Category Archives: Make a Difference

Giselle Roeder Podcast: Surviving Tyranny

Giselle Born prior to WWII Giselle Roeder spent her early life in the relatively tranquil setting of a rural village in Pomerania, the most eastern part of Germany ceded to Poland in 1945. The bloody trauma of the fighting between the advancing Russians and the retreating German army in her neighborhood meant that thousands of people, including her family became displaced persons. l

Giselle lived in 3 Germanys: 1) 10 years under Nazi rule, 2) 10 years under Communist restrictions and 3) 10 years in the capitalistic West Germany. Giselle learnt early not to talk about anything she heard at home. After the Russian invasion witness to rapes, gruesome acts of murder; evicted and part of the ‘wall to nowhere’ next to the Russian war machinery on their way to Berlin & Victory. Starving, sleeping under the stars, against all odds she grew up and always found a way to save herself and her family. Escaping East Germany, and in a way, also West Germany , she married an unknown pen friend from Canada.

Be inspired, especially given current events in Ukraine, by her determination to stay alive and her courage to tell the stories that nobody wants to talk about.

CLICK for Podcast PART 1

 

GiselleSee Giselle’s website  for her books::
“Healing with Water” – Kneipp Hydrotherapy at Home
“Sauna” – The Hottest Way to Good Health
“Forget Me Not” – Bouquet of Stories
“Ein Mensch von Gestern” – German Poems
“Flight into the Unknown” – Part 2 of “The Nine Lives of Gila”.

 

 

Deb Hunter Podcast – History of the Cherokee Nation

Cherokee

Deb Hunter is a USA Today best selling author, historian & podcaster.  A former executive director of the World Chamber of Commerce, she is active in Atlanta’s British-American Business Council.

Her journey with the Cherokee Nation began in 2021 when she contacted them for permission to explore their history for a Civil War discussion. That lead to numerous conversations.  They even scoured records to see if there were mentions of the English communicating with the Tribe in the 1600s.  Deb could include that in their history on her All Things Tudor podcast.

The latest revelation by Secretary Deb Haaland of the Indian Boarding School Initiative is synergistic as the report includes a Cherokee School in Chattanooga TN – the Brainerd Mission – and Deb is originally from Chattanooga.
Note: She worked with a historian from the Cherokee Nation to verify this information.

Recommended books:

  1. Amazon.com: Serving the Nation: Cherokee Sovereignty and Social Welfare, 1800–1907 (New Directions in Native American Studies Series Book 14) eBook : Reed, Julie L.: Kindle Store
  2.  Cherokee Renascence in the New Republic, William G. McLoughlin

Research aids:

  1. Brainerd Mission | Finding Aids | Special Collections | University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (utc.edu) 45830ea6-3402-4dcf-8320-16e58d5425d1 (nps.gov) (pgs 20-23 are the most accurate account in this document)
  2. Cherokee Phoenix | NEW ECHOTA | Volume 2, Number 19; Published August, 12, 1829 (wcu.edu)
  3. Missionary Activities Among the Cherokee Indians, 1757-1838 (tennessee.edu)(good history of Brainerd starting around p. 74)

CLICK to hear Podcast

Follow Deb at www.AllThingsTudor.com or on social media as @theDebATL.

 

ANDREW FEILER PODCAST: The Rosenwald Schools

Rosenwald schools
Andrew Feiler (Photo by Paul Perdue)

Andrew Feiler is a fifth generation Georgian. Having grown up Jewish in Savannah, he has been shaped by the rich complexities of the American South.  Feiler has long been active in civic life. He has helped create over a dozen community initiatives, serves on multiple not-for-profit boards, and is an active advisor to numerous elected officials and political candidates. His art is an extension of his civic values.

Feiler’s photographs have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, Architect, Preservation, The Forward as well as on CBS This Morning and NPR. His work has been displayed in galleries and museums including solo exhibitions at such venues as the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, NC, and Octagon Museum in Washington, D.C.

