#87 “Connecting and Restoring” with Artist, Keiko Sono and Restorative Justice Coordinator, Claudia Abbott-Barish

And finally, my interview with Keiko and Claudia! Making my way into Morocco, but thanks to my guests for coming into the studio a few weeks ago to record these amazing conversations for you all to hear.

Today’s first interview is with Keiko Sono, an artist, turned permaculturist and universal basic income supporter. Keiko’s work has “one fundamental goal: to connect us to the world—to other beings, the natural environment, or objects; in present, past or future; in absurdity, wit, or utter beauty.” She uses visual media, video, and text to create events and projects that focus on connections. She and I get to speak about why she left art and how she fell back in love with it, the work that she’s currently doing to connect people to people and people to place, how permaculture principles now shape her life and something she’s very passionate about, universal basic income. You can find all the details on her Catskill Waters Project including links to the Youtube channel and podcast here, https://catskillwaters.org/.

At the midpoint of today’s show, you will hear my interview with Claudia Abbott-Barish, Restorative Justice Coordinator at the Dutchess County Meditation Center. I heard her speaking at a screening for the film Circle Up (thanks for the hot tip Rashida Tyler) and knew I needed to have her as a guest. Claudia has been a natural mediator since childhood and is a community organizer at heart. Her preoccupation with systemically unheard voices in society began while organizing around various issues of environmental, racial and political injustice. Her current focus is on social disciplinary practices and how to shift from punitive and isolating to restorative and collective. She believes in the power of people and the transformative impact of sharing stories and being heard. She is driven by a desire to help create effective alternatives to punishment and incarceration that focus on community healing and understanding, over policies that separate people from their families and support systems. She’s an inspiration to me and a gem of a human being who has immense wisdom to share.

What a gift these two women are. Thanks for listening!

Today’s show was engineered by Manuel Blas of Radio Kingston, http://www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

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