It's hard because it's not really apples or oranges. I know in the beginning, there was talk of funding 24 hours of Cahoots was the same as funding like two or three officers, but it's hard to try to figure out what that actually looks like, as far as cost. I did read somewhere that somebody had estimated that it's about an $8 million savings, and we only charged a million dollars. So we're pretty inexpensive considering if you're just looking at the dollars. And also there, we do have numbers that show that we did save an additional 8 million in health care costs, because we definitely look at what we do as a public health crisis. Like this is a public health crisis. It's not just a public safety issue.  . Join us for season 1 as we explore bias,  systemic racism, the roots of oppression, and barriers found within education and the criminal system. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram  the_unpackedproject.
December 09, 2020
Community Healing
Restorative practices may have one of the strongest value adds to our society, our communities, and to individuals...both those that have experienced harm and those that have caused it. Join us as we discuss the power of restorative practices with Keith Hickman, the Director of Collective Impact with the International Institute of Restorative Practice as he helps us unpack today.  Show references and full transcription here . . Keith: An approach that focuses on repairing relationships and the harm caused by crime, while holding offenders accountable, restorative practices provides an opportunity for the parties directly affected by crime--victims and survivors, offenders and their communities, to really identify and address their needs in the aftermath of the crime. So, families tend to be those who are most harmed in these cases. So victims have an improved perception of fairness and greater satisfaction, improve attitudes towards juvenile offenders and adult offenders, and they're more willing to forgive the offender and are more likely to feel that the outcome was just [for more than] just the victim that caused the harm. . . Keith: Restorative practice strengthens relationships between these individuals as well as social connectedness within the community. And then, restorative practice can also help to increase people's personal and collective efficacy doing the work. These positive outcomes influence a sense of community. People with greater sense of community are more likely to act in healthy ways and work with others to promote the well being for all. And so the proactive aspects of restorative practice focus on building the community before a problem arises, rather than responding after problems occur. So this is important prevention work. And that's important to the field of public health and community health--to improve the social determinants in a community. And you can see, we're starting to use language, not only just restorative practice language, but other language to really foster how these two things can operate as a multi modal approach. And so when used as universal prevention strategy for everyone in the community, regardless of any specific risk factors that may or may not exist, restorative practice really can help create the social conditions for people to be healthier and have greater well being. . . Keith: It just proves the point that, you know, it really is about relationships and how we help people find their human dignity, and how do we give human dignity back to those that are harmed. And so restorative practices, it's really been proven to be an effective approach.  Miranda: Yeah, I mean, so what I'm hearing is everyone should be utilizing restorative practices!  Keith: Yea, as much as you can, yeah! I mean, you know, it's not the silver--it's not the fix it all, but it is a process and a way to communicate and find a language, and deal with vulnerability and rebuild trust in order to take those steps, right? . . Join us for season one as we explore bias, systemic racism, the roots of oppression and barriers found within education and the criminal "justice" system.  The Unpacked Project is produced by Vicky Lee with Branding and Marketing by Raquel Avalos.  Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram at the_unpackedproject.
December 02, 2020
Reducing Recidivism
With a focus on repair rather than punishment, NOBLE Williams helps us unpack ways to use restorative justice as a means to create pathways for accountability and healing. . . . CHOICE, and Alternative to Incarceration program Everyday Boston Restorative Practices Restorative Justice Healing circle guide IG: @ecwilliams817 . . . Join us for season one as we explore bias, systemic racism, the roots of oppression and barriers found within education and the criminal "justice" system. The Unpacked Project is produced by Vicky Lee with Branding and Marketing by Raquel Avalos. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram at the_unpackedproject.
November 26, 2020
Still Separate, Still Unequal
On today's episode Dr. Audrey Brutus, a Culturally Responsive Education Specialist, helps us unpack how disciplinary policies are creating disproportionate outcomes for Students of Color. Full transcription and references available here.  Dr. Brutus: So the gist of the workshops that I do around cultural responsiveness and what it means to be culturally responsive is really to send a pretty concrete message that there's not-it's not a list of strategies. It's not a list of things that I'm going to give you and then you go ahead and do, and all of a sudden you'll have a culturally responsive classroom and everything is great. It's a way of being. It's an essence of who you are and what you bring to the classroom, and a lens that you're building your lesson plans from. That you're looking at the curriculum, that you're teaching your students and the language that you're using, how you view inappropriate behaviors. It's a whole way of being. And really getting people to kind of understand that and unpack that is really a big part of my role in those kind of workshops. Noelle: Yeah, it makes me think at least, that this would be work that I would hope our education system and lots of societal systems start doing on the front end. [...] Not waiting for there to be these outcomes, you know, but that we start trying to-like you were talking about-equity committees, and starting to try to do these things just as our natural processes within our systems to try to prevent some of these things from becoming worse.  . . . Dr. Brutus: The public school system was never really created with students of color in mind. Right? So it's a system that's not designed for them, that was never created for them, and that's why we kind of see that we've never really recovered for that, because we still see Students of Color being mostly taught by predominantly White staff, for the most part, White women tend to be who the teaching staff are. So the idea that Students of Color are being, you know, mostly educated by teachers who don't look like them, teachers who have not had the experience of having to live in a racialized kind of society, and who are, you know, for lack of a better way of putting it, are racially privileged themselves. But they're making these consequential decisions about students and their futures and their lives. So I think all of that definitely plays a role in the inequities that we see in education. Miranda: Yeah, I mean that's such a great point, a lot-most of our systems were designed for predominantly White, male, all those things. We see that across the board. So, that's a lot, right? [...] where do you even begin, because it feels like a lot. . . . Join us for season one as we explore bias, systemic racism, the roots of oppression and barriers found within education and the criminal "justice" system. The Unpacked Project is produced by Vicky Lee with Branding and Marketing by Raquel Avalos. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram at the_unpackedproject.