Rosenwald SchoolsAndrew documents the history of the Rosenwald schools program which transformed education for African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. The founders were Julius Rosenwald, born to Jewish immigrants, who rose to lead Sears, Roebuck & Company and Booker T. Washington , born into slavery, who became the founding principal of Tuskegee Institute. In 1912 the two men launched an ambitious program to partner with Black communities to build public schools for African American children. Andrew examines the role of education as the onramp to the American middle class as well as  the past, present and future of the Black/Jewish progressive alliance.

Hear Andrew discuss:

  1.  What was most innovative about how Rosenwald and Washington structured the schoolhouse construction program?
  2. What was the impact of the Rosenwald schools program?
  3. How he developed his approach for telling this story visually.

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BETTIE KIRKLAND PODCAST: Project Return & Post Incarceration Hope

Project ReturnCEO Bettie Kirkland, has led Project Return for 10 years. Founded in Nashville in 1979, Project Return is a Tennessee nonprofit dedicated to helping people successfully return to the community after incarceration and avoid recidivism. It has helped thousands of men and women find employment and establish stable lives, all while maintaining its inclusive, productive relationships with its program participants, employment partners and supporters. In 2021, Project Return program participants had an 82% job acquisition rate with only a 13% recidivism rate compared to state and national averages exceeding 50%.

Project Return When Project Return, recently opened a new office in Chattanooga, the milestone was celebrated with a reception featuring these remarks its CEO.

“Our mission is to provide necessary, impactful reentry services for our program participants who have chosen to improve their own lives and communities,” said Kirkland. “Our decision to expand our services to Chattanooga was inspired by the strong support we received from local leaders, including state legislators, the city and county mayors’ offices, and the business community.”

Hear Bettie Kirkland discuss the harsh reality that people face when they are released from incarceration as well as the benefits of second chance hiring in addressing racial inequity.

1. Who are Project Return participants?
2. How does the work of Project Return contribute to the community?
3. What role do Project Return’s social enterprises play?

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Jed Mescon Podcast – Jewish in The South

Jed Mescon Jed Mescon is  a relationship builder, brand ambassador, dynamic speaker, creative thinker, persuasive communicator, veteran fundraiser, and community advocate. He is well known in Chattanooga having served as the host of the radio talk show Chewin the Chatt and as the morning news anchor for WRCB-TV.

Jed is a leader in the Jewish community of Chattanooga and serves on many nonprofit boards. He is passionate about connecting with people to find stories that need telling; creating ideas with the potential to spark change, and energizing the narrative to activate support for the greater good.

CLICK for Jed Mescon PODCAST

Rudy Ortega, Jr. Podcast: A Tribal Mission

Rudy Ortega Rudy J. Ortega, Jr. is the Tribal President of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. Rudy steers the continuing efforts of the Tribe’s missions of protecting the rights of Fernandeño Tataviam as Native American people and plays a supportive role with the Tribe’s non-profit, Pukúu Cultural Community Services (Pukúu) to provide community programs to Native Americans living in the Los Angeles County.

Hear Rudy speak about…

1. The First Peoples of northern Los Angeles County: the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians? (Tribal history)
2. Navigating our status as a State recognized tribe in one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas that are our homelands? (Tribal visibility, sovereignty, governance)
3. The challenge of federal recognition. How long has our Tribe been fighting for it and what does the process look like?

Visit their website to learn more:   www.tataviam-nsn.us.  

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Dr. Nagwan Zahry Podcast: Communicating DEI

NagwanDr. Nagwan R. Zahry is assistant professor of communication at U. of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC).  Originally from Egypt where she was a Sr. Program Manager for U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. Midwest Universities Consortium, Nagwan got her PhD from Michigan State U. in media and information.  After graduation, she became an assistant professor of communication and in 2018,  she joined UTC where she teaches social media marketing, public relations, media and diversity. Her research focuses on science communication, health communication and persuasive messaging.

Hear the discussion:
1- What are some of your research findings that surprised you?
2- would you elaborate more on your media and diversity course?
3- Does your research areas change overtime? If so, why?

And learn how to counteract scientists’ negative stereotypes as governors try to communicate empathy during Covid-19.

