#127 “The Marginalized Majority” with Onnesha Roychoudhuri

Onnesha Roychoudhuri is a writer, speaker, and educator with over 15 years of experience working at the intersection of storytelling and social justice.

She is the author of The Marginalized Majority: Claiming Our Power in a Post-Truth America, named one of the best books of 2018 by Kirkus Reviews. (NOTE: you can buy it at RoughDraft in Kingston.)

Onnesha regularly leads writing and storytelling workshops for organizations across the country, including the Moth and the Reproduction Health Access Project, as well as at universities such as San Francisco State University, Rutgers University, Hunter College, Pratt Institute, and Western ConnecticutState University, where she is an instructor in the graduate writing program.

Part of this work involves trainings to advocates working on the frontlines of the fight for social justice and equity.

A 2013 fellow at the Center for Fiction, Onnesha’s writing has appeared in publications such as Rolling Stone, Kenyon Review, n+1Virginia Quarterly ReviewThe Boston Review, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, The NationThe American Prospect, Salon, and Mother Jones. She is a 2011 and 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee, and has been awarded residencies at Hedgebrook and Blue Mountain Center.

Today we had some fun and deep moments discussing topics like journalism, her book, white male objectivity, #metoo, protests, Black Lives Matter, truth, social justice story telling and self care. One of my favorite quotes from her book, “To believe that non-violent protest is unnecessary, pointless, over the top or reflective of an unreasonable impatience presupposes that your day to day existence is tolerable and acceptable.” Truth!

Onnesha is participating in a virtual Moth Mainstage on August 6th, mark your calendars!

Today’s show was engineered Manuel Blas from radiokingston.org

We also heard music from Shana Falana!

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

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845) 481-3429

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#116 “Happy Earth Day!” with Jaysa Hunter-Mellers, Youth Climate Advocate and Lynne Cherry of Young Voices for the Planet

Big Day, Happy Earth Day! Today on the show…

Jaysa Hunter-Mellers’ dynamic speeches at rallies and her testimony at City Hall helped shut down the coal-fired power plant that was causing her asthma. Jaysa has become a passionate advocate for environmental justice and for national school civic education so that kids—and adults, too—can learn how to participate in their own governance, take action, and speak to power like she did. At 14 years old, Jaysa continues to galvanize audiences with a courage and wisdom. She has been a Youth Leadership Panel Participant at​ ​OMEGA’s 2019 Drawdown Conference​ and co-led YVFP’s Civic Engagement and Democracy workshop at the Ashokan Center’s 2020​ ​Youth Empowerment & Sustainability Summit (YESS!)​.

Jaysa won admission to the ​Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Multi-Magnet Campus​ where she attends the Information Technology and Software Engineering School. Its mission is to create a culture for passionate investigators to develop solutions for the global community that lead to fulfilling careers. Jaysa is active in her school’s Debate Team where she’s frequently won 1st place. In addition to her school Drama Club, Jaysa’s been lead singer and performer for several theatrical productions at the 80-year-old, Broadway-sized ​Klein Memorial Auditorium​. Jaysa’s other pursuits include Vex Robotics Team, Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club, and Student Council. She’s participated in the Girls Leadership Summit at Fairfield University and the STEM Girls Who Code Summit at Bridgeport University. Jaysa is also a TIME Kid Hero for the Planet.

Lynne Cherry, Author, Illustrator, originator, producer and director of the Young Voices for the Planet films, is well-known for her popular children’s books especially her rain forest classic, The Great Kapok Tree and her environmental history A River Ran Wild. Lynne Cherry is the founder of YVFP and currently a Visiting Scholar at the Benjamin Center @ SUNY New Paltz. Lynne is collaborating with a variety of interdisciplinary partners to bring the YVFP film series and curriculum into NY schools and working with the Mid-Hudson Teacher Center on a professional development series for educators interested in integrating civic engagement, climate education and environmental justice into their classrooms.

Young Voices for the Planet made a short doc film about Jaysa’s story, Words Have Power. The film educates people about climate change and its effects upon humans, social justice in relation to climate justice, and environmental racism. Jaysa and Lynne have spoken after film screenings including the ​Belmont World Film Festival​ and the ​Climate Action Film Festival​. Here’s the Words Have Power lesson plan.

The mission of the Young Voices for the Planet film series is to to limit the magnitude of climate change and its impacts by empowering children and youth, through uplifting and inspiring success stories, to take an essential role in informing their communities — and society at large, challenging decision-makers, and catalyzing change. They document youth speaking out, creating solutions and leading the change. These youth solutions to the climate crisis include stories of California kids banning plastic bags, Florida students saving their school $53,000 in energy costs, an 11-year-old German boy planting millions of trees and other young people changing laws, changing minds and changing society as they reduce the carbon footprint of their homes, schools and communities.

Some vital YVFP partners:

YVFP also supports these state and federal initiatives:

  • New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky has introduced Senate Bill S6837that establishes a climate change education grant program. In 2016, thanks to a campaign by ACE and Global Kids, the NYC Council passed Resolution 0375-2014calling on the New York State Department of Education to include climate change lessons in the State’s K-12 curriculum.
  • Spurred by youth climate strikersCalifornia Congresswoman, Barbara Lee, introduced a House resolution – H.Res 574 – in September 2019, supporting the teaching of climate change in U.S. schools.

And last but not least, here are a few links showing the relationship between Air Pollution & Corona Virus

For the Full Mystic Mamma report you can jump over here! And Divine Harmony! And Theresa’s New Moon Meditation tonight via Zoom!

Today’s show was engineered by Ida Hakkila of Radio Kingston, www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/ and “East Side West Side” the third single from The Mammals soon to be released album Nonet.

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

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845)481-3429

** Please: SUBSCRIBE to the pod and leave a REVIEW wherever you are listening, it helps other users FIND IT 🙂

http://iwantwhatshehas.org/podcast

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Follow:

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