November 18, 2020
Creating Impactful Change
Listen in and learn as Dr. Charles Barrett breaks down how addressing systemic racism and implicit bias in our schools can positively inform how educators and school communities better teach and serve students and families from a social justice lens.  While Dr. Barrett shares his experience from a school psychologist's perspective, these practices are easily translated to various societal systems that continue to overlook the value of understanding the whole person.   Full transcription and references available here Dr.  Barrett: There's some research that I recently stumbled upon maybe this summer. It's a Pediatrician in California at Stanford, Dr. Rhea Boyd looks at almost exclusively the intersection of police violence, equity and child health outcomes through a lens of pediatrics and it's fascinating that the different types of exposure to police violence, be it being racially profiled as an individual, exposure to it in the media or in your community, or even watching vicariously through family members or caregivers, being exposed to it has, you know, significant effects on child functioning. So it could be PTSD symptoms, anxieties, poor school performance, attentional impairment, so I think, again, that broader framing of systems that ultimately impact how students perform. Noelle: And it makes sense, right? Like, when we think about it, you know, you need to have these equitable opportunities to be able to perform right? To be able to gain the skills  and eventually function within these systems. And when I think of our schools, and like you said, you know, that sort of ecological systems approach, I think, particularly in education, when students come in, we expect them to just adapt to our system that we've created. And, you know, we've talked in previous episodes, and you touched on sort of the systemic racism and how societal factors have played into how just even education has played out in our country.  . . . When equitable outcomes aren't a priority there can never be access and opportunity for all. . . . Dr. Barrett: So I like to see equity work that involves the broad spectrum of human diversity, whatever that is-race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, all of those perspectives are valuable and need to be included to inform, you know, what socially just practices need to happen in the school system. Racism is often you know, the big one that we talked about, but there are other types of modularization. So I think having perspectives of people who can speak that is going to be really important. But the common barriers, I think, is that sometimes we think that system change is a grand kind of big deal, and it is, but it oftentimes doesn't start that way. It starts kind of small and it bubbles up to a larger thing. So start in areas that you know you can influence by, again, building coalitions. Join us for season one as we explore bias, systemic racism, the roots of oppression and barriers found within education and the criminal "justice" system. The Unpacked Project is produced by Vicky Lee with Branding and Marketing by Raquel Avalos. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram at the_unpackedproject.
November 11, 2020
Forgotten Families
Anti-bias educator Kristy Leader helps us explore the need to engage families through a culturally responsive and anti-bias framework in education, the positive outcomes for schools and communities when done so, and how imperative it is for change to start now. Full transcription and references available here Noelle: Often we might blame families for uninvolvement, such as saying things like-oh, they don't value education, or they just don't care, rather than addressing ways that we can include them. So can you touch on some of these factors that cause family disengagement in the schools? Kristy: We work with professionals in schools, a lot of times we hear this--okay, you know, these families just don't care. And in my 20 plus years of education, one thing that I can tell you is that I've never met a family that didn't care, and nothing hurts me more. And I think first and foremost, people who work in schools need to really embrace and understand that. There are a variety of reasons why families may not show up in the way that schools want them to show up. And some of those things, I try to think first and foremost of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. And if you're familiar with that, it's basically like your food and shelter come first and you really can't get to all the goodies and the self actualization until you feel safe, secure, fed. And so there's a big piece of that with families, so if a family is just working to get food on the table, or to keep their job, and they're worried they're going to get fired for missing a 10am conference at the school-and schools are notorious for making things between nine and three. How accessible are you really making this? So that's the first part of it, are people's needs being met. And then the second part that contributes to disengagement is all the lack of culturally responsive work that people do with families. So a lot of times there's no translation, or meetings are predominantly in English. If you go to one meeting and it's an English, and English isn't your first language, probably, you're not going to arrange for the childcare and get yourself out of the house for a meeting at six at night, just to sit there and hear a meeting in a language that you don't necessarily understand. A lot of times families don't feel welcomed, and that's a big issue. Nobody likes feeling like an only, it's a very brave thing to be an only in a room. So if everybody in the room looks very different from you, it may be something that's off putting. It may be a way that you don't really feel comfortable, some families are scared. We see this particularly with undocumented families where they just don't want to draw any attention to themselves. And the other thing is, a lot of families from a cultural standpoint are taught not to really question. A lot of cultures teach you to really respect the teacher, that's not a very American thing, but in some cultures, the teacher really is the end all and there's really nothing to say. And I think, unfortunately, a lot of times school staff see those things as parents not caring or being flippant, and, you know, it's really not that. Join us for season one as we explore bias, systemic racism, the roots of oppression and barriers found within education and the criminal "justice" system. The Unpacked Project is produced by Vicky Lee with Branding and Marketing by Raquel Avalos. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram at the_unpackedproject.
November 04, 2020
Equity Starts Early
Join us as Dr. Ashley Williams helps us unpack and discuss the disparities within early childhood education and the need for policy reform for a truly just and equitable ECE system. Full transcription and resources available here Miranda: So when we look at K to 12, while in many regards still underpaid, the benefits of ECE pale in comparison, so can you tell us a little bit about why this continues to be an issue? Ashley: It's an issue because first, the K through 12 workforce is whiter than the ECE workforce, so we have more of a diversity of women of color in the ECE workforce, right? And so that's important to call out and I think one of the clearest examples we can see of this, is this divide-and while people might say, oh it's different or people think differently about K through 12 or ECE, it is an issue of race. Again, like I said, because of the racial makeup of the workforce, especially in California, the clearest example of this devaluation of the ECE workforce versus K through 12 is how it's being treated in this pandemic in this very moment. We see that K through 12 schools are closed, closed immediately, while childcare has remained open, some never closed. And we’re also finding in our studies, particularly in the state of California where programs are still trying to access personal protective equipment, they’re still trying to access cleaning supplies to do this work safely while K through 12 has remained closed. I think another aspect of that is how dollars are distributed. So there's not a lot of public investment in ECE whereas, K-12 is a public good. This is nothing new, we have a deep rooted history of undervaluing labor that's performed by women and people of color. And the prime example of this is slavery. The experiences of enslaved Black women expected to care for White children with priority over their own, their own flesh and blood, and the most deplorable conditions and dehumanizing conditions. And this is the foundation of the creation of child care, so this is how child care was created and we continue to see that in childcare. Childcare is one of the most underpaid professions in this country. So nationally, early educators are in a median wage of $12.12. There's a real thing called #fightfor15, so when I say that the median wage is $12.12 across the nation, we're not even at minimum wage, so they're earning poverty levels and this is true in each state. So, I think in comparison to their K-12 counterparts, early educators are experiencing these poverty rates at 4 to 14 times higher than K through 12 educators. And the wages in K through 12 are also problematic. I'm not saying not to say...both are terrible. Miranda: But in comparison Ashley: Right Noelle: If that's bad then this system is really bad. Disparities in wages Disparities in access Disparities in diversity Disparities in the value of education The list goes on... Join us for season one as we explore bias, systemic racism, the roots of oppression and barriers found within the education and criminal "justice" system. The Unpacked Project is produced by Vicky Lee with Branding and Marketing by Raquel Avalos. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram at the_unpackedproject.
October 28, 2020
All Systems NOT a Go
Join us as we take a deep dive from past to present and discuss the perpetuation of systemic racism, its roots of oppression, and our long road to recovery as we unpack and learn that America's systems are in fact, NOT a go. Episode transcriptions and show links here. . . Miranda: We're recording today's episode long before you'll hear it. It's September 27th, and the verdict for Breonna Taylor's murder was released this week. Unfortunately, it wasn't surprising, upsetting, disturbing, infuriating, yes. But the US has embedded systemic racism into the very foundation of our country, beginning with enslavement, and we continue to see the deliberate aftermath nearly 160 years later. It is our intention to continue working towards building a more just and compassionate world for all but today for Breonna. So we felt it only right to dedicate today's show to her, and we'd like to start with a moment of silence in honor of her life, because it mattered and it still does. Roots of oppression are found at every corner where the possibility for equality and fair treatment lies... The education system Our housing market America's prison system and more Noelle: This American crisis we're in isn't new, and for me I think-I'm always wondering how? How did this and how does this continue to work? I mean, it was so well laid out that when the Nazis were researching ways to keep the Aryan race pure and institutionalize racism in Germany, where did they turn? To the US? We had already perfected this system and the Nazis admired it, they studied it, and they replicated it. And we want to call them out for their inhumanity in Germany, and really, they just copied what we were already doing. Miranda: I guess America is good at something. Join us for season one as we explore bias, systemic racism, the roots of oppression and barriers found within education and the criminal "justice" system. The Unpacked Project is produced by Vicky Lee with Branding and Marketing by Raquel Avalos. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram at the_unpackedproject.
October 21, 2020
Breaking Bias
If you’re ready to challenge your bias and begin doing the work,  join us as we explore different types of bias, how it begins, and most importantly-how we can break it. With actionable items, tools and tasks, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of bias and ways in which you can grow. Full episode transcription here. Noelle:  These are things that have been studied, there's a lot of research on bias and just looking at these thought processes that people have that are sometimes hard to explain, right? Sometimes they don't even match what our values are in some of these cases, but aside from the research, I think we have our own personal experiences too-especially when I think about this topic. I have so many stories that come to mind, probably from being married to someone who is not White, but my husband is Dominican and I can think of stories that he has shared with me where he's been told, you speak so well I forget that you're Spanish. Miranda: Oh my God. Noelle: Or when we moved into our home in a predominantly White neighborhood, he was home and somebody came to sell windows. He opens the door and the person said to him, “Can I speak to the owner of the home?” There’s this automatic assumption that you must not be the person that owns this home. I could sit here and share many stories of things that have happened. Miranda: And that's where the issue lies. Noelle: Right. We’re touching on Similarity Bias, Confirmation Bias, and Representativeness Bias in episode 2. We hope you’ll stay, listen and learn with us. Miranda: Our brains just have a really interesting way of processing to make sense of things. Some food for thought is the Surgeon's Dilemma. Let's see if you can figure it out. A father and son were involved in a car accident in which the father was killed and the son was seriously injured. The father was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident and his body was taken to a local morgue. The son was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital and was immediately wheeled into an operating room. The surgeon was called in and upon entering. and seeing the patient, the surgeon gasped-It's my son! Can you explain this and how could this be? So we got answers like-he was adopted at birth, so it's the boy's real father, the father that died was a priest, so he's just called the Father, but the surgeon was his actual father. A couple of people said the boy had two dads. Even that the boy was kidnapped. I don't know how that makes sense, but you know, the mind made sense of it. What was your answer? Noelle: I said stepfather. Miranda: I was a little disappointed in you Noelle Noelle:: Right? Women can be surgeons! Noelle: All these different levels of society, we all have to own this. We need to engage in really deliberate thought and consciously enacted policies that will motivate behavior and attitude change in the direction that we want as a society. Humanistic equity. And you know, that's really the direction that we need to go. Join us for season one as we explore bias, systemic racism, the roots of oppression and barriers found within education and the criminal "justice" system. The Unpacked Project is produced by Vicky Lee with Branding and Marketing by Raquel Avalos.  Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay up to date, follow us on Instagram at the_unpackedproject. 
October 14, 2020
Let’s Start Unpacking
Listen in and meet the minds behind the podcast as we share our first episode with listeners and discuss the why behind The Unpacked Project, the need for social justice and where we go from here.  Full episode transcription here. Miranda: Soooo…[laughs from co-hosts] so we're starting a podcast everyone! We've been talking about it forever, it's just crazy to me that we're finally here, right? But ultimately what we're trying to do, it's so needed, and that's why we're here today-to share The Unpacked Project with you and to start having some crucial conversations. We're going to educate, share knowledge, and challenge you all to grow along with us. We know that some of what we're going to talk about this season may be hard, but we're really just here hoping to create the space for change in this world because it's so needed. If you're not thinking about your thinking, you should be. Noelle: There’s just been silence for far too long; from the White community, from these powerful societal systems that we have, right? The police, our government, these groups of people that hold power in our society and it's just like, how long do Black communities need to literally say stop killing us, stop inciting violence on us? And then what's the response? It's just silence. It's just ignoring some of these things that have been happening, and this isn't new, these things have been happening. And what’s the expectation, that Black communities are supposed to be silent? That they're not supposed to be speaking up and saying this isn't right? And it shouldn't even have to take that, it should take all of us, but especially our White communities that hold power and these organizations and power structures that are running things here. It takes them to be a part of this dialogue and it takes the willingness to confront our history, acknowledge these truths that are uncomfortable but have created these injustices that keep happening against marginalized groups. And I'm really hoping that this podcast will encourage people to take some action so that the violence and oppression against these communities can then be silenced- it needs to end. “Don’t ever doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed is the only thing that ever has.”   Margaret Mead Join us for season one as we explore bias, systemic racism, the roots of oppression and barriers found within education and the criminal "justice" system. The Unpacked Project is produced by Vicky Lee with Branding and Marketing by Raquel Avalos. Show us some love by liking, subscribing and reviewing our podcast; and to stay connected and up-to-date, follow us on Instagram at the_unpacked project.
October 07, 2020