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Editor’s Note: I am honored to be a frequent presenter at Dr. Zahry’s classes. Education is central to the future of DEI.
Zahry

Angela McIver Podcast: Trapezium Math

Trapezium Math Real American Families

Angela McIver founded Trapezium Math,  an after-school math program after completed PhD at the U. of Pennsylvania with dissertation: Understanding the Numerical Reasoning of Middle School Students. She has interviewed children all over the country about their understanding of basic math concepts and develops math materials that are both engaging and confidence-building for young children. Trapezium provides ways to teach challenging math to very young children through Trapezium Math Club®, Trapezium Math at Home® and Trapezium Math for Schools®. Trapezium gives students, parents and teachers the tools they need to build fearless, confident math learners.

As part of their curriculum, Trapezium launched the Real American Families project to celebrate the country’s diversity, especially the many faces and lifestyles that define the modern American family.

Hear the discussion:

1. Why math education needs to change in America.
2. How families can help their own children build strong math foundations.
3. How important it is to include diverse representation in math education.
McIver

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Carmelo the Science Fellow – Podcast

Carmelo Carmelo Piazza (Carmelo the Science Fellow) is the Founder of the Brooklyn Preschool of Science. He is a Brooklyn born educator who taught for the Department of Education for 17 years and is now the owner of three independent science based preschools.

The Brooklyn Preschool of Science is an inquiry-based interdisciplinary school that uses play to holistically connect subject areas. The school aims to excite young kids about learning and engage their innate curiosity about the world. The school features a living wall of plants, a 300-gallon fish tank, and a multitude of living creatures that reside in the classrooms.
Carmelo talks about the  value of teaching preschoolers math/science as early as 2-3 years old and discuss how science is the only true way to bridge the gap of inequality in education.

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Equity in Education Podcast

ADR PODCAST
BLACK-JEWISH DIALOGUE

Hear the conversation about equity in education from these experts  based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This podcast is part of the ADR Black-Jewish Dialogues.

of education

Ardena Garth Hicks: Education Activist 

Ardena is a Hamilton County native and practicing attorney who is the 2020 Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. She is a member of the Hamilton County Partnership Network Board of Directors, appointed by TN Education Commissioner Candace McQueen. The Partnership’s charge is to “review the progress of the five schools in the Partnership Network- which have been deemed priority schools by the state…and make recommendations to the Hamilton County Board of Education and Network leadership to support students’ growth and development.”
She is President of Chattanooga Endeavors, Inc., a non-profit organization which advocates for the interests of citizens repatriating from incarceration. Ardena previously was Special Prosecutor for Child Abuse cases with the Hamilton County District Attorney’s office. She served as Hamilton County’s first elected District Public Defender from 1990 to 2014 (3 successive 8-year terms), having been appointed to the newly-created position by Gov. Ned McWherter in 1989. Ardena graduated as a Ooltewah HS valedictorian, earned her bachelor’s degree at Middle TN State U. and earned her Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the U. of Kansas.

of educationDr. Jill Keegan Levine: Education Administrator 

Jill is the Chief of Innovation and Choice for Tennessee’s Hamilton County Schools, a district of over 45,000 students. Prior to this role, she served as the Chief of the Opportunity Zone, a learning community focused on turnaround of the twelve highest needs schools in the district, as well as serving previously as the Chief Academic Officer of the school district.
After graduating from Wellesley College with a double major in Music and History, Jill began her career teaching 3rd grade and directing musical theater productions in the New Orleans Public Schools. She was the principal of Normal Park Museum Magnet, a Chattanooga Pre-K through 8th grade school, for 14 years. She led the transformation of two low performing schools into award winning, innovative, exciting and challenging places of learning. In 2012, Jill was recognized as the National Magnet Schools Principals of the Year. From 2013-2015, she served in the Obama administration as the first full time Principal Ambassador Fellow at the US Department of Education. In that capacity, she worked closely with Secretary Arne Duncan to increase the department’s focus on the importance of school leadership.

 CLICK for PODCAST LINK

Also hear: BLACK-JEWISH DIALOGUE PODCAST: POETS SPEAK

Dialogue Partners:
American Diversity Report,  Chattanooga News Chronicle, Mizpah Congregation, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda (
C.U.R.B. )